DEARBORN - Day to day, Ford executives, and employees are hard at work developing cutting-edge innovations that build on the company’s past and affect the future standing.
Each month, current executives and thought leaders in the company speak to a former group of these employees who helped make technology leadership part of Ford’s DNA - the Ford Retired Engineering Executives (FREE) club.
Ford Director of Global Connectivity and Electrified Planning and Strategy, Nancy Gioia, was this month’s speaker, where she updated the FREE members on the connective car and Ford’s progress moving forward with connectivity.
Focusing on innovation and technique she said the company is working on “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.”
“People want to be connected all the time,” said Gioia. “And they’re expecting to be able to get the communication when they need it, with the communication they want and when they want.”
According to Gioia, Ford is working on improving a seamless, intuitive and consistent transition from technologies like smartphone apps and computer software to functionalities available in your vehicle. This includes advancing award-winning features like MyFord® Mobile that give the customer control and opportunities to interface with their vehicle.
“We’re going to continue to exploit this phase but we’re doing so a little different than our competition,” said Gioia.
Following her address, Gioia also took the time to address any questions or concerns that members had. One retiree expressed his frustration with the touch-screen capability in his car.
“We’re going to be addressing that and we’re doing an update to human interfacing so there will continue to be improvements,” said Gioia. “There’s a whole series of technologies that we’re going to see very rapidly come in that give customers the feedback they want tactically and make it easy to do.”
Gioia assured the group that connectivity is not just about technology or bringing apps into the car, it’s about shifting the business to the next level.
“The great news is that we have some real insights in where were headed. The great thing about being innovators is that we’re the first to learn. We see the competition following in our footsteps but we’re ahead in learning. You’re really going to see some wonderful things moving forward,” she said.
Each month a new guest speaker attends this event. Next meeting Ford’s Group VP, Global Quality and New Model Launch, Bennie Fowler will be speaking to the group. Click here for more information on FREE and their initiatives.
More than 450 Ford alumni are members of FREE – making it one of the largest and most prestigious retiree organizations in the company. With more than 40 years as an active retiree group, FREE membership is limited to those with supervisory experience at an LL5 (SG11) or above.