DETROIT - During press and industry preview days at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Deutsche Bank hosted a global automotive industry conference. Several members of the Ford leadership team including President and CEO Alan Mulally, COO Mark Fields, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln Jim Farley, Group Vice President of Global Product Development Raj Nair and CFO Bob Shanks shared insights into Ford’s global business during this conference.
Throughout this week @Ford will share portions of the Ford presentation which covered:
- One Ford and the global product development strategy
- Platform consolidation and efficiency metrics
- Sustainability and technology
- Lincoln Motor Company
- Ford Motor Company products
Today we summarize the sustainability, technology and quality portions of the presentation.
Sustainability and technology
Nair also pointed to the success of EcoBoost engines stating that since the introduction of the first EcoBoost engine in 2009, Ford has sold more than 2 million EcoBoost equipped vehicles. This means one in every five Ford vehicles sold is sold with an EcoBoost engine.
With the launch of the latest EcoBoost engines, the 2.3-Liter I4 that will be used in both the new Ford Mustang and the Lincoln MKC, and the 2.7-Liter V6 that will be offered on the new Ford F-150, there are now seven EcoBoost engines to choose from.
“Leveraging EcoBoost technology at high volumes across our global platforms is the primary near-term solution to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide an uncompromised driving experience for millions of customers,” said Nair.
As seen with the introduction of the new F-150, another important topic in increasing vehicle efficiency for Ford involves lightweighting through the implementation of advanced aluminum alloys. The high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys used in the F-150 reduce weight while increasing the structural stiffness, durability and performance of the vehicle.
Just as Ford is on the cutting edge of using new materials such as the aluminum alloys noted above, the company will continue to push to be a leader in offering new technology features that make customers’ lives easier and their driving experience safer and more enjoyable.
These technologies include features such as SYNC® (which will include AppLink 2.0 with new app partnerships when it is available later this year), Active Park Assist, Lane Departure Warnings, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition and Active City Stop.
Considering the aggressive launch schedule planned for 2014, quality remains top of mind for Ford. Nair addressed the history of quality concerns relating to SYNC and MyFord Touch and noted improvements to this system have resulted in greater customer satisfaction. Nair also explained that industry-wide, demand for in car connectivity continues to rise, showing the learning curve associated with this type of technology is diminishing.
“In 2013, vehicles with MyFord Touch generally had a higher customer satisfaction rating than those without,” said Nair.
Past concerns relating to the introduction of six-speed dual clutch transmissions and interior access and usability also have begun to be addressed, which should elevate quality perceptions moving forward.
* Come back tomorrow for a summary of the final portion of the presentation covering Lincoln Motor Company and ford Motor Company products.