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Posts Tagged ‘2011 Ford Focus’

Ford Will Add Stop/Start Capability To 20% of Its Global Products By 2014

Technology should boost mileage by 10%, maker claims.

by on Dec.27, 2010

Ford wants to offer fuel-saving Stop/Start technology on products like the new Focus - if it can get federal regulators to acknowledge the technology's benefits.

Ford Motor Co. will begin offering so-called Stop/Start systems in a variety of its vehicles, technology the maker claims will be able to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10%.

Globally, Stop/Start systems will be offered in about 20% of the maker’s product mix by 2014, noted J Mays, global design director, during a presentation at Ford’s Wayne Assembly Plant, on Tuesday.

Longer term, Ford officials added, Stop/Start could become fairly ubiquitous in the company’s line-up.

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But while Mays hinted that Ford hopes to launch the technology in the U.S. market “quite soon,” he cautioned that federal regulators have yet to give Stop/Start their thumbs-up.  With the nation’s fuel economy standard set to reach 35 mpg by 2016 – and possibly push to 62 mpg by 2025 – makers like Ford are reluctant to introduce anything that doesn’t gain them credits with regulators – as well as kudos from consumers.

(Ford plans to produce three battery cars at its newly-updated Wayne Assembly Plant, starting in 2012. Click Here for more.)

“We won’t bring it to market” in the U.S. without some acknowledgement from regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency that Stop/Start boosts mileage, stressed Mays.


Ford Will Build Three Battery Vehicles At Updated Michigan Plant

Focus Electric, first to market, will debut in 2012.

by on Dec.14, 2010

A 2011 Ford Focus rolls down the assembly line.

With a $550 million upgrade largely completed, Ford Motor Co.’s Wayne Assembly Plant will become battery central for the automaker, rolling out an assortment of new electric vehicles due to start production next year.

The suburban Detroit facility will be able to produce a mix of battery-based hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well as conventional gasoline-powered models, Ford officials revealed Tuesday, during a tour of the assembly plant.  Ford is anticipating a sharp increase in demand for “electrified” products, according to Mark Fields, President of Ford of the Americas.

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In fact, Ford is markedly more bullish than most of its competitors.  Depending on where federal regulators eventually decide to push the nation’s fuel economy standards – and a jump to 62 mpg by 2025 is under serious study – battery power could become critical.  At the very least, he said, various forms of hybrids, plug-ins and BEVs should account for a collective 10% of Ford’s fleet by 2020 – at the minimum.  And that could jump as high as 25%.


Ford Rallies For New Focus

Detroit maker betting big on its latest small car.

by on Nov.18, 2010

Ford aims to win over young first-time buyers with the 2011 Focus.

Ford Motor Co. is betting big on small cars.  It began the 2011 model-year early with the launch of the little Fiesta model and now comes the next-generation Ford Focus, the compact car the Detroit maker came to the L.A. Auto Show to formally unveil.

Detroit makers have traditionally shunned compact offerings, usually viewing them as low-profit nuisances, more than anything else.  But Focus is a critical piece in Ford’s evolving global product strategy, the newest version sharing 80% of its components with the Focus sold in Europe.

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That not only improves the business case but has allowed Ford to load up the new 2011 Focus with an array of standard features, such as its Sync voice-controlled infotainment system, noted Ford’s President of the Americas Mark Fields, normally not offered on what is usually positioned as an entry-level econobox.


Shared Platforms: Future Way or Future Troubles?

Welcome to 21st Century badge engineering, and a sure-fire way to spread defects across the entire global line-up.

by on Feb.19, 2010

Sharing reduces costs while expanding the model lineup. But, there's a downside.

Perhaps one of the most shocking facts about Toyota’s raging safety crisis is the way a problem with a seemingly minor part, such as an accelerator pedal, can create havoc across the maker’s entire line-up.

Initially, the maker said 2.3 million vehicles would have to undergo repairs due to a sticky accelerator.  But since then, Toyota has expended that number to more than 4 million, as it as added vehicles sold in other parts of the world.

That, says analyst Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting, is one of the risks of using common parts in a wide range of products.  The trade-off is that when things go right, this not only slashes the cost of engineering a component but yields potentially huge economies of scale as volumes rise from hundreds of thousands into the millions.

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And it’s not only individual parts that makers are sharing but entire product platforms.  Take the 2011 Ford Focus, which the automaker unveiled at last month’s Detroit Auto Show.  In years past, Ford developed one version of the compact model for the U.S. and another in Europe.  But the ’11 Focus will be sold, with only minor modifications, around the world, with 80% of the parts in the U.S. version shared with the European Focus, says Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s director of global product development. (more…)

First Look: 2011 Ford Focus

Ford goes global, and customers could reap the benefits.

by on Jan.11, 2010

The 2011 Focus is the next part of Ford's global product development strategy.

Ford is going global. Again.

In classic form, the automaker would routinely develop separate models for key markets like the U.S. and Europe, even though it was a costly way that the Japanese long ago proved ineffective.  Following the strategy of the company’s new Fiesta, the next-generation Ford Focus will be produced and marketed all over the world.  And buyers could reap some real benefits from that new approach, if the car debuting at the 2010 North American International Auto Show is any indication.

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Sharing the same underlying platform as Europe’s C-Max and Grand X-Max “people movers,” the 2011 Ford Focus is a better looking and more sophisticated offering than the one currently found in U.S. showrooms.