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Ford Chief Fields Earns More Than $18 Million

CEO’s compensation includes salary of $1.6 million.

by on Mar.27, 2015

Ford CEO Mark Fields received more than $18 million in compensation in 2014.

Strong auto sales often means there’s money to go around for workers. The top “worker” at Ford, Mark Fields, earned $18,596,497 in 2014 as the company earned a pre-tax profit of $6.3 billion.

Fields’ compensation, which is a combination of his base salary and stock awards, options and other awards, was an increase from 2013 when his compensation was $10,170,578 as Ford’s chief operating officer.

Auto Insight!

Fields, who took over as CEO on July 1, earned a base salary of $1,662,500 last year. His total compensation includes a $3,185,000 bonus, long-term stock options and other performance-based equity awards. (more…)

New Ford System Could Spell End to Speeding Tickets

System reads signs, automatically adjusts vehicle speed.

by on Mar.27, 2015

Ford's new system could become a basic part of tomorrow's autonomous vehicles.

“But officer…” If you’ve ever tried to explain your way out of a speeding ticket, claiming you didn’t know how fast you were going, or what the local limit was, you might want to check out the new Intelligent Speed Limiter that Ford is launching this year.

A number of vehicles now display the local speed limit on their navigation screens, some using cameras to ensure that the limit hasn’t changed since the navi database was created. The system being introduced in the next-generation Ford S-Max people-mover goes the next step, and actually controls the speed of the vehicle itself.

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“Drivers are not always conscious of speeding and sometimes only becoming aware they were going too fast when they receive a fine in the mail or are pulled over by law enforcement,” notes Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor, Ford of Europe. “Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving, helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit.” (more…)

Ford Charges into China with New $760 mil Plant

Ford on the way to becoming China’s fourth-largest carmaker.

by on Mar.24, 2015

The new China plant will initially produce the Ford Edge but will have capacity for five other models.

Late to the Chinese party, Ford Motor Co. is playing a fast-paced game of catch-up. The Detroit maker’s latest move comes with the opening of a new, $760 million assembly plant in Hangzhou, about 100 miles southwest of Shanghai.

The new facility will bring to 1.2 million Ford’s rated annual capacity in China, and could position the company as the market’s fourth-largest manufacturer. But the Hangzhou plant opens just as the Chinese car market begins to cool, along with the rest of the economy, for the first time in more than a decade.

Global Insight!

Nonetheless, Ford CEO Mark Fields, who was on hand for the Tuesday plant dedication, was optimistic, declaring, “This world-class facility will help us accelerate the delivery of high-quality, innovative products to our customers in China.”


Ford Designers Want to Mine Your Mind

Biometric sensors help Detroit maker develop better interior designs.

by on Mar.23, 2015

Ford used the new biometric technologies to assist in the development of the tight GT cockpit.

Automotive interiors have come a long way in recent years. Even the most Spartan vehicles are likely to use materials and offer features that were found in only the most up-market models a decade ago. And that’s become a critical factor when motorists go to buy a new car, truck or crossover, says Moray Callum, the head of design at Ford Motor Co.

So, how to differentiate your product from the competition has become an increasingly critical challenge for a company like Ford. And the maker is turning to some interesting science to help it get a leg up. That includes the use of brain wave scanners that can tell when an interior design turns on a potential buyer or leaves them cold.

Top of Mind!

“Customers no longer just look at a vehicle as a conveyance,” contends Raj Nair, Ford’s director of product development, “but as an extension of their home or office.” So, they want the same level of design – and technology, he says.


Ford Partners with Microsoft to Offer New Services

New cloud-based system makes updates easier.

by on Mar.18, 2015

Ford's new partnership with Microsoft lets the automaker use a cloud-based system to provide over-the-air updates.

Ford Motor Co. has entered into a new alliance with Microsoft to develop a cloud-based Ford Service Delivery Network that opens a way to offer new services to vehicle owners.

By teaming up with Microsoft, Ford can expand connected services for customers around the world using the globally scalable and reliable Azure Cloud infrastructure, according to Ford spokesman Alan Hall.

Automotive Insight!

Ford and Lincoln owners will benefit from the convenience of new connectivity services keeping them better informed and in control of their vehicle at all times with the expanded availability of features like scheduled remote start, vehicle finder and vehicle status, such as fuel or charge level, tire pressure. (more…)

Ford Launched F-150 Production at 2nd Plant

Kansas City line critical to boosting sales.

by on Mar.16, 2015

Ford Pres. Joe Hinrichs drives the first 2015 F-150 off the line at the Kansas City Assembly Plant.

Ford’s painfully slow launch of the new, aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup finally is shifting into high gear.

The automaker has spent much of the last year preparing for one of its most dramatic transitions in years by slowly converting two key assembly plants to build the new F-150 – first the Dearborn Truck Plant near Detroit, and more recently, the Kansas City Assembly Plant. The process has been costly and slow, leaving dealers struggling to get enough pickups to meet customer demand.

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“With production starting at Kansas City Assembly, we are better poised to start meeting growing customer demand for our pickup,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of the Americas. Hinrichs was on hand for the launch of production at the second plant after a 13-week changeover that cost the maker $1.1 billion. (more…)

Ford Readies for Drop in New Car Sales

Maker expects trucks, utility sales to rise for next five years.

by on Mar.13, 2015

The 2015 Ford Edge is enjoying a sales boost as part of the low gas prices, but Ford expects the trend to continue for some time.

While trucks and utility vehicles are thriving in this era of low gas prices, Ford Motor Co. expects passenger cars to account for a smaller share of global sales over the next five years.

By 2020, passenger cars will account for 43% of Ford’s global sales, compared to 49% in 2014. Utility vehicles will grow from 24% of the company’s total sales to 29%, while trucks grow from by one percentage point and account for 28% of Ford’s total sales.

Your Reliable Source!

Michele Bartlett, a Ford marketing expert with experience selling both utility vehicles and passenger cars, said customers not only the United States, but also in Europe and other parts of the world have come to appreciate the packaging and versatility found in the utility vehicles of all sizes. (more…)

First Production Fisker Rocket Mustang Set for Delivery

725-hp, limited-production model will debut at Amelia Island Concours.

by on Mar.13, 2015

The supercharged version of the Fisker Rocket will deliver nearly 300-hp more than the Mustang GT.

Four months after pulling the wraps off his automotive reincarnation, Danish designer Henrik Fisker is set to deliver the first of his 725-horsepower Rocket Mustangs.

The result of joint venture with California mega-dealer Galpin Motors, the first production version of the Fisker Rocket will make a brief appearance at this weekend’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance before being delivered to its new owner.

We're Your Auto-Pilot!

Word has it that Fisker may also reveal another big project at the weekend classic car show, something he telegraphed during an interview with last November at the L.A. Auto Show where the Rocket made its premier.


Mustang Gallops Off to Good Start Overseas

European buyers seeing red...though Chinese fans also like white.

by on Mar.12, 2015

A Chinese print ad announces the official arrival of the 2015 Mustang to Ford showrooms there.

Barely two months after loading the first of the new 2015 Mustangs onto a ship for the journey to Asia, Ford Motor Co. claims the pony car is in full gallop overseas.

Though Ford has always had a few small foreign markets for Mustang, with grey market imports available in others, this year, with the launch of the 50th anniversary model, marks the first time Mustang has officially gone global.

Pony Up!

And initial indications are positive. Even as U.S. sales climbed 32% last month compared to February 2014, Ford claims folks have visited the Mustang page on its European website, while nearly 1.1 million put together their dream version on the site’s vehicle configurator. In China, meanwhile, more than 18,000 potential buyers have already signed up for a test drive.


First Drive: 2015 Ford Edge

Smoothing out the rough edges.

by on Mar.11, 2015

The 2015 Ford Edge.

Ford has been a leader in the utility vehicle segment for the better part of a quarter of a century, going all the way back to the introduction of the first Explorer in 1990, a much more modern alternative to the bucky old Bronco.

The Explorer was a much more roadworthy vehicle, lightyears removed from the rough off-roaders of the past. Still, it took another 16 years before the Blue Oval took the next big step, introducing its first crossover model in the form of the original Edge.

Family Car Reviews!

Like similar soft-roaders, it was intended more as a minivan alternative than something you’d take to the back woods. More refined looking, inside and out, with comfortable highway manners and plenty of family-friendly features. So, we were clearly curious to see how much the new 2015 Ford Edge would evolve considering the increasingly crowded and competitive nature of the midsize CUV segment.