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Posts Tagged ‘ford news’

SUV Sales to Remain High, Ford’s LaNeve Says

Ford planning four all-new SUVs.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Ford's Mark LaNeve said today that he expects SUV sales to remain strong and Ford plans to add four new iterations to capitalize on the trend.

With the popularity of sport utility vehicles expanding worldwide among young and older buyers, Ford Motor Co. plans to capitalize on the trend by adding four new SUV nameplates to the company’s product portfolio within the next four years.

Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of marketing, sales and service, said during breakfast meeting that opened the Chicago Auto Show that demographics hold the key to the continued growth of the SUV market.

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“As members of the 80-million strong millennial age group enter their prime child rearing years, a leading indicator of more SUV sales, nearly 80 million aging baby boomers continue to prefer their SUVs,” he said. (more…)

Google Gets Major Endorsement from NHTSA for Autonomous Test Program

Feds say AI system is equivalent of human driver under federal law.

by on Feb.10, 2016

No humans required?

Google’s autonomous vehicle program has achieved a significant milestone as it moves closer to being production-ready.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has told the high-tech firm that the artificial intelligence system used in its prototype vehicles can be considered the same as a human driver according to federal regulations.

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Google had sought that ruling in a letter sent to NHTSA last November in which it claimed the vehicles have “no need for a human driver.” The high-tech project is in the midst of rolling out about 100 specially designed prototypes designed to test the latest version of Google self-driving technology under real-world conditions. The company wants to remove even the traditional steering wheel and pedals from some of those prototypes.

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Ford Unveils New Explorer Packages in Chicago

Automaker taking advantage of sales trends.

by on Feb.10, 2016

The new Ford Explorer gets a new trim level: XLT Sport for 2017.

Ford is giving the most popular SUV in history, the Explorer, a new look outside and in just in time for the Chicago Auto Show.

The Explorer gets the new XLT Sport appearance package for 2017. The new package gives the SUVs a sportier look and gives buyers a total of six trim levels to choose from with the Explorer. The XLT Sport will be available this summer, officials said.

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With SUV sales continuing to grow as gas prices remain low, the automaker is feeding the beast. While 30% of Explorer sales are its Sport and Platinum models, which are the top two trim packages. The XLT Sport nestles right in below those two while giving the ute a unique look. (more…)

Ford Set to Double Mexican Production

New plant could handle planned “Prius-fighter.”

by on Feb.08, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields is trying to find ways to reduce production costs of small cars and upcoming battery-electric models.

Ford Motor Co. will more than double production in Mexico, according to several reports, by both adding a new plant and increasing production in the Latin American nation.

The maker reportedly expects to put the focus on hybrids and smaller cars that are hard to economically justify building in the U.S. market. That includes the Ford Focus and C-Max models currently being produced at a suburban Detroit plant. But could also include a planned “Prius-fighter” meant to take on the popular Toyota hybrid.

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Ford had earlier indicated plans to shift production of the Focus and C-Max but declined to comment on the latest reports about Mexico.

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Ford to Run Four GTs at LeMans

Half-century later, aiming to repeat historic victory.

by on Feb.05, 2016

Ford's two GTs were strong -- when running -- but had mechanical problems at Daytona.

Despite a disappointing debut at Daytona, Ford still has big hopes for its new GT race car – buoyed by word that organizers have approved a four-car entry for the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

But the four Ford GTs will have a lot to live up to. They’ll take the field exactly 50 years after Ford’s 1-2-3 podium finish at the 1966 Le Mans classic. Ford got off to a weak start in this year’s endurance series, its Daytona entries suffering from a series of mechanical problems.

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“It was great to see all four Ford GTs up there on the Le Mans entry list today,” said Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance, during a press conference in Paris. “Newcomers are by no means guaranteed an entry, whatever their history or ambitions, so we thank the (organizers) for giving Ford the opportunity for a four-car assault in June.”

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Ford’s New Raptor Goes Off-Road Racing

Performance truck entering new Desert series.

by on Feb.03, 2016

Ford's Raptor off-road racer.

Only weeks after revealing its new Raptor SuperCrew, Ford says it will send the performance truck out racing as part of the 2016 Best in the Desert off-road series’ new factory stock class.

Based in Las Vegas, Best in the Desert will stage nine races this year, including the Vegas to Reno run, the longest off-road race in the United States. The second event in the series, the Bluewater Resort, gets underway in Arizona on Thursday, February 4th, and marks the official race debut of the 217 Ford Raptor.

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“The all-new Raptor has the DNA of a Baja race truck, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain,” boasted Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer of Ford Performance, in a prepared release.

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Ford Expects Continued Growth, Profits in Europe

Europe boss Farley lays out plans for future.

by on Feb.03, 2016

Ford of Europe President Jim Farley said the company expects the division to be profitable again in 2016.

Once is not enough when it comes to Ford being profitable in Europe and the company is taking steps, including projected job cuts.

Executive Vice President Jim Farley, formerly the automaker’s marketing guru, told the media yesterday that the automaker’s profit in 2015 will be repeated again this year and beyond.

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“Our plan’s about creating a vibrant and sustainable business,” said Farley, head of Ford’s Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, said in an interview. “Making $259 million in Europe last year was nice, but we’re just getting started.” (more…)

Are You Qualified to Buy a Ford GT?

Even if you have the cash, Ford is being picky about buyers.

by on Feb.02, 2016

A Ford GT coming out of the Daytona pits.

So, you’ve saved your pennies and have a big enough bank account to write a check for a new Ford GT when it goes on sale this year. But you still may be out of luck. Ford has set up a rigorous, online application process to find deserving homes for the new supercar.

An assortment of affluent aficionados have already let Ford know they’d like one of the limited-edition GTs – which are expected to cost somewhere north of $400,000. Lifting a page from the Ferrari playbook, Ford has decided that simply having the cash won’t be enough to get a GT.

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“We want to prioritize people who are going to care about the car, keep the car and drive the car,” Raj Nair, Ford’s global product development director, told The Detroit News.

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Victory, Defeat – and Plenty of Surprises – at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Another tequila sunrise to start the 2016 racing season.

by on Feb.01, 2016

Luis Filipe Derani celebrates after driving the last leg in the ESM team's Honda at the Rolex 24.

It wasn’t champagne flowing in Florida Sunday afternoon — nor milk, the beverage of choice for Indianapolis 500 winners. After 22-year-old Luis Filipe Derani shot across the finish line to wrap up the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the drink of choice was tequila.

No surprise, for Derani and his four co-drivers claimed an unprecedented victory behind the wheel of the Honda-powered Tequila Patron Extreme Speed Motorsports prototype, a full 26 seconds ahead of their nearest competitors.

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It was the first time ever that a P2-class race car had claimed victory in what is generally seen as America’s most grueling endurance race – and a prelude to the summer’s main event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Words can’t describe it,” said ESM co-driver Scott Sharp, a previous Daytona winner. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s amazing.”

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Hyundai Set to Launch 1st Pickup, Flood of New SUVs

Official Santa Cruz announcement to come by April.

by on Jan.29, 2016

Hyundai won raves for the Santa Cruz concept, a car-based pickup unveiled in early 2015.

In a market increasingly dominated by pickups and utility vehicles, Hyundai is “out of whack,” with a car-dominated model mix, but that’s about to change, says the company’s top U.S. executive.

Sometime before April, the Korean carmaker is formally planning to announce it will build the well-received Santa Cruz pickup that debuted in concept form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. But it will be just one in a flurry of new crossover-based models for both the mainstream Hyundai and new Genesis luxury brands, officials have confirmed.

“We’re out of whack, a fish swimming upstream,” in the current environment, said Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski, noting that while truck models currently account for 58% of the U.S. vehicle market, they make up barely 27% of Hyundai’s American volume.

Keep on Truckin'!

And without getting more in line with market trends, Hyundai is beginning to see its steady growth begin to sputter, officials acknowledged during a media preview of the new Elantra sedan in San Diego.

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