Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. In the past it has also produced heavy trucks, tractors and automotive components. Ford owns small stakes in Mazda of Japan and Aston Martin of the United Kingdom. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family, although they have minority ownership.
Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914 these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States since 1938.
Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2010 vehicle sales. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe. Ford is the eighth-ranked overall American-based company in the 2010 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2009 of $118.3 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide.
As of 2012 Ford Motor Company sells a broad range of automobiles under the Ford marque worldwide, and an additional range of luxury automobiles under the Lincoln marque in the United States. The company has sold vehicles under a number of other marques during its history. The Mercury brand was introduced by Ford in 1939, continuing in production until 2011 when poor sales led to its discontinuation. In 1958, Ford introduced the Edsel brand, but poor sales led to its discontinuation in 1960. In 1985, the Merkur brand was introduced in the United States to market products produced by Ford of Europe; it was discontinued in 1989.
Ford acquired the British sports car maker Aston Martin in 1989, later selling it on March 12, 2007, retaining a small minority stake, and bought Volvo Cars of Sweden in 1999, selling it to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010. In November 2008, it reduced its 33.4% controlling interest in Mazda of Japan to a 13.4% non-controlling interest. On November 18, 2010, Ford reduced their stake further to just 3%, citing the reduction of ownership would allow greater flexibility to pursue growth in emerging markets. Ford and Mazda remain strategic partners through exchanges of technological information and joint ventures, including an American joint venture plant in Flat Rock, Michigan called Auto Alliance. Ford sold the United Kingdom-based Jaguar and Land Rover companies and brands to Tata Motors of India in March 2008.
In 2011, J.D. Power ranked Ford 23rd in initial quality, a drop from fifth in 2010. Consumer Reports magazine likewise decided not to recommend several new Ford SUVs, blaming the Sync entertainment and phone system used.
Sat, 08 Mar 2014 17:07:00 EST
Snagging a celebrity endorsement is a big deal for automakers, as evidenced by the recent efforts of the Detroit Three to try and woo The Tonight Show's newest host, Jimmy Fallon, into one of their trucks.
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:28:00 EST
After announcing during Wednesday night's show that he was in the market for a pickup truck, Fallon set off a firestorm of efforts on Twitter, with both Ford and Chevrolet petitioning the funnyman to test out a truck. According to Ad Age, Ford recommended the King Ranch edition of its next-generation F-150 while the show was still airing. Chevy, meanwhile, waited until the next morning to pitch a Silverado to Fallon.
The winner of this social media feeding frenzy, though, was Ram. Promoting a variation of its "Guts, Glory, Ram" tagline, the Auburn Hills-based manufacturer created the hashtag #GUTSGLORYFallon. It even went so far as to park a Ram 1500 outside 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, where The Tonight Show is filmed. On the back of the Ram sat a sign, reading "Big enough, Jimmy? Test it out," referencing a joke from the Wednesday show.
A few years back, Volkswagen made some waves when it announced the Golf GTD - a diesel-powered car that, aside from its ultra-efficient, ultra-torquey engine, was identical to the gas-powered GTI. That meant cosseting sport seats, larger wheels, sportier suspension, larger brakes and a body kit that made the GTD indistinguishable from the GTI, except for the three little letters on the back and in the grille.
Wed, 05 Mar 2014 00:01:00 EST
Now, Ford is looking to replicate VW's success, with a diesel version of the Focus ST. According to Motor Trend, the diesel-powered ST will use a 2.0-liter, 182-horsepower four-cylinder. With an unspecified amount of torque on offer (we'd guess around 280 pound-feet), the diesel hot hatch should hit 62 miles per hour in about eight seconds.
The report, which originally comes from Auto Express, claims the ST Diesel was confirmed by Ford Chief Marketing Officer Mark Fields during this week's Geneva Motor Show. Not surprisingly, it doesn't appear there are any plans to bring a diesel-powered Focus of any kind to the US, let alone one that uses the suspension, steering and other items from the ST. Of course, if there's an official confirmation from Ford, we'll be sure to report on it.
Time for everyone to feign surprise - Ford has just announced that it has the increased horsepower and torque levels of its 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 engine for 2015. As you'd expect, the Blue Oval is claiming class-leading figures of 440 hp (up from 400) and 860 pound-feet (up from 800), and that's enough to enable Ford's F-450 Super Duty model to tow as much as 31,200 pounds, which, again, the automaker claims is class leading.
Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:00:00 EST
Now, it should be noted that the max rating quoted above is achieved with the Ford F-450. The 2015 F-350, which is perhaps a better comparison to the Ram 3500 HD pickup that claimed the towing crown in 2013 at an even 30,000 pounds, is capped at 26,500 pounds, either with a gooseneck or when towing a fifth-wheel trailer. In any case, it's going to take a load the size of Godzilla to make any of the current crop of fullsize heavy-duty pickup trucks break into a sweat. For those keeping track, Chevy rates its 2015 Silverado HD at a maximum of 23,200 pounds.
Ford's newfound pulling power comes courtesy of a larger turbocharger for its in-house Power Stroke engine, new fuel injector tips and, we'd assume, retuned computer controls. Besides the engine enhancements, the F-350 gets a wider front track for 2015 and new front springs, while the F-450 gains commercial-grade 19.5-inch wheels and tires, new rear U-joints, leaf springs, stabilizer bars and shocks. The steering and brake systems have also been upgraded.
What's life like on an authentic Texas ranch? We honestly have no idea, having never lived on such a ranch, but we imagine it requires lots of hard work, grit and determination to keep all 825,000 acres - that's larger than the state of Rhode Island - of the King Ranch in Texas under control. Indeed, a total of 350 vehicles, all of which come from Ford, we're told, are currently in use by the ranch. No wonder, then, that the collaboration between Ford and King Ranch has lasted for 15 successful years.
Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:40:00 EST
For 2015, in celebration of that 15th anniversary, Ford is debuting three new King Ranch models today at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The most significant is the 2015 F-150 King Ranch, which, naturally, will add unique interior and exterior bits and pieces to the new aluminum-intensive F-Series pickup. Color choices will consist of Caribou, Bronze Fire, Guard and Ruby Red Metallic Clearcoat, with a range of two-tones to go along with a monochromatic scheme in Caribou. Inside, a bespoke King Ranch interior will be swathed in Premium Mesa Brown leather.
Joining the F-150 King Ranch on dealership floors later this year will be 2015 King Ranch editions of the Super Duty pickup and Expedition fullsize SUV, all of which will offer similar levels of content. Scroll down for more details and two videos from Ford, and be sure to check out the high-res image gallery above, which was shot by the official State Photographer of Texas, Wyman Meinzer.
Medium-duty work trucks might not be the most exciting vehicles, but they perform necessary jobs everyday. Ford is in the process of a complete refresh of its entire commercial vehicle lineup over the next 18 months, and it is debuting the all-new versions of its F-650 and F-750 trucks at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, IN.
Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:02:00 EST
"The all-new F-650/F-750 allow us to leverage our strengths and sales leadership in Classes 1 to 5 to create a better F-650/F-750 that's designed, engineered and built by Ford in the USA," said Ford spokesperson Mike Levine to Autoblog via email.
Huge amounts of torque is vital for trucks like these, and both models are offered with some of Fords biggest engines. Buyers can opt for either the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel with TorqShift 6-speed automatic with available power takeoff or a gasoline-fueled 6.8-liter V10 with a 6-speed automatic. The V10 can also be ordered from the factory to be fueled by compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas.
With more and more members of the Ford brand adopting a new familial face, the Focus has been left looking like an odd man out. At the Geneva Auto Show, though, it properly rejoined the family, adopting the now familiar Aston Martin-ish grille that's proliferated throughout the range.
Fri, 28 Feb 2014 10:30:00 EST
Overall, we're liking the refreshed Focus' look. Aside from the new grille, the headlights have been restyled and now look like elongated versions of the lamps on the Focus ST. Functionally, those headlamps are bi-xenon units, complete with an adaptive front lighting system. Out back, the rear retains the same overall look, which has been smoothed out for 2015.
In the cabin, the second-generation of Ford's much-maligned Sync system makes its debut. Sync 2, as it's called, is supposedly more intuitive than the first-gen system. Ford is promising "one-shot" navigation functions for the system. Saying "I'm hungry," should bring up a list of nearby restaurants. Of course, we'll be reserving final judgment until we can test the new system in person.
Ford is ready to tell the story of its 2015 Mustang Convertible, the can't-miss bits being the easier, quicker and quieter roof operation, a more robust roof build for a coupe-like cabin noise, more trunk space, better visibility and reduced in-cabin buffeting. The top release system has been completely redesigned with a single, center-mounted latch on the windshield frame instead of the dual latches of before. The driver can now release the roof without having to lean over into the passenger space, after which the top goes down fully automatically with the press of a button. Ford doesn't say how long it takes to stow, but it's apparently done in half as much time as before, so figure around 8 seconds.
Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:00:00 EST
The roof uses a five-bow structure, with the fabric outer and full inner headliner sandwiching ten millimeters of insulation. Detailing work on the top has eliminated "unsightly folds" in the corners when the roof is up and made it more compact when down; its Z-fold assembly is 6.7 inches lower than before at its highest point when put down. Ford says the new electric drive internals make less noise when in operation, and the fully-finished droptop look is achieved with snap-in caps that flank the rear seating and stow in the trunk when not in use (the outgoing Mustang's top was higher and the front when folded and always looked like it was catching air and creating drag).
The compact roof and newly independent rear suspension setup in back means liberated trunk space, 11.4 cubic feet ready to swallow golf bags and tourist swag. You can read a lot more about it in the press release below, check it out in the short video of running footage and learn about the aerodynamic improvements made to the entire Mustang lineup that decrease drag and increase fuel economy.
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Thu, 27 Feb 2014 09:30:00 EST
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:30:00 EST
A few more Ford trucks will be built in the US in the near future with news that production of the F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks will move from Mexico to Ford's Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, OH. Ford hasn't confirmed a precise timeline for the move, but The Detroit News claims the Blue Oval will make the shift later this year or in early 2015.
As Ford spokesperson Mike Levine reminded us, back in 2011, Ford announced in an investor release that it would shift production "after the [Ohio] plant stops current production of the Ford E-Series vans." According to that release, the Ohio factory will also receive $128 million in upgrades to build the new trucks, plus the F53 motorhome chassis and F59 commercial chassis.
Ford is ending Australian production after 90 years in 2016, and with it may go perhaps the most iconic vehicles in its auto market - the ute. Car-based pickup trucks like the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino were always more of a curiosity than a true market force here, but in Australia, they have long proven hugely popular.
As the legend goes, Ford invented the niche after a farmer's wife had asked Ford Australia's managing director for a more utilitarian car. Her request was simple: "My husband and I can't afford a car and a truck but we need a car to go to church on Sunday and a truck to take the pigs to market on Monday. Can you help?"
Ford's design team came up with a two-passenger, enclosed, steel coupe body with glass windows and a steel-paneled, wooden-frame load area in the rear. The sides of the bed were blended into the body to make it look more unified, and to keep costs down, the front end and interior were based on the Ford Model 40 five-window coupe. Power came from a V8 with shifting chores handled by a three-speed manual. Within a year, the new vehicle was ready, and production began in 1934. Lead designer Lewis Bandt christened it the coupe-utility.