Monday, January 16, 2017

FORD ADDING ELECTRIFIED F-150, MUSTANG, TRANSIT BY 2020 IN MAJOR EV PUSH; EXPANDED U.S. PLANT TO ADD 700 JOBS TO MAKE EVS, AUTONOMOUS CARS


  • Ford confirms seven of 13 new global electrified vehicles coming in the next five years, including F-150 Hybrid, Mustang Hybrid and Transit Custom plug-in hybrid
  • Ford to launch fully electric SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles and two new electrified police vehicles
  • The automaker is investing $700 million and adding 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock (Michigan) Assembly Plant to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles – plus the iconic Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental
  • Ford is piloting wireless technology that makes recharging an electric vehicle as easy as pulling into a parking spot; in addition, the company is testing EV prototypes this year in Europe, New York and other large U.S. cities
  • Ford is canceling plans for a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and investing $700 million in the Flat Rock, Michigan, plant’s expansion; Ford will build its next-generation Focus at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, to improve company profitability 

All 2017 EV Announcement Images

FLAT ROCK, Mich., Jan. 3, 2017 – Ford today detailed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the U.S., a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.

The automaker also announced plans to invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The expansion will create 700 direct new jobs.

The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle lineup. The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.

“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Ford is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive.

The seven global electrified vehicles announced today include:


  • An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia
  • A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America. The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant
  • A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator
  • A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid, built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start
  • A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets
  • Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. One of the two new hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago, and both will be upfitted with their police gear at Ford’s dedicated police vehicle modification center in Chicago

In addition, Ford announces that its global utility lineup will be the company’s first hybrids powered by EcoBoost® rather than naturally aspirated engines, furthering improving performance and fuel economy.

The company also plans to be as aggressive in developing global electrified vehicles services and solutions. These include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.

Building the Future

To support the new era of vehicles, Ford is adding 700 direct new U.S. jobs and investing $700 million during the next four years, creating the new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Employees there will build the all-new small utility vehicle with extended battery range as well as the fully autonomous vehicle for ride-hailing or ride-sharing – along with the iconic Mustang and Lincoln Continental.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products, and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.”

This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico.

Ford today announced it is cancelling plans for the new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It also announced that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs.

Unique ElectrificationTechnology

Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying lessons learned to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to truck customers, SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and everyone in between.

“Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.”

This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology. In Europe, Ford will put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions.

In addition, in New York and several major U.S. cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions.

These Transit Connects build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid – which also was the world’s first hybrid SUV and the first North American-built hybrid. Many Escape Hybrid taxis are still on the road, moving passengers for more than 350,000 miles each and still using their original batteries.

Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall U.S. electrified vehicle sales.

New Services

Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with.

“Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”

Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points.

Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers reserve charging times.

Understanding customers

Ford has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. The company has sold more than 520,000 electrified vehicles in North America since 2005 and 560,000 globally.

In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned:

  • 88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare
  • Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology
  • 80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings
  • Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights
  • An overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows. Specifically:
  • 92 percent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase
  • 87 percent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ford Service Advice: Do I Need a Tire Rotation? | Service Advice | Ford


This video will explain the importance of having your tires rotated to improve tire life and overall performance of your vehicle.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How to Drive Through an Ice Storm | Extreme Weather Driving Tips | Ford


Ice storms can be very beautiful, yet hazardous. Follow these tips if you encounter a dangerous ice storm to stay safe while driving.

Ford owners want to go everywhere in their vehicles, no matter what type of weather they might run into. This video series provides helpful tips for navigating any type of extreme weather situation on the road.

Drive with confidence—no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CURT's culture is built on change - CURT Towing Products


"CURT's culture is built on change. Our motto is: the only constant is change. This allows for continuous innovation and continuous improvement in our products and services. That's what makes this company different."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

BOLT Locks with Jeremy TwitchThis Stenberg


Jeremy "TwitchThis" Stenberg show us the BOLT Locks that he uses on his vehicle!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Work truck wheels require care for extended life


Aluminum and steel wheels are practically bullet proof and a daily glimpse for cracks and rust is probably sufficient as long as you take the steps necessary to maintain them.

“If you have good maintenance practices the wheel should last the life of the vehicle, if not longer,” says Brandon Uzarek, product design engineer at Accuride.

If you’re running steel or aluminum wheels, Uzarek says it’s critical to be sure all mounts and surfaces are clean and flat.

Dave Walters, Alcoa field service manager, agrees, adding the most important part of wheel maintenance is making sure the studs, drum and mounting faces are all clean before installation ever takes place.

“Sometimes, excess or foreign material can work its way into the joints and you’ll lose clamping force,” Uzarek says.

Uzarek recommends cleaning the studs when the wheels are mounted and on hub pilot wheels, studs need to be oiled while also oiling the gap between the flange.

To account for any shifting that takes places when the truck finally hits the road, Uzarek advises wheels be re-torqued between five and 100 miles after the initial mount and again every 10,000 miles.

“A lot of fleets do not do re-torques because it’s an inconvenience,” he says.

Walters says fleets can mitigate much of that inconvenience and still reap the benefits of proper torque by taking a 5 to 10 mile test drive after the wheel is initially mounted to settle the joint, then checking the torque.

“If you cleaned them and did everything properly, you shouldn’t have to re-torque them again unless the wheel is removed,” he says, adding this method was included in the Technology Maintenance Council (TMC) Recommended Practice (RP) 237.

Re-torquing practices can vary and Chris Putz, Maxion Wheels principal engineer for commercial vehicle wheels, says that’s fine so long as it’s application specific.

“The fleets know best their operations and vehicle duty cycles,” he says. “We would just recommend they have some established program for checking torque.”

Keeping wheels clean can also help prolong their life. A simple soap and water bath is sufficient for aluminum, while a wire brush is an effective tool in removing corrosion from steel.

“The faster we take care of any rust,” Uzarek says, “the longer the wheel should last.”

“If you maintain the appearance of your wheels, that prolongs the life of that wheel,” adds Walters. “The hidden corrosion is what’s going to get you. If you wash the truck and keep it clean, that’s key to keep corrosion from working down into the hidden places.”

Putz says keeping wheels clean is important to also ensure the longevity of the wheel against harsh salts and corrosives used to de-ice roads that can also eat through the wheel’s finish.

Wheel makers have developed advanced propriety anti-corrosive surface treatment coatings for their wheels that won’t flake, which Walters says offer advantages over many paints.

Wheel re-finishing is an option to make worn wheels look like new, but Uzarek cautions that a coat of paint won’t fix structural issues. When wheels begin to lose material, they need to be removed from service.

And the process of re-finishing can also be tricky. Uzarek says paint applied too thick can cause a loss in clamping force as can paint that has not cured properly.

Putz says each wheel should be thoroughly re-inspected after the refinishing processes is complete and, Walters adds, habitual wheel refinishing can remove enough wheel material to make it unsafe to operate.

“One thing we hear a lot of is burning off the paint in an oven and we have not approved that process,” he says. “Depending upon time and temperature, it could change the mechanical properties or the microstructure of the steel.”

When refinishing, you also must be aware that you could be eroding the roll stamp on the wheel, the visibility of which is mandatory for its use on the highway.

“Once the roll stamp is gone, you’ve basically got junk,” Walters says. “Once you cannot read the DOT stamp, you’re done.”

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/steel-aluminum-work-truck-wheels/#sthash.Qca0f8LU.dpuf

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Euro-Style Cargo Vans Break the Mold


In terms of longevity, the American-style, “box” utility van has enjoyed a remarkably long lifespan. Ever since the basic configurations of the design were hammered out in the 1960s, these vans have been a workhorse for an entire swath of businesses and small- and medium-duty commercial fleets.

But a new kind of van has emerged in recent years, featuring a drastically different look, and fleets are taking notice.

European-style vans made their first appearance in North American markets in 2001, when the Daimler Corporation, fresh off the heels of its acquisition of Chrysler, introduced its Sprinter van, branded as both Dodge and Freightliner models.

Read the whole story at: http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/vehicle-research/article/story/2016/12/outside-the-box.aspx