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Archive for August, 2015
Faced with nothing definite to publicly unveil yet about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility or availability, Ford made news of its own when it announces Sync 3 launches first: on the high-volume 2016 Ford Escape compact SUV and 2016 Ford Fiesta subcompact, Ford’s most affordable vehicle. The vehicles are available this summer. The entire Ford fleet gets Sync 3 within a year, Ford announces.
Sync is Ford’s vanguard smartphone-to-car connection for audio and phone. This is Ford’s third stab at getting Sync right since its initial 2008 rollout, and the first with QNX and not Microsoft as the underlying software. Ford may have touched unto something. Just like CarPlay and Android Auto, Sync 3 directly controls smartphone apps.
How Sync 3 is different and probably better than before
MyFord Touch as noted in introducing Sync 3 in December 2014, Sync 3 is a complete recasting of the software. The interface changes from the quadrant look of 2008-2014 (inset photo) to three windows (photo above): The left half is navigation, the upper right is audio, and the lower right is the current connected phone. A bottom quick-access tray displays the available features: infotainment, climate control, phone, navigation, apps, and settings. The home button is now in the upper left and the screen top also displays the driver and passenger temperature settings, the current time, and the outside temperature.
Sync and MyFord Touch are both considered damaged goods in the perspective of some drivers. Ford decided to shoot one — the MyFord Touch moniker — and hope the other — Sync — boosts its reputation. The phrase MyLincoln Touch will be eventually phased out. Both brands are starting to scale back the use of sliders (for volume and fan speed) too – features that once seemed great in the showroom, but were too difficult to handle on the road.
AppLink means more apps at launch than CarPlay, Android Auto
Since Ford was not the first to announce model-specific support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay (that was Hyundai with Android Auto) or with both (Chevrolet), it has been heavily promoting what it delivers via Sync and AppLink. Almost half of the 12 million cars worldwide running Sync can now directly run AppLink apps, or with some type of user-controlled firmware update via USB key. The upgrade, if necessary, makes it virtually compatible with all Sync cars from 2010 to present AppLink.
Utilizing the AppLink API (application programming interface), developers have produced more than 70 apps Sync-compatible. These include navigation, entertainment, and messaging, but also emerging categories (Ford hopes) such as wellness, the connected home (“did I close my garage door?”), personal productivity, and even mobile payments. A recent Gartner study found drivers definitely don’t want in-vehicle social networking options, in-vehicle media purchases, and application downloads directly to the car for the time being.
With AppLink compatibility available in the application, a Ford or Lincoln driver or passenger has the ability to control the app through touchscreen, buttons, and voice input. Ford emphasizes that this lets the automaker’s basic interface stay intact while the app runs. With Car Play and Android Auto running on a a head unit, it’s difficult to notice which car the app is running on. Users may discover other initial limitations running CarPlay and and Android Auto.
Learn more about Ford technology and upcoming Ford vehicles at Chapman Ford Scottsdale.
Ford Spidermen Develop Screen to Waylay Critters
If there’s one thing you don’t want in your new Ford, it’s probably a nest of spiders. Recognizing a growing problem of yellow sac spiders nesting in North American Vehicles, the men and women of the Ford engineering team took it upon themselves to develop a screen that will keep the arachnoids from making a home in your vehicle. Soon coming to all Fords in North America, it will first roll out in the 2016 Ford Focus RS, which should be arriving soon to the showroom at Your Phoenix Ford dealer, Chapman Ford.
Spider Webs can Block Fuel Vapor Lines
Car owners have reported trouble with spiders building a dense nest in a cocoon shape, which sometimes blocks the fuel vapor lines. The result can at best be diminished engine performance, and at worst actual damage to the engine. David Gimby, a Ford engineer, first started researching the problem 16 years ago. He studied the habits and movements of spiders and created a rudimentary spider screen in 2004. It’s been used effectively in Ford vehicles since 2004, but now engineers have come up with an even more effective version to keep up with the evolving spiders. “These particular Arachnids are not sedentary – they are hunters and constantly roaming,” Gimby said. “When it’s time to build a birthing cocoon or an over-winter cocoon, they seek a cavity or depression, like a fuel vapor line opening, which allows them to maximize the use of their silk.”
Fuel Vapor Lines Important for Emission Control
Along with protecting your engine and vehicle performance, the importance of keeping fuel vapor lines open ties back to emission control. These lines create air and vapor circulation to the carbon canister, where harmful vapors are captured and not released into the environment. The new screen keeps the spiders out, but allows vapors and air to flow as originally intended. “We are constantly improving and adapting, even when it comes to technologies that are already working,” said Ford engineer William Euliss. “There is a significant amount of engineering that goes into every detail of our vehicles, like the spider screen.” Ford continues to lead the way in other technology, including safety features that help avoid collisions, the use of heavy-duty lightweight aluminum in Ford trucks, and an ever-evolving Sync infotainment system that provides the ultimate in audio and hands-free communication. Take some time and look over the inventory of all the new Fords at Chapman Ford.
Ford Continues to Support Disabled American Veterans
For the past 93 years, or almost as long as the company has been in existence, the Ford Motor Company has been a strong supporter of the DAV. The company recently donated seven new Ford Flex vehicles to the DAV transportation network. The cars will help to transport ill and injured veterans to different Veterans Administration hospitals. These seven vehicles, which will be logistically dispersed across the country, make 199 vehicles in total that Ford has donated to the DAV. “Transportation and community service are two important areas where Ford excels,” according to Ford’s president of community services, Jim Vella. “We are proud to be able to help these heroes of freedom get the critical services they need to make their lives better.” Ford dealerships are also active in the local community. Take a drive to your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford, to see all the charities contributions made by the dealership and employees.
Ford Fund Sponsoring DAV Walks
Ford Fund is the philanthropic division of the Ford Motor Company. This fall, the division is sponsoring DAV 5K walks in San Diego, Atlanta and Cincinnati. The Fund also continues to support the Jesse Brown Youth Memorial Scholarship Program, awarding scholarships to youths who have donated their time to help disabled veterans. “We are extremely proud of our long partnership with Ford Motor Company,” said Ron Hope, DAV National Commander. “Ford is an American institution and we’re grateful they continue to support the men and women who preserve the American way of life we hold sacred.”
Model T Caravan First Ford Involvement with DAV
The year was 1922 and the Model T was the hottest vehicle on the planet. Well known for its reliability and inexpensive price, it was the top-selling car for years. Henry Ford took the opportunity to get involved with the DAV during the time of their national convention by organizing a caravan of 50 Model Ts to transport veterans to the affair. Along with its participation in DAV affairs, Ford is active in other military groups. The Ford Fund is an important sponsor of flights that take World War II veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. In the last four decades alone, Ford and Ford Fund have donated more than $9 million to veteran associations. The company employs more than 7,000 veterans today, not counting guardsmen, reservists and active military members.
First Large Ford Truck Production in U.S.
After investing in a $168 million plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, Ford executives celebrated the first F-650 and F-750 trucks rolling off the line in early August. The new plant brings 1,000 United Auto Worker jobs to the Midwest, building trucks that were previously assembled in Mexico. “Our investment in Ohio Assembly Plant reinforces our commitment to building vehicles in America and to delivering best-in-class commercial trucks,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Motor Company. “Working with our partners in the UAW, we found a way to make the costs competitive enough to bring production of a whole new generation of work trucks to Ohio.” If your company needs a new heavy duty truck for commercial purposes, talk to the fleet department at Chapman Ford.
New Plant Part of Collective Bargaining Agreement
When the UAW and Ford agreed to terms in 2011, part of the plan included the creation of a large truck manufacturing plant. Ford announced the new plant in 2014, which includes the addition of body shop and other necessary tooling. “Through collective bargaining, we were able to secure production of the Ford F-650/F-750 to Ohio Assembly Plant,” said UAW VP Jimmy Settles. “Building these world-class vehicles in America helps secure jobs for more than 1,000 UAW members and provides economic growth for the Avon Lake Community. Strengthening the economy through job creation continues our efforts to rebuild the American middle-class and communities all across this nation.”
Ohio Assembly Plant Now 41 Years Old
In existence since 1974, the Ohio Assembly Plant is now one of the largest employers in northeast Ohio, providing jobs for 1,400 workers. In addition to the new trucks, the plant also manufactures the Ford E-Series cutaway vans and bare chassis. Ford remains the only medium duty truck builder that also manufactures its own transmission and diesel engine. This ensures the powertrain will work perfectly with all other parts of the vehicle. Along with the 6.7 liter diesel, Ford also offers a 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine. This can also be converted to natural gas or propane for companies looking to save money on fuel.
Tough, Smart, Value Keywords for Ford Trucks
With testing done by robot technology on challenging durability courses, all medium-duty Ford trucks can lay claim to being the toughest truck around. Their clean chassis design accepts modifications easily and the choice of engines gives you the best value for your buck. Talk with the experts at Chapman Ford about ordering your medium-duty Ford truck today. The dealership also has an ample stock of the hard-to-get Ford F-150 with the new aluminum frame.
Lack of F-150 Inventory Doesn’t Hurt Record Sales
Despite the company’s inability to keep a sufficient supply of popular F-150 pickups on dealer lots, Ford Motor Company beat analyst estimates by posting a record $2.9 billion in pre-tax profit for the second quarter of 2015. This included a 44 percent increase in net income that amounted to 47 cents for each share of Ford stock. Sales were higher across the globe, showing that the company continues to do something right to attract a worldwide market. Regarding the low supply of F-150s, chief financial officer Bob Shanks said the company is working on the problem. “We had 90,000 trucks in inventory at the end of the quarter, but we need several tens of thousands more. We expect to have that resolved by the end of the current quarter,” he said.
New Aluminum F-150 Selling Well
Although there are reports of $10,000 discounts to move F-150s off the lot, Shanks said those are incentives offered by particular dealerships on high-priced trucks. The average F-150 only stays on the lot for 32 days and revenue on truck sales are at record highs. Incentives are $400 lower than just a year ago. Shanks said that the only thing that can slow auto industry sales is another recession in the economy. He doesn’t see that happening anytime soon. “The industry won’t tip over until the economy tips over,” he said. A rise in interest rates shouldn’t be large enough to affect auto and truck sales, according to Shanks. The F-150 didn’t go into full production with its new aluminum body structure until June. It is now coming of the assembly line at full tilt and should contribute to even greater sales in the last half of the year. See the new F-150 and the complete line of Ford products at Chapman Ford in Scottsdale.
Higher Prices, Incentive Reduction Boosts Profits
The auto industry is so strong that Ford was able to increase prices on select vehicles while reducing rebates and incentives that cut into the profit margin. It earned $526 million for the quarter in higher prices alone, while saving $219 million in the cost of incentives from the previous year. Although the company posted losses in South America, the Middle East and Africa, it set a record for the second quarter in Asia with a pretax profit of $192 million. See why the long-term outlook of the company remains positive with a visit to Chapman Ford.