Disclosure: I was invited by Ford to attend this event. All expenses were paid and no compensation was received for participating.
Hello again Rebel Chick fans! This is Stefany stopping in from ToBeThode to tell you about a very fun and educational trip I recently took to visit Ford. I was sent to learn all about what Ford is going to be up to in the coming year and learn I did!
We started off our day in the Ford conference center to talk about trends in 2014 and how Ford is moving forward with those. Ford looks at and tries to understand what is going to shape our values, attitudes, and behaviors when developing new products. While we ate lunch, a panel discussion occurred led by Sheryl Connelly, with Dan Creekmore (Marketing Director of Facebook), Deborah Hopkins (Chair and CEO of CitiVentures), and Chris Riley (President and Founder of StudioRiley) discussing different topics about current trends in the world. A number of issues were discussed and in our book including:
- Innovation's Quiet Riot (how technology and companies change with innovation)
- Old School (nostalgia and how companies embrace that)
- Vying for Validation (talked about selfies and other ways that people portray themselves online)
- FOMO and JOMO (Fear of Missing Out and Joy of Missing Out and how it affects our lives)
- Meaningful vs the Middle Man (getting in touch with the people that use products)
- Statusphere (how people report their status in different places worldwide)
- Myth of Multitasking (we are so busy and how it affects our lives)
- Female Frontier (how females have changing opportunities in today's society)
- Sustainability Blues (maybe "green" isn't the issue, but blue is. WATER!)
Next we heard from Jim Hinrichs. He discussed sales and figures for Ford in 2013 and what is ahead for 2014. He said that Ford is moving forward with their One Plan... "Small, Medium and Large. Cars, Utilities, and Trucks". Here is a bit of what we learned and that stood out to me:
- 1.1 million Ford Focus were sold globally in 2013
- Sales are up 22% in US in 2013
- F-Series is the best selling truck for 37 years!
- Ford has the best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicles in the past 2 months
2014 is going to be a huge one for Ford! Ford and Lincoln will have 23 global product launches in 2014; 16 of those will be in the USA. This is the most product launches per year in the history of Ford! They will be adding production in 7 US plants and creating 5k new jobs in 2014. They are going to create 3.3k salary positions as well.
After a brief talk from Raj Nair on Advanced Technology, we were introduced to this test vehicle. This is a Ford Fusion that has Lidar Sensors on it. This car is being used to test and create technology that will change the way we drive. It can create an image based on the environment around it. With this technology we will be able to "predict" the weather ahead of us on the road, be alerted to traffic jams, find where other people are having problems, and even share these findings with other drivers.
This image shows the people surrounding the vehicle. Pretty amazing, right?
Finally, we were off to individual sessions. I participated in the Fuel Economy panel. The first thing we did was take a drive in a test vehicle to see the Dynamic Cruise Control in action. This technology changes how we use cruise control, letting the vehicle do more for us. I was the driver for this and found it to be highly intuitive. When you are driving up a hill, where you would normally feel your car press hard on the gas, this vehicle did not. It made up the time on the down hill. In addition, when I came up close on a vehicle, the vehicle slowed down on its own, allowing me to relax and just drive. See my new friend in the car? He was truly impressed with my driving skills. Just kidding but it was a bit strange driving in a city with completely different roads and turns... they have this turn around lane which baffled me!
We next went on a ride that demonstrated the Start-Stop feature. This was a bit crazy for me to understand as I have never been in any hybrid vehicles that have it. After testing, I was highly impressed with the feature. Basically, when you are stopped, the vehicle will shut off. You barely feel it but this small things affects your fuel economy. Once your foot is released off the brake pedal, the vehicle seamlessly starts back up and you can go on your way. It takes into account a number of things when deciding to shut off (for example, if the air conditioning is on) and you also can control whether this happens of not.
Finally, we learned about the 3-cylinder engine, the 1.0L Ecoboost. This engine is extremely compact and is the first of its kind for Ford. It can get 32mpg in the city, 45mpg on the highway, and 37mpg combined. That sure beats any vehicle I own! It is available exclusively in the Ford Focus and, from what I hear, is a great ride! I joked with them because this vehicle looks and sounds a lot better than my little Geo Metro I drove years ago with a 3-cylinder engine! They showed us this model to demonstrate the small size of this small-but-mighty engine:
After a brief rest in the hotel room, we headed back out the Holiday Reception where the food and drinks were plentiful.
In keeping with the blue theme (Sustainability), a lot of the food had blue incorporated into it (blueberries for example). Just check out the dessert conveyor belt!
There were also things to do around the room including a race track and gaming.
They had Ford vehicles all around the area. I was even able to see the Ford Mustang that was revealed to the public the previous day! Sorry no pictures for that one though because it was constantly surrounded by Mustang enthusiasts.
It was a great time and I learned so much at this event. In case you were curious, I do love Ford vehicles. We have an Escort from 1989!! Yes, 1989! These cars are built to last and we have proof sitting in our driveway. Thanks Ford for having me out to see all that is happening in 2014. I can't wait to see what is revealed in the coming months.
Mama to 5 BLessings
yeah for Ford! We have a Ford 12 passenger van - love it! I have owned 2 Ford's and have never had problems. Looks liek you had a great time, love the race track!
How fun! The car is really nice, but I'm eyeing the dessert table! Impressive! 🙂 I could see hubby and my 19 year old loving the racetrack too! 🙂
I love learning about all the great new technology on the horizon and am glad so much of it is geared toward safety.
Sounds like you had a great time. I loved learning more about what Ford is doing.
Wow, what an amazing time you had and wow, Ford seems to have some great things happening
I love the idea of those Lidar Sensors, that is one cool innovation I must say!
Robin (Masshole Mommy)
My husband has a Ford Fiesta and it's a really nice little car. It's a second car for us and we hardly use it because he takes the train to work in Boston & I drive him to and from the station in my car, but it's nice to have when we need it.
Oh how fun, looks like a fun time!!! Looks like they have some great features, and I am betting it will be a great year for them!!
very cool and interesting experience! my mom used to dream of a mustang.
the conveyor belt with desserts is awesome
Looks like it was a fun event!! Ford cards are great.
Quite impressive things to come with Ford! I love Ford trucks and have grown up with them. Ford F-150 is what we have for most of our vehicles at work. Dependable and long lasting for sure.
We are in the market for a new car and we are most interested in a Ford.
Seriously? Predict the weather ahead on the road? That is pretty incredible!
Sounds like they have some cool features in the works. I had no idea blue was the color for sustainability. Their candy bar looks perfect.
What a great experience! I'm very impressed with all the latest cutting edge ideas and technology that Ford develops. It's pretty amazing!
I love the little race track too!
My mom had a ford mecury that thing lasted 16 years. I love their new ford explorer to always wanted that car. A neat way to see what Ford has in store.
It was a great time! A 12 passenger van?!? I couldn't imagine driving that.
Yeah, it was massive! I didn't actually get to play on the track. There were guys around it the whole time. 😉
So much is geared toward safety! I love knowing Ford is interested in keeping my family safe on the roads.
I did have a fabulous time! Thanks Ellen!
Yes they do! I can't wait to see all that happens in the next year!
It was so neat! I wanted to drive that car! ha!
They look like nice little cars. I want to drive one at some point.
Yeah, me too! The next year to five years are going to be huge for Ford!
The conveyor belt with desserts had me gawking for a few seconds. *drool*
I haven't ever even been in a Ford truck but I think they are very sharp looking! With their great record, I would definitely be looking at them if I were looking to buy.
Definitely check them out. They have so many amazing features!
I'm telling you! I had to ask someone else to repeat that to me when they said it to make sure I heard right.
I was thinking it was all going to be "green" but the blue totally makes sense, right?!?
They are built to last for sure!
It is amazing for sure. It makes me wonder what is going to happen in the distant future. Quite mind-boggling I think!
Oh man, this post would have been useful to me about a month ago! I just got a new car...a Jetta Hybrid! But I was looking at a Ford Escape too!
That looks like a pretty neat event! I love their little race track 🙂
Wow, that really is very interesting seeing the bodies how a car would sense them!
my friend jenilee could def. use a 12 passenger van. she's got 8 kids already. not sure she's done 🙂
What an amazing brand trip. I am a huge fan of Ford.
It is nice to see the future is looking so good for Ford. The auto industry is so important to our country' financial well being.
I actually drive a Nissan but I come from a Ford family. If you pull up at my parents house, you'll see a yard full of Fords!
This event looked like it was fun and amazing! I own a Ford, and so far I have really been loving it these past 6 years! I would consider another in the near future too!
We're a Ford family and I have to say that they make great family vehicles. It looks like it's going to be a great year for Ford!
I love the look of the new Ford Explorer. I'll take a red one, please!
Looks like exciting things are happening at Ford in 2014. PS Love the fun dessert conveyor belt!
I've always wanted to go to Ford. I'm a ford owner and don't think I'd ever go with another car maker.
It looks like you had a lot of fun! Love the race track!
So interesting! There's a lot going on for 2014! I heard they were going to be making a van again soon...any news on that?
I work for Velodyne, the company that makes the lidar sensors. Thanks for your post! It was great to see all of this!