Tag Archive for 2012 Ford Focus

Ford Turns the 2012 Focus into Fashion

2011 marked the 100th year of Ford in Britain, and the automaker decided to commence the yearlong centennial celebration in an interesting way: by turning the 2012 Focus into fashion.  Ford commissioned two fashion designers to create haute couture from pieces of the popular sedan. 

Judy Clark, a Scottish Designer of the Year nominee, was chosen to create a gown.  The design was inspired by the Edwardian period, and used numerous small engine and gear parts to create an oversized bustle.  Twin red taillights hang at the hips, giving the dress visual width and creating a sway.  The layered skirt represents flowing fuel, and a motorcycle jacket made from seat covering compliments the look with a speedometer set to 60 mph on the back.  In addition to car parts, other materials such as diesel-colored tweed, lace, leather, silk chiffon, and spray paint were also used in the creation.

                   

For a matching necklace, Ford turned to English designer Katherine Hawkins.  The designer, who does not actually drive herself, decided to go for a “metropolis, robot-esque” look. Hawkins broke down the Focus’s center stack buttons to use as the focal point on the oversized necklace and dangled coil springs below the buttons. Various computer chips were also used to create an elegant, yet futuristic automotive design.

ford-focus-necklace-on-model

While you likely will not be able to find these pieces in a store, they certainly give a new look to the 2012 Focus. You can also check out a video of the creations on YouTube.

2012 Ford Focus is Perfect for Students Heading Back to School

Kelley Blue Book has released its annual “Back to School Cars” selection, naming the top vehicles for students heading back to school. The list names 5 new cars and 5 used cars that are safe and inexpensive.  One of the five new cars to make the list for 2011 is the 2012 Ford Focus.

The experts at KBB.com use a wide variety of factors, including vehicle cost, fuel efficiency, versatility, safety, style, and how fun it is to drive when making the list.  According to the experts, “The 2012 Ford Focus is the kind of car young drivers love: It looks cool on the outside, modern on the inside, handles with more than a hint of sportiness, and offers advanced audio and information technology. Parents of young drivers will appreciate the cost-savings afforded by the Ford’s excellent fuel economy, along with the peace of mind offered by MyKey.”

The MyKey system was one of the Ford Focus’ big selling points.  This technology offers features such as Ford’s Belt-Minder system, which chimes and mutes the audio system until seat belts are buckled, a low fuel warning system that engages when the driving range is reduced to 75 miles, limits on the top speed of the car and volume of the audio system, and removing the ability to turn off certain safety features, such as traction control, park aid, and BLIS, the Blind Spot Information System.

Focus ST-R is Coming

Ford just announced the reace-prepped 2012 Focus ST-R will soon be available in North America.  It was introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show.  Read all about it here- http://www.thefordstory.com/our-articles/cars/focussedan/ford-focus-st-r-racecar-availability-to-begin-in-north-america/

Ford Reveals Buyer’s Tastes

Ford data reveals   about buyers around the US.  Who would think, looking around, that white was NOT the favorite Ford color in Arizona.  Would you guess Molten Orange?  Gold, silver, and finally, white round out the top colors. 

Seattle and San Francisco must have problems getting lost and parking their cars because they are tops in; BLIS, rear view cameras, active park assist, and navigation. 

You would think us Arizonans would own the air conditioned seat category, but we didn’t even rank in the top 5.  Would you have guessed Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco.  How about heated seats?  Can you believe Atlanta and Charlotte are in the top 5. 

Rainy and cold Seattle is also tops in moon roofs.  I guess better for watching the storm clouds!

Hybrid vehicles are #1 and #2 in Seattle and San Francisco, but Phoenix is #5 on this list.  Thanks 43 mpg with AC Fusion Hybrid.

In Arizona, we prefer diesels, hybrids,and  manual transmissions, but have no preference on gas engine size.

Those areas of the country looking for V-8 power include; Orlando, Memphis, Charlotte, Houston, and Seattle.  The economically minded (4 cylinder) people live in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Detroit, Boston, and Denver. 

Coastal cities like muted colors while the Midwest has an affinity for red.  The east coast is definately green. 

New Yorkers consume the most vehicles with rear seat DVD systems.  Turns out Sponge pants Bob really is an effective babysitter.

The national pick-up truck capital is still shared by Dallas and Houston.  This is also the area with the highest demand for tow packages.  95% of Super Duty customers tow with their trucks. 

Using the data Ford collects allows it to maximize the model mix and deliver vehicles that actually meet customers need regionally.  The imports should try to figure this out.

Of course, if you want an east coast color, with Seattle options, Denver seats, and Texas towing capability, all you need to do is drop by Sanderson Ford.  If we don’t have it, we’ll be happy to order it for you!

Ford SYNC Adds Live Operators

  • Ford is beta testing an Operator Assist feature for the cloud-based network of SYNC Services, giving all registered Services users complimentary access to a live operator for help with business searches and address entry for turn-by-turn directions.  About 70 percent of calls to SYNC Services are for business searches and/or directions
  • SYNC Services provides access to more than 14 million business listings.  
  • Getting directions or finding a business using SYNC Services has become even easier thanks to a new feature called Operator Assist that allows users to instantly connect with a live person. 
  • Operator Assist is only a voice command away, making it part of the growing list of cloud-based driver aids offered by Ford Motor Company. The new feature provides customers with the ability to safely connect with a live person who can quickly access information databases to help drivers get where they’re going.  

Operator Assist is currently in a beta test trial phase and being offered as a complimentary feature for registered users of SYNC Services. No additional software or hardware is needed.   

“Ford is committed to continuously improving the ownership experience and delivering the level of connectivity that customers want,” said Doug VanDagens, director, Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization. “By leveraging what’s available in the cloud, we continue to innovate and improve our customers’ experience without having to touch the vehicle or inconvenience the owner.”
 
How it works
Cloud-based, on-demand, voice-activated SYNC Services provides access to information about traffic, news, sports, weather, horoscopes, stock quotes, and movie listings along with business searches and turn-by-turn directions.
 
Operator Assist is available for the directions and business search functions of SYNC Services. Seventy percent of all SYNC Services calls are for business search and directions, said David Gersabeck, product manager, SYNC Services.
 
Using advanced vehicle sensors, integrated GPS technology and comprehensive map and traffic data, the SYNC Services automated system delivers turn-by-turn directions to the user. Further, with access to more than 14 million business listings, SYNC Services’ automated system directs users to the businesses they seek.
 
Now, with Operator Assist, at any time during a business search or directions interaction between the user and the SYNC Services automated system, the user can say, “Operator,” confirm his or her request to speak with an operator, and connect to a live operator. This system gives Ford customers the choice of interfacing with a live operator or utilizing the interactive voice recognition system.
 
“Our customers asked for additional assistance in situations where their voice request was not understood,” said Gersabeck. “If you want the most reliable user experience, enabling alternative methods for customers to access information will increase success, which is where Operator Assist factors into the equation.”
 
In the event a user says an address or business that the automated system can’t identify, the user will be prompted with the option to connect to a live operator. If the user confirms he or she would like to speak with an operator for further assistance, the system automatically connects the user to the live operator.
 
When a live operator assists with a business search, the user can choose to receive turn-by-turn directions to the business, receive a text message with name, address and phone number information about the business (applies to certain phone carrier networks), or be directly connected to the phone number of the business.
 
When a live operator assists with address entry, the user can have the directions sent directly to the vehicle.
 
“We want Ford SYNC Services customers to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can get where they’re going or want to go,” said Gersabeck. “Being able to connect with a live person at any time contributes to that peace of mind.”
 
The live operator services are provided by MyAssist, a leading live assistance and telematics service company for individuals and businesses based in Stevens Point, Wis.
 
Provided by Ford Media

Ford Makes Cool, Affordable Cars

The editors at kbb.com recently released the 2011 edition of the top 10 “Coolest Cars Under $18,000.”  Vehicles are first chosen based on their availability for purchase at $18,000 or less, according to the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price.  Then, all qualifying vehicles are judged on just two factors: fun-to-drive and fun-to-own.  This year, two Ford models made the cut.

The 2012 Focus was noted for its sporty handling, head-turning looks, and an impressive standard equipment list, while also being efficient and affordable.  Voters also liked that for a little bit extra, leather seats, MyFord Touch, and a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission can be added.

The 2011 Fiesta made the list for the second year in a row.  Features that helped land the Fiesta on the list once again include its European looks, well-crafted interior, nimble handling, and sharp driving dynamics.  But the experts were ultimately sold thanks to the available SYNC infotainment center and remarkable fuel economy.

These days, everyone seems to be looking for a bargain, especially when it comes to cars.  Fortunately, Ford is one of the few automakers to produce vehicles that are fun and exciting, yet affordable.

Ford Focus and Fusion Hybrid are Top Green Cars for 2011

The all-new 2012 Ford Focus and the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid were named as two of the “Top 10 Green Cars for 2011” according to KBB.com.  The 2012 Ford Focus can achieve 28 mp city and 38 mpg highway with an automatic transmission.  Kelley Blue Book also mentioned that there are many other things to like about the Ford Focus, such as “excellent handling, impressively outfitted interior, sweet Euro styling and the availability of cool features like Ford’s SYNC entertainment and communications system.”  The impressive auto-park feature was also noted.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is just as exciting, with an EPA rating of 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.  KBB.com mentioned that it was an easy pick and that it helped that “it delivers the driving dynamics and comfort that make the conventional Fusion so enduring, including SYNC and navigation, with the addition of a really cool LCD gauge cluster.”  The Ford Fusion includes Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide that uses real-time feedback to tell the driver how to achieve better fuel efficiency.  The technology alone in the car is impressive, not to mention the incredible fuel efficiency.

It’s easy to see why the 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Ford Fusion easily made their way onto the list of the Top 10 Green Cars of 2011.

Ford C-Max to be Hybrid and Plug In Only

Ford C Max Hybrid

The All-new Ford C-Max, coming next year from Europe, will be Hybrid or plug in only.  Ford , by making their own hybrid system, has brought the prices way down.  Look out Chevy and Prius!

  Ford Motor Co., in a move to compete with hybrid and electric vehicles produced by Toyota, GM, and Nissan, said today that its upcoming C-Max compact minivan will be a hybrid only powertrain  when U.S. sales begin next year.  Ford has cancelled plans to offer a gas version of the C-Max.  

Ford said it has been able to reduce the cost of hybrid technology, which will make the vehicle more attractive to buyers. Ford announced this year that a plug-in hybrid C-Max also is planned.  Today’s move will put the C-Max in competition with the Prius, Chevy Volt plug-in and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf.  The C-Max is a seven-passenger minivan based on the Ford Focus.

Engineering Cost down

Ford said it expects the cost of hybrid systems it’s offering next year will be 30 percent less expensive than the system that was introduced on the 2010 Fusion.  Ford said it will keep C-Max prices down because much of the hybrid system has been designed and engineered by Ford. The company also will assemble the system.

Hybrid loyalty rates ‘very high’

In an April interview, Ford’s Sherif Marakby said, “When we first launched a hybrid six years ago, many customers were concerned” about the battery. Customers asked: “‘How long would the battery last?’ ‘How much does it cost to replace it?'” he said.  But batteries have proven to be long-lasting, Marakby said. It’s now imperative to lower the cost of its hybrid system, he said, so Ford can cut hybrid prices and boost sales.

“We’re seeing that the loyalty rate on hybrids is very high,” he said in April. “We just need people to get used to the technology, bring the cost down and the price down for consumers, and we believe it’s only going to go up in terms of sales volume.”  Ford has been cutting costs by bringing many technologies in-house, such as the hybrid transmission.

“By developing the hybrid system’s design in-house and sourcing individual components to suppliers, Ford can use less people and less time to get the job done in an efficient manner,” he said.  Ford has also developed a battery system that will be manufactured at a suburban Detroit Ford plant next year.

Marakby’s goal is to cut the cost of the next-generation Ford hybrid system another 30 percent.

Ford Brings Back Gimme The Gig

Gimme The Gig logoIn 2010, Ford’s Western Regional Marketing Department launched Gimme the Gig featuring the all-new Fiesta.  The program enticed independent musicians and bands to enter to win a recording session with Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was. The competition concluded with the final seven bands performing live in Los Angeles at the Whiskey A Go Go. The performance then aired for over 12,000 viewers online and on KTLA in over three million households. Including social media, Gimme the Gig earned more than 22.5 million impressions.

Leveraging our previous successes and increasing the final award, the 2012 Focus will be centerstage in this year’s contest. Gimme the Gig II will have three winners and will feature an all-new Focus converted into a mobile mixing studio. Don will take the vehicle to various live performances around the Western US and use the Focus to highlight it’s many technology features. Final winners will be announced in early 2012.

Gimme the Gig II will hit the road and live events will occur in major markets in the Western Market Area from June until September. Customers will be treated to live entertainment, free food, and an experience like no other! Gimme the Gig II has something for everyone.

www.gimmethegig.com will be live on June 15th.  Tell your friends!

The 2012 Ford Focus is named a “Top Safety Pick”

The 2012 Ford Focus has not been on the market for long, but that’s not stopping it from making headlines.  Most recently, the all-new Focus was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  The compact also received a 5-star overall safety rating from the Euro NCAP.

Both the IIHS and Euro NCAP independently test vehicle safety, and use their findings to present major safety awards and rankings.  In the IIHS’ testing, the Focus received the best score of “good” all four tests conducted: frontal offset, side-impact, roof strength, and rear crash protection.  The Focus also offers standard electronic stability control, a requirement for all vehicles to be designated a “Top Safety Pick.”  The Euro NCAP releases its results differently, giving percentages for the different areas of protection a car offers.  The 2012 Focus received a 92% in adult occupant safety, an 82% in child occupant safety, a 72% in pedestrian safety, and a 71% in safety assist; all leading to an overall 5-star rating.

However, these ratings did not come as a surprise to Ford.  The automaker designed the new compact car with safety in mind, which, according to Global C Car vehicle line director Gunnar Herrmann, is shown through the “structural rigidity of the body and its extensive use of high strength steels.”

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