Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ford Issues New Mobility Challenge to Unlock Innovation, Boost Community Response to Natural Disasters



In conjunction with September’s National Disaster Preparedness Month, Ford Motor Company will award three grants of up to $70,000 each for U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to purchase and modify a Ford Transit van for use in disaster relief work.

Ford Motor Company launches Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge to inspire creative new ideas for making the best use of Ford Disaster Relief Vehicles

The winning entries will be awarded grants of up to $70,000 each to purchase a Ford Transit van with modifications to best serve the needs of the community

The Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge is another way Ford is using innovative mobility solutions to build stronger communities and make people’s lives better


DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 15, 2016 – When disaster strikes, three nonprofits in the United States will be able to beef up their response capability to help people faster and more effectively through a new program called the Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge.
In conjunction with September’s National Disaster Preparedness Month, Ford Motor Company will award three grants of up to $70,000 each for U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to purchase and modify a Ford Transit van for use in disaster relief work.

Ford is asking nonprofits to describe how the versatile Ford Transit van, which is offered with multiple roof heights, body lengths, wheelbases and engine options, can serve their disaster response needs. Winners who meet the challenge will be selected based on proposed vehicle use and community need. Additional ground rules include:
  • Applications must be submitted by October 31, 2016
  • Applicants must be a certified U.S. 501(c) 3 non-profit organization
  • Government organizations and municipalities are not eligible
  • Winners will be notified in November 2016
To share an idea, please visit fordbetterworld.org. Click to hear Jim Vella discuss the challenge.

“We’re asking for help from the experts on the ground on how to best utilize Ford vehicles following an earthquake, hurricane or other devastating natural event,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Ford’s strength as a mobility company combined with the know-how of dedicated disaster responders can take our efforts to a higher level and help more people.”

Ford has a long history of supporting disaster relief efforts in the United States and overseas, working with the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other nonprofit groups. As a member of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Ford pledges support in advance of major disasters, ensuring that the Red Cross is prepared to respond immediately to emergencies. Over the past several years, Ford has provided 15 disaster response vehicles to organizations in communities across the U.S., from New Jersey to Oregon and California.


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 67 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.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ford Outlines Growth Plan: Fortify Profit Pillars; Transform Underperforming Operations; Invest in Emerging Opportunities to be a Leader in Electrification, Autonomy and Mobility

  • Ford continues its expansion to be an auto and mobility company, providing details of its strategy and priorities to deliver profitable growth going forward
  • Ford is fortifying its core business, building on leadership in trucks, vans, commercial and performance vehicles, growing utility vehicles and transforming underperforming areas, including luxury, small vehicles and emerging markets
  • At the same time, the company is investing in emerging opportunities, driving for leadership in electrification, autonomy and mobility
  • Ford expects the financial performance of its core business to be strong through 2018 and its core business profitability to improve; total company results decline in 2017 – as Ford invests in emerging opportunities – and improve in 2018
DEARBORN, Mich.,  – Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] tells investors today the company is a strong investment with attractive upside as it invests in emerging opportunities and expands as an auto and mobility company.
During Investor Day presentations, Ford will outline the strategy and priorities it is using to deliver profitable growth going forward. Ford is evolving its business in three ways:
  • Fortifying its core business by building on its global leadership in trucks, vans, commercial and performance vehicles and growing in global utility vehicles;
  • Transforming traditionally underperforming parts of its core business, including luxury, small vehicles and select emerging markets, and
  • Investing and reallocating capital in the company’s emerging opportunities, driving for leadership in electrification, autonomy and mobility.
“During the past six months, we’ve been focused as a leadership team on building Ford’s expanded business model – with a more clearly defined vision, strategy and roadmap on how to deliver success,” said Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. “We’ve been making important decisions and have agreed on three key principles to guide future capital allocation: where to play, where not to play and how to win.”
As Ford expands its business, it has committed to:
  • Deliver growth that matches or exceeds global GDP;
  • Improve its risk profile, maintaining a strong balance sheet and reallocating capital to both its core business strengths and to less-cyclical emerging opportunities;
  • Deliver operating margins of 8 percent or more for its core business and 20 percent or more for its emerging businesses, and
  • Provide returns for investors in the top-quartile among Ford’s peer group.
“As we expand to be an auto and a mobility company, we’re not moving from an ‘old’ business to a ‘new’ business. We’re moving to a bigger business,” Fields said. “The world is moving from simply owning vehicles to owning and sharing them. That’s why we are expanding to sell more vehicles and provide transportation services at the same time.”
CORE BUSINESS: Fortifying Ford’s Profit Pillars
Ford is focused on building on its clear global leadership in trucks, vans, commercial vehicles and performance vehicles, while growing global strength in utility vehicles. The company today has the world’s No. 1 best-selling full-size pickup with F-Series, the No. 1 best-selling large van and bus with the Transit and the No. 3 best-selling compact pickup with the Ranger.
Ford also has the world’s best-selling large utilities with Explorer and Expedition, and the company aims to grow in other segments with four all-new nameplates coming to its global utility vehicle lineup in the next four years.
Performance leadership will continue, as Ford delivers 12 new performance vehicles promised by the end of the decade. The vehicles build on the huge market success of the Ford GT, Shelby Mustang GT350 and GT350R, Focus RS, Focus ST and F-150 Raptor.
Ford Credit – a growing business that delivers profits, distributions and customer loyalty – is another key part of Ford’s plan to fortify its profit pillars, as is the company’s successful Ford Customer Service Division parts and service business.
CORE BUSINESS: Transforming Luxury, Small Vehicles and Emerging Markets
Ford also is transforming traditionally underperforming parts of its core business, including luxury, small vehicles and select emerging markets.
Growing the company’s luxury position means fully transforming Lincoln into a differentiated world-class luxury brand – in products and client experiences – and delivering strong returns.
Already, Lincoln is showing momentum delivering four new transformational vehicles in four years, establishing the brand in China and growing global sales 77 percent since 2012. It also is improving quality and boosting customer satisfaction in the U.S., with Lincoln displacing Lexus for top ranking on the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
In small vehicles, Ford is focusing on better brand resonance, tailored designs, effective scale, a low-cost footprint and complexity reduction – all to yield better profits.
These efforts already are paying off. In North America, for example, Ford Focus buildable combinations have been reduced from 200,000 in 2015 to approximately 300 for the 2017-model year and 30 for the next-generation Focus. That 99.9 percent complexity reduction will save the company up to $300 per car.
Ford also is taking a new look at how to lead in select emerging markets. The company sees Russia and South America positioned for recovery, ASEAN remaining profitable and a path to profitable growth in Middle East and Africa. As it pushes for a path to profitability in all emerging markets, Ford is re-evaluating its strategy and business model for India.
EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES: Leading in Electrification, Autonomy and Mobility
Ford is investing in emerging opportunities, driving for leadership in electrification, autonomy and mobility.
The company has nearly two decades of experience in electrification and today is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second best seller in overall electrified vehicle sales. Ford is investing $4.5 billion in electrified solutions and introducing 13 new electrified vehicles – representing 40 percent of its lineup – by 2020. This positions Ford to be a leader in the growing electrified vehicle market, as the number of electrified offerings is expected to exceed conventional internal combustion vehicles in the 2030 timeframe.
Ford is focusing its electrified vehicles on its areas of strength – commercial vehicles, trucks, utility and performance vehicles. Ford today is working on vehicles as well as electrified vehicle fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.
The company also is aggressively growing its autonomy leadership. Building on more than a decade of development experience, Ford intends to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE-defined level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. The vehicle is being specifically designed for commercial mobility services without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals.
By targeting its autonomous vehicle for a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service, Ford is changing the economics of mobility. Traditionally, owning a vehicle has cost between 70 cents and $1.50 a mile. By contrast, taking a taxi is four times more, and using ride-hailing is double the cost of an owned vehicle. Ford’s autonomous vehicle with a ride-hailing or sharing could reduce the cost to about $1 per mile – on par or even less than personal ownership with a vehicle that can improve safety, convenience and congestion.
Ford projects that autonomous vehicles could account for up to 20 percent of vehicle sales by the end of the next decade.
Similarly, the company’s focus on leadership in mobility starts with the view that the world has moved from just owning vehicles to owning and sharing them. To start, Ford is working with global cities, starting in San Francisco, to help solve congestion and help move people more efficiently. Ford will acquire Chariot, a crowd-sourced shuttle service, to grow Ford’s dynamic shuttle services globally. It will provide affordable transportation and expand to at least five additional cities in 18 months.
The company also is partnering with Motivate, the global leader in bike sharing, to add more transportation options for users with the new Ford GoBike. When it launches next year, Ford GoBike will be accessed by users through the FordPass® platform.
Data collected from the bikes will be used to build an interconnected mobility network. This could include real-time data, such as weather conditions, usage patterns and bike availability, to optimize commuting.
Underpinning Ford’s electrification, autonomy and mobility businesses are strategies being developed in fleet and data management, route and journey planning and telematics.
2016-2018 Outlook
During its Investor Day, Ford also will review its financial outlook through 2018, following record pre-tax profit, Automotive operating margin and Automotive cash flow during the past 18 months.
This year, Ford expects total company adjusted pre-tax profit to be about $10.2 billion1, lower than last year’s record but the company’s second best year since 2000. The update to the 2016 outlook reflects the recent expansion of a recall requested by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Looking ahead, the company expects its core business adjusted pre-tax profit to improve every year from 2016 through 2018.
Total company results, however, are expected to decline in 2017 compared to 2016 and improve in 2018. The decline in 2017 is the result of increasing investments and costs for emerging opportunities. Ford has plans to achieve cost efficiencies averaging $3 billion annually between 2016 and 2018 and is adding new processes like zero-base budgeting to further its business transformation. These efficiencies will offset the vast majority of costs being added to strengthen Ford’s business except for price-related design costs, regulatory costs and the cost to support the development of emerging opportunities – especially electrification.
Total Automotive operating cash flow remains positive through 2018 – with the overall cash balance expected to stay at or above the company’s minimum target of $20 billion.
Capital allocation through 2018 will focus mainly on product, emerging opportunities and shareholder actions. In line with this, Ford reiterated its plan to pay regular dividends through a business cycle, as well as pay a supplemental dividend when appropriate.
“We expect Ford’s performance to be strong through 2018 – with our core business improving, allowing us to invest in the emerging opportunities that will ensure our future success,” said Ford CFO Bob Shanks. “Our capital allocation continues to be disciplined and to deliver strong returns, and we are fully prepared for a downturn. As a result, we plan to offer a secure regular dividend through the business cycle with an option for upside on investments to keep our core business strong and to win in emerging opportunities.”
Reference Information
1 Total company adjusted pre-tax profit is a non-GAAP financial measure. Ford does not provide guidance on net income, the comparable GAAP financial measure. Full-year net income will include potentially significant special items that have not yet occurred and are difficult to quantify prior to year end, specifically pension and OPEB remeasurement gains and losses.


Risk Factors

Statements included or incorporated by reference herein may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements are based on expectations, forecasts, and assumptions by our management and involve a number of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated, including, without limitation:
  • Decline in industry sales volume, particularly in the United States, Europe, or China, due to financial crisis, recession, geopolitical events, or other factors; 
  • Decline in Ford’s market share or failure to achieve growth;
  • Lower-than-anticipated market acceptance of Ford’s new or existing products or services;
  • Market shift away from sales of larger, more profitable vehicles beyond Ford’s current planning assumption, particularly in the United States; 
  • An increase in or continued volatility of fuel prices, or reduced availability of fuel; 
  • Continued or increased price competition resulting from industry excess capacity, currency fluctuations, or other factors; 
  • Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices, and interest rates;
  • Adverse effects resulting from economic, geopolitical, or other events; 
  • Economic distress of suppliers that may require Ford to provide substantial financial support or take other measures to ensure supplies of components or materials and could increase costs, affect liquidity, or cause production constraints or disruptions; 
  • Work stoppages at Ford or supplier facilities or other limitations on production (whether as a result of labor disputes, natural or man-made disasters, tight credit markets or other financial distress, production constraints or difficulties, or other factors); 
  • Single-source supply of components or materials; 
  • Labor or other constraints on Ford’s ability to maintain competitive cost structure; 
  • Substantial pension and postretirement health care and life insurance liabilities impairing liquidity or financial condition; 
  • Worse-than-assumed economic and demographic experience for postretirement benefit plans (e.g., discount rates or investment returns); 
  • Restriction on use of tax attributes from tax law “ownership change;”  
  • The discovery of defects in vehicles resulting in delays in new model launches, recall campaigns, or increased warranty costs; 
  • Increased safety, emissions, fuel economy, or other regulations resulting in higher costs, cash expenditures, and/or sales restrictions; 
  • Unusual or significant litigation, governmental investigations, or adverse publicity arising out of alleged defects in products, perceived environmental impacts, or otherwise; 
  • A change in requirements under long-term supply arrangements committing Ford to purchase minimum or fixed quantities of certain parts, or to pay a minimum amount to the seller (“take-or-pay” contracts); 
  • Adverse effects on results from a decrease in or cessation or clawback of government incentives related to investments; 
  • Inherent limitations of internal controls impacting financial statements and safeguarding of assets; 
  • Cybersecurity risks to operational systems, security systems, or infrastructure owned by Ford, Ford Credit, or a third-party vendor or supplier;  
  • Failure of financial institutions to fulfill commitments under committed credit and liquidity facilities; 
  • Inability of Ford Credit to access debt, securitization, or derivative markets around the world at competitive rates or in sufficient amounts, due to credit rating downgrades, market volatility, market disruption, regulatory requirements, or other factors; 
  • Higher-than-expected credit losses, lower-than-anticipated residual values, or higher-than-expected return volumes for leased vehicles; 
  • Increased competition from banks, financial institutions, or other third parties seeking to increase their share of financing Ford vehicles; and 
  • New or increased credit regulations, consumer, or data protection regulations, or other regulations resulting in higher costs and/or additional financing restrictions. 
We cannot be certain that any expectation, forecast, or assumption made in preparing forward-looking statements will prove accurate, or that any projection will be realized.  It is to be expected that there may be differences between projected and actual results.  Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of their initial issuance, and we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.  For additional discussion, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our 2015 Form 10-K Report, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 67 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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Millions of Students Ride Propane Buses to School

Across North America, more than 600 school districts are operating Blue Bird buses equipped with our propane fuel technology. Some of these districts began upgrading their fleets by replacing one aging diesel bus with a propane model, while others replaced dozens or more at a time.

Now over 8,000 of these buses safely transport millions of students to and from school.

We’ve seen districts, like Boston Public Schools, increase their numbers of propane buses after successful initial implementation. Beantown’s school district rose from 11 percent propane in 2015 to now having over 20 percent of its fleet running on this clean-burning alternative fuel.

Have you reached out to your school board members about this cost- and emissions-reducing option? Here are some facts you can use to help make the case for propane-fueled buses:
  •     Lower fuel cost. On average, propane autogas costs 40 to 50 percent less than diesel.
  •     Reduced maintenance. Less maintenance is required on propane buses due to the clean-burning properties of the fuel.
  •     Less noise. Noise levels on school buses fueled by propane autogas are decreased by as much as 50 percent when compared to diesel counterparts. Hear the difference using the Propane Education & Research Council’s Quieter School Buses Audio Quiz.
  •     Environmentally responsible choice. Clean technology reduces harmful pollutants and cleans the air around our school children.
  •     It only takes one propane school bus to replace 36 cars on the road.
  •     For more facts, visit our website.
  • Propane-fueled buses make sense for school districts looking for safe student transportation that will save money and create a cleaner, quieter environment for their students, drivers and community.
Call us today to find out how we can help you make the case for propane-fueled buses at 800.59.ROUSH.

Source: http://www.roushcleantech.com/millions-of-students-ride-propane-bus-to-school/

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mobile charging truck rescues depleted EVs

 

An electric vehicle (EV) depletes its battery and is stuck on the side of the road without a charger anywhere in sight.

Getting towed is an option, but AAA has even a better solution: an electric vehicle mobile charging unit.

The white Ford F-250 looks like a utility truck, but make no mistake, it features that familiar an iconic AAA logo on the doors.

When a AAA member calls for service, the truck shows up with level two and level three charging options.

AAA will provide 10 to 15 minutes of charge time, which they report will provide three to 15 miles of driving range, or at least enough to make it to the next charging station.

Since being deployed in 2011, AAA’s mobile charging trucks have had thousands of service calls, according to electrek.co.

Not surprisingly, the charger trucks are available in metro areas where electric vehicles are used the most, which currently includes Denver, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.


- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/aaa-mobile-charging-truck-rescues-depleted-evs/#sthash.JTEHayt5.dpuf

Friday, September 16, 2016

PTO Driven Underdeck Systems



Experience the power, streamline design and cost savings of Vanair's Underdeck Systems of mobile air compressors and generators.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ford Partnering with Global Cities on New Transportation Solutions



Ford is teaming up with major global cities – starting with San Francisco – to solve congestion issues and help people move more easily, today and in the future.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Westport HPDI 2.0 Int'l Launch in 2017

 

  • Europe or Perhaps China to Be First, and It Won’t be the Cummins ISX:
     
  • Goal Is a Product Preserving Diesel Performance with Minimal Changes
Westport Fuel Systems expects to commercialize its “HPDI 2.0” high pressure direct injection technology as a fuel system package for OEMs in Europe and/or China in summer 2017.

Westport's HPDI 2.0 injectors are to be available to fit the diesel-cycle engines produced by multiple manufacturers.

HPDI technology allows trucks with heavy duty diesel engines to run primarily on liquefied natural gas. Westport placed upwards of 1,200 first-generation systems on Paccar (Kenworth and Peterbilt) trucks with 15-liter Cummins ISX engines, beginning in 2006.

HPDI 2.0 will be placed via other engine manufacturers, says Jim Arthurs, executive VP for medium and heavy-duty truck strategies at Westport. “We’re not working with Cummins,” he says, but with several different truck and/or engine OEMs.

Factory Installs

The plan is to provide fuel system componentry – primarily injectors and onboard natural gas fuel storage and engine delivery hardware – to be factory-installed. It’s a far cheaper option than the Westport-installed first-generation systems.

“It was quite expensive, the way that it was done,” Arthurs says. “The economics didn’t really hang together.”

Key to GHG Reduction Compliance

HPDI 2.0 will help manufacturers meet their greenhouse gas reduction requirements.




Westport Fuel Systems will offer a fully integrated HPDI 2.0 package to truck OEMs.

“HPDI 2.0 has been proven to deliver diesel-like performance and fuel efficiency while providing a reduction in GHG emissions of 18-20% compared to current diesel engines,” Westport says.

And, citing a source in Germany, Westport said this month that “European original equipment manufacturers will not be able to avoid implementing HPDI technology in order to fulfill GHG limit values.” Europe, says Arthurs, is a “priority.”

Environmental and Economic Benefits

“As GHG rules tighten, natural gas fueled vehicles may cost less than compliant conventional fuel vehicles, creating a compelling economic argument even without factoring in fuel savings,” Arthurs says in last week’s Westport GHG release.

“Fleet owners can focus on the environmental benefits of natural gas vehicles now and reap the economic benefits in the future,” he said.

LNG-Only to Start

The 2.0 product – a “true OEM version of HPDI” – will debut on engines in the 10- to 15-liter range, Arthurs says. “As launched it will be LNG-only,” he told F&F, explaining that vaporizing pressurized LNG to the 3,500-plus PSI needed for engine operation is far cheaper than boosting the pressure of CNG fuel onboard the vehicle. Operators committed to CNG fuel may be offered a CNG-capable HPDI 2.0 option in the future.
Early Adaptor: Canada's Transport Robert committed to LNG-fueled trucks with Westport's first-generation HPDI technology in late 2010.

Early Adaptor: Canada’s Transport Robert committed to LNG-fueled trucks with Westport’s first-generation HPDI technology in late 2010.




Westport’s key HPDI 2.0 development drivers are performance and simplicity. “We’re trying to make the engine perform exactly as it did as a diesel,” Arthurs says. And, “we are trying to change as little as we can on the engine and on the truck.”

The Pump Has Made Major Strides’

Westport is perfecting “Phase 3” injectors for HPDI 2.0, as well as a proprietary pump that will be submerged in the onboard LNG fuel tank. “The pump has made major strides,” he says, since the first HPDI trucks were deployed ten years ago.

Finally, as part of the ramp-up to launch, “We’re starting trials with customers,” Arthurs said yesterday.