Archive for the 'Cross Overs' Category



  • Ford Edge sales this weekend hit 400,000, more than any midsize crossover since its introduction in late 2006
  • The crossover segment is one of the most fiercely contested in the industry, expanding 220 percent since 2006 – and expected to grow another 20 percent this year
  • The new 2011 Ford Edge began shipping this weekend from Oakville Assembly Complex and is arriving in dealership showrooms
  • 2011 Ford Edge introduces America to the revolutionary MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology and offers unbeatable fuel economy of 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 17, 2010 – Sales of Ford Edge, which arrived on the market in late 2006, hit 400,000 this weekend – more than any midsize crossover vehicle during the same period.

Also this past weekend, the new 2011 Ford Edge began shipping from Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario to dealerships across the United States and Canada.

“Edge competes in one of the fastest-growing and most fiercely competitive segments in the industry,” said Amy Marentic, Ford’s Crossover Group Marketing Manager. “Still, Edge is growing sales at an incredible rate.”

As of July, Edge sales for the year were up 33 percent over last year – more than double the overall industry sales.

In 2006 when Edge was introduced, the midsize crossover segment accounted for 4.3 percent of the retail industry. Last year, that number grew to 9.5 percent. And this year, it’s expected to top 11 percent, making the segment the same size as full-size pickups and more than sports cars.



Ford touts new Explorer’s 30% increase in fuel efficiency

A week before Ford Motor Co. will unveil the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer in major cities across the U.S., the automaker today confirmed the sport-utility vehicle will be 30 percent more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model.

Ford has been building up the crossover’s debut with Facebook teaser pictures of parts of the vehicle and a steady diet of snippets about features and attributes. The new Explorer goes on sale later this year, but the production model has not been shown on the auto circuit.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally will be in New York on Monday to make a splash in Herald Square with special guest Mike Rowe, who is host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.” A simultaneous event is being planned in at least eight other cities including Dearborn, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles as part of an innovative marketing campaign.

Today’s news release confirmed the improved fuel economy. It will be achieved because the vehicle is lighter, more aerodynamic and car-based (from the Taurus family), and has an optional 2-liter four-cylinder Ecoboost engine, which means it is turbocharged and has direct-injection. The crossover also has a six-speed automatic transmission.

The current Explorer, with a 4-liter V-6 engine, is rated as getting 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg in highway driving. A 30 percent improvement would mean the new Explorer should get 18/26 mpg. Official figures will be released once the EPA completes its testing.

“The all-new Explorer will give a huge universe of existing and prospective customers the capability they expect and the luxury and convenience they want, all combined with the fuel economy they need,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas, in a statement.

In an effort to get as many miles per gallon as possible, the Explorer will offer electric power-assisted steering, battery management, fast engine warm-up and aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff, and amore efficientair conditioning compressor.

Safety technology includes curve technology that will debut on the Explorer. It is an upgraded electronic stability control system to better hug the road if a driver takes a curve too quickly and will be added to 90 percent of Ford’s light trucks and crossovers by 2015.

The public got its first look at the replacement for the body-on-frame Explorer with the Explorer America concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. 222 – 2504


Lincoln MKT Adds To Ford’s Industry-Leading Number Of Five-Star Crash Test Ratings

by editor on February 23, 2010
in Indian Press Release, Web News Wire

by editor on February 23, 2010
in Indian Press Release, Web News Wire

* The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover received five-star ratings for both frontal and side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

* MKT offers a high level of crash protection as well as cutting-edge crash-avoidance and driver-awareness technology such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support, and a Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert system

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Company added to its leading number of five-star crash test-rated vehicles as the 2010 Lincoln MKT earned top ratings for frontal and side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Lincoln’s three-row luxury crossover previously earned a 2009 Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Ford Motor Company has more Top Safety Pick ratings and more U.S. government five-star ratings than any other automaker.

Leading the industry in both five-star crash test ratings and Top Safety Pick awards is very significant because customers increasingly rely on NHTSA and IIHS ratings when choosing a new vehicle said Susan Cischke, Ford’s group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.

A winning combination

The all-new MKT is attracting a balanced mix of Lincoln loyalists and new customers with its array of standard and optional crash-protection, crash-avoidance and driver-awareness features in addition to distinctive design, interior spaciousness, craftsmanship and fuel economy.

Since the MKT went on sale last fall, approximately 45 percent of MKT purchasers have traded in competitive models, most commonly the Acura MDX and Cadillac SRX. More than half of those buyers opted for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ engine.

Customer interest in MKT’s driver-awareness features has been strong as well. Nearly one in three purchasers of the MKT opts for Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support and three of four opt for a package that includes Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert.

Our research shows that MKT customers are tech-savvy, and luxury vehicle buyers tend to be early adopters of new safety, audio, infotainment and powertrain features said Kate Pearce, Lincoln MKT marketing manager. Not only is the MKT packed with standard luxury features and state-of-the-art technologies, it is unsurpassed in its segment for highway fuel economy

Technology under the skin

The Lincoln MKT features Ford’s Trinity Front Crash Body Architecture. The energy-absorbing body structure is optimized for strength and stiffness and features octagonal front frame rails, engine cradle/front subframe and shotgun front structural members designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

Lincoln MKT also includes Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement Architecture (SPACE®) to optimize side-impact occupant protection. The SPACE system integrates a hydroformed high-strength steel tube in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle from B-pillar to B-pillar and reinforcements along the rocker panels to help protect passengers in side-impact incidents.

Lincoln MKT also features Ford’s Personal Safety System™, combining multiple technologies to tailor the air bag package and safety belt functions to the individual passenger and the accident circumstances. The system can identify variables, such as severity of the crash, weight of the individual passenger and safety belt usage, to adjust air bag deployment force.

The MKT’s array of advanced safety technologies raises the bar for luxury vehicles and pushes the new frontier of ’active’ crash-avoidance features that help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of accidents said Steve Kozak, chief engineer, Ford Safety Systems.



We expect media coverage Wednesday after the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issues a study which claims that strengthening a vehicle’s roof reduces injury risk. Various SUVs, including the Ford Explorer, will be mentioned.    
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is issuing a statement (full copy below) that calls the report flawed and not helpful in NHTSA’s current rulemaking process. 

NHTSA is scheduled to issue its final rule on roof strength this summer. Ford and other automakers have been supportive of NHTSA’s efforts related to the roof strength issue.    

Ford is not issuing a statement as wealong with other manufacturersare supporting the Alliance’s statement.  However, below are key messages on some of our leading safety technologies that can assist you with any customer or media inquiries:

Key Messages
·   Ford has pioneered advanced air bags and stability control, today offering systems as standard equipment on millions of vehicles.

·   Ford’s AdvanceTrac with RSC has the industry’s only roll sensing system that helps detect and prevent dangerous rollovers.

·   Millions of Ford vehicles have the system today that by 2010 will be available – mostly as standard equipment – on 5 million vehicles, while stability control systems (including RSC) will be available on 6 million Ford Motor Company cars, utilities and trucks.

·   Ford’s Safety Canopy side air curtain was the industry first application of a rollover activated curtain system, beginning with the 2002-1/2 Explorer Mountaineer.

Safety Canopy
Ford was the first in the industry to offer rollover deploying side curtain air bags, known as Safety Canopy™, beginning with the 2002-1/2 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer.

·   Today, the Safety Canopy™ with rollover sensors – which helps protect vehicle occupants during side impact collisions and rollover accidents – is standard on nearly all Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Volvo and Land Rover SUVs, and on certain cars.  By the 2010 model year, all of our retail trucks and SUVs will have standard Safety Canopy™ with rollover sensors.  It also will be standard on some passenger sedans.

·   Safety Canopy™ is standard equipment on the 2008 Ford Escape, Edge, Explorer, Expedition, Sport Trac and Taurus, Lincoln Navigator and MKX, Mercury Mariner, Mountaineer, Sable, Volvo C70 and XC90, Mazda CX7 and CX9, Land Rover LR3, LR2 and Range Rover Sport.

·   Safety Canopy will be standard on the 2009 Ford F-150 and Flex, as well as the 2009 Lincoln MKS.
AdvanceTrac© with Roll Stability Control
Ford’s first application of electronic stability control debuted on the 2000 model year Lincoln LS.  To help further mitigate rollover accidents, Ford Motor Company offers AdvanceTrac© with Roll Stability Control™ – an industry first which takes standard electronic stability control systems to a new dimension by using gyroscopic-effect rate sensors for both yaw and roll axes to sense unstable conditions and apply countermeasures to help the driver maintain control.

·   The 2003 Volvo XC90 was the first SUV to feature standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control™.  By the end of 2010, Ford Motor Company and its family of brands will have nearly 5 million vehicles on the road equipped with RSC, and more than 6 million with some form of electronic stability control.

·   AdvanceTrac© with Roll Stability Control™ is standard equipment on most 2008 Ford Motor Company SUVs, including Escape (gas engines), Edge, Explorer and Expedition, Sport Trac, Lincoln Navigator, MKX, and Mercury Mariner (gas engines) and Mountaineer, Volvo XC90, and on all E-350 passenger Wagons.

·   AdvanceTrac© with Roll Stability Control™ will be standard on the 2009 Ford F-150, Flex, Escape Hybrid, E-150 (gas) and the 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid.

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Statement on IIHS Roof Crush Report
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers issued the following statement in response to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) study on roof strength and injury risk in rollover crashes.

“Unfortunately, there remains no definitive answer as to what effect roof strength has on injury risk in rollover crashes.  IIHS’ flawed analysis does not help to further inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) rulemaking that proposes to amend the agency’s standard on roof crush resistance as part of a comprehensive plan for reducing the serious risk of rollover crashes and the risk of death and serious injury in those crashes.  This comprehensive plan is intended to improve vehicle stability, ejection mitigation, roof crush resistance, as well as road improvement and behavioral strategies aimed at consumer education.

“The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is committed to enhancing motor vehicle safety, supports current NHTSA efforts to develop a systems approach to further reduce rollover-related risks.  The Alliance also supports NHTSA’s efforts to enhance overall roof stiffness as part of its comprehensive plan to enhanced rollover injury mitigation.  Alliance members agree with NHTSA’s assessment that, by itself, changes to the roof crush resistance standard will have little overall effect in reducing rollover related fatalities, and that, according to NHTSA, amendments to the standard are desired because they may enable advanced rollover injury mitigation systems such as side curtain airbags that deploy during rollovers.

“Automakers understand that the most effective strategy for reducing rollover fatalities and injuries is avoiding a crash in the first place, and the Alliance is proud of its members’ successes in the voluntary introduction of critical safety enhancements such as electronic stability control (ESC), which the IIHS has said reduces by 56 percent the risk of a single vehicle crash.  ESC is currently available on 81 percent of MY 2008 vehicles (76 percent standard, 24 percent optional).  Additionally, to reduce the risk of injury if a rollover crash does occur, Alliance members have been developing rollover sensors for use with side curtain airbags to enable the bags to deploy in the event of a rollover.  Rollover air bags stay inflated longer to help keep occupants inside the vehicle.  76 percent of MY 2008 vehicles are available with side curtain airbags (83 percent standard, 17 percent optional).   More than a quarter of these are rollover airbags.  Finally, Alliance members are voluntarily installing advanced safety belt reminders in a many new vehicles.  According to the NHTSA, safety belts reduce rollover fatalities by 74 percent for passenger cars and 80 percent for light trucks.

“The Alliance is among many in the safety community that share the concern for enhanced safety.  As leaders in the area of research and development funding, automakers today produce automobiles that are safer than ever before.”

As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact me or utilize your local Direct Impact representative for assistance with any media inquiries you may receive.
Thank you,

Marisa Bradley / Ford Motor Company  /  Dealer Communications  /  313.845.3971  /


Strategic Vision Award

Lincoln MKX Trumps Lexus RX350 Value
The Lincoln MKX unseated the Lexus RX350 in the near-luxury SUV segment of the 2007 Strategic Vision Total Value study, reported the Detroit Free Press.  It’s another survey that shows Detroit automakers are gaining ground on foreign competitors in quality, the newspaper noted.  “The MKX really stood out in things like technical innovation, the standard equipment that came with it and the refinement in the interior in comparison to what the Lexus had to offer,” said Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision’s automotive division.  In addition to highlighting Lincoln MKX’s victory over the Lexus, Strategic Vision’s press release called out Ford brand successes as well:  “Can a Ford beat a Toyota in Total Value?  Yes! Although Ford Motor Company obtained only four Total Value leadership positions over the past four years, in 2007 Ford has added three additional wins to its collection: the Lincoln MKX, Ford Edge and Expedition EL.”  [For an e-print of the Detroit Free Press article, check out the Public Affairs tab on]

Putting Trucks to the Test
This weekend, more than 50 trucks and SUVs from 15 manufacturers will compete in the Texas Auto Writers Association’s annual Truck and SUV Rodeo in Decatur, Texas.  They’ll vie for two top awards – “Truck of Texas” and “SUV of Texas” –along with a number of segment awards given by 50 media attending the competitive event.  Ford and Lincoln Mercury are entering 11 trucks and SUVs.

Earlier this week, more than 50 automotive journalists gained a deeper understanding of Ford’s rigorous vehicle testing procedures after test-driving F-Series trucks at the company’s Michigan Proving Grounds (MPG).  Besides getting a close-up look at the redesigned proving grounds, the truck-focused media tested the new F-Series Super Duty in head-to-head comparisons with competitors under extreme conditions.

Ford, Colombian Rocker Juanes Get SYNC-ronized
Juanes, a 12-time Latin Grammy award winning artist, will help introduce SYNC to the Hispanic market. He will be the voice and face behind Ford’s cutting-edge creative campaign aimed at the first group of car buyers to grow up online.  The new online, print and broadcast campaign will introduce Hispanic consumers to the power of SYNC through the slogan “SYNC. A tus ordenes” (SYNC. At your command). To show the “power of voice,” Ford is strategically positioning talking billboards in high traffic areas. When triggered by a motion detector, the billboard will deliver Juanes’ voice talking about SYNC. And in an effort to get closer to his fans, Juanes will introduce SYNC at private events in Los Angeles and Houston later in 2007 with the campaign running into 2008.  Juanes was recognized by TIME as one of the “100 Most Influential People In The World” for his belief in the possibility of social change through music.

SEMA!!  Ford will push personalization to the limit at the upcoming Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas next week. The Ford Sport Trac’s urban alter ego, the Sport Trac Adrenalin, debuts at this year’s show — proving that Ford can deliver aftermarket attitude straight from the factory.  Specially tuned Ford Edge, Escape and Lincoln MKX models also will be featured at the annual aftermarket extravaganza, along with a few surprises. We’ll share more news from the show next week. 


Ford’s All New Kuga The Crossover King

By Staff
Published: September 5, 2007
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Essex, 05 September, 2007 – Ford’s product portfolio is expanding again – and in another new direction. The new Ford Kuga is an exciting AWD crossover that combines style with technology and promises impressive on-road dynamics coupled with substantial off-road ability.

On sale in the UK summer 2008, the new Ford Kuga will be unveiled to the public at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show in near production form. This trend-setting newcomer takes many of its design ideas from the iosis X concept shown at Paris Motor Show last year.

Combining elements of SUV and estate car design with a coupé-like profile in a package similar in size to a Focus hatchback, the Kuga is the latest showcase for Ford’s acclaimed kinetic design.

The Ford Kuga will boast an intelligent all-wheel-drive system which contributes positively to normal road use and helps give an almost sporty dynamic ability for those who want to use it cross country.

Kuga’s powertrain will feature Ford’s established and fuel efficient 2.0-litre, 136 PS Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engine, mated to the slick Durashift six-speed manual transmission. Further details of the Kuga powertrain will be released closer to launch in early 2008.

Adopting many of the styling cues from Ford’s iosis X Concept, and finished in the same unique “Ice White” body colour with the bold wheel arches filled with the same 19 –inch alloy wheels, the Kuga has poise and presence. The athletic look is highlighted by bold features such as the trapezoidal front grills, rising belt-line and kick-up of the rear window graphic and the dramatic swept back headlamp shapes.

For the production Ford Kuga the roof profile of the iosis X Concept has been adjusted to a slightly higher silhouette offering comfortable accommodation for five people. Practicality is a key attribute and the luggage compartment is accessed via a split tailgate. Together with the divided rear lights this ensures the maximum full load width is available for loading and unloading.

Inside, fine leathers and striking orange piping dominate. The Ebony interior is set off by a centre console and details in the door which also feature the piano-white finish from iosis X.

A hint of the technology coming in Kuga, and other future Ford models, is seen in the new Blaupunkt navigation system which incorporates a 7-inch colour display to also show images from a rear view camera incorporated into the tailgate.


AutoPacific Announces 2007 Ideal Vehicle Awards

Lincoln Top Premium Brand, Mercury Top Mainstream Brand, Mercedes-Benz S-Class Top Vehicle, Nissan Titan Top TruckTUSTIN, Calif., Sept. 5 — An “ideal” is defined as an excellent or perfect example. In the annual Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate their new 2007 model year cars and trucks by how closely they come to their ideal. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.

The conclusion to be drawn from AutoPacific’s IVA results is that carmakers that best understand their customers create the vehicles that are ideal for their core buyers. There are twenty-five segment winners and overall winners for premium brands and mainstream brands.

The top-rated premium brand overall is Lincoln, out-scoring Buick and Porsche for the most ideal premium vehicle brand honors. The top-rated mainstream brand is Mercury nudging out Hyundai for top mainstream brand results.

The top-rated vehicle (and top-rated car) is the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a Premium Luxury Car. The second and third top-rated cars are from Ford Motor Company — the Mercury Montego and the Ford Five Hundred, both in the Large Car category. The top-rated truck is the Nissan Titan, a Large Light-Duty Pickup, closely followed by the new Ford Edge, a Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV.

Ford Motor Company led the industry with a total of nine segment winners. General Motors and Hyundai have four each. Ford won five sport utility vehicle categories with Expedition, Explorer, Edge, Lincoln MKX and Range Rover.

Including two ties, of the twenty-five Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) categories, American brands have twelve segment winners, European brands have six, Japanese brands have five and Korean brands have four winners.    

The top-rated product segment is Large Car confirming that Americans
continue to value large, comfortable cars suitable for suburban driving and
longer distance highway cruising.

    2007 Ideal Premium Brand: Lincoln
    2007 Ideal Mainstream Brand:  Mercury
    2007 Ideal Product Segment: Large Car

    Top rated 2007 Ideal Vehicles:

    Passenger Cars:

    Premium Luxury Car                  Mercedes-Benz S-Class
    Aspirational Luxury Car             Infiniti G35
    Large Luxury Car                    Mercury Grand Marquis
    Large Car                           Mercury Montego
    Luxury Mid-Size Car                 Lincoln MKZ
    Premium Mid-Size Car                Hyundai Sonata
    Mid-Size Car                        Saturn Aura
    Image Compact Car                   Audi A3
    Compact Car                         Hyundai Elantra
    Economy Car                         Toyota Yaris
    Premium Sports Car                  Porsche Cayman
    Sports Car                          Porsche Boxster
    Sporty Car                          Ford Mustang/Volkswagen Eos (tie)
    Pickups, SUVs, and Minivans:

    Large Light-Duty Pickup             Nissan Titan
    Large Heavy-Duty Pickup             GMC Sierra 2500
    Compact Pickup                      GMC Canyon
    Minivan                             Hyundai Entourage
    Luxury Sport Utility                Range Rover
    Large Sport Utility                 Ford Expedition/Chevrolet Suburban (tie)
    Mid-Size Sport Utility              Ford Explorer
    Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle     Suzuki Grand Vitara
    Luxury Crossover SUV                Lincoln MKX
    Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV    Ford Edge
    Mid-Size Crossover SUV              Honda CR-V
    Compact Crossover SUV               Hyundai Tucson

In addition to identifying segment winners, IVA also establishes numerical ideal vehicle ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the United States market. This results from calculating owner input across 15 specific areas related to a vehicle’s exterior size, passenger roominess, cargo space, driver’s seat comfort, drivers seat visibility, interior technology, power and acceleration, ease of getting in

and out, interior storage compartments and tires and wheels.

AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and product-consulting firm. Every year it publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies for the automotive industry. The firm also conducts extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin,

California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area.

Additional information can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: and To weigh in

with comments concerning these results, you can comment on the VehicleVoice blog site.

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