Archive for the 'fun stuff' Category

27
Sep
11

Ford bringing new vehicles to Zipcar fleets at ASU, college campuses

Monday, Sept. 26
By VICTORIA PELHAM
Cronkite News

Zipcar facts:

• More than 9,000 cars in the total fleet.
• More than 605,000 Zipcar members.
• 250 colleges have Zipcar program.
• 1,000 Ford cars will be added to Zipcar’s college fleet.

Zipcar at ASU:

• Began in 2007.
• 3,000 students enrolled.
• 17 Zipcars in ASU’s fleet.

PHOENIX – For Marcus Jones, signing up for an Arizona State University car-sharing program offered through Zipcar provides the convenience of a car without the commitment.

Since joining, Jones has used the service a couple of times each month, renting a car by the hour for trips around town. Using Zipcar introduced him to the Scion XP, a car he said he enjoyed and wouldn’t mind purchasing.

“I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a brand issue; I would say it’s more the functionality. The brand should be reliable,” Jones said. “It needs to be a different type of car for each student based on their needs.”

Car companies are starting to place their bets on college students like Jones as car-sharing programs grow at universities across the state and country.

“They’re not buying cars the way previous generations have,” said Liz Elser, brand manager for Ford Motor Co. “The millennial generation grew up buying songs on a one-off basis rather than buying the album, so it’s much more natural for them to think about renting a car for an hour rather than buying them outright.”

Ford Motor Co. recently signed a deal with Zipcar, a national company based in Cambridge, Mass., that would bring Ford vehicles to 250 colleges, including ASU. Ford Focuses and Escapes will be added to the fleets, Elser said.

Ford, which has previously struggled with selling cars to this demographic, saw the partnership as an investment toward the future and an opportunity to develop brand loyalty.

“They’re a difficult demographic to reach – the millennial generation – in particular again because their purchasing habits are different than previous generations,” Elser said. “They’re more about convenience and access rather than ownership.”

Continue reading ‘Ford bringing new vehicles to Zipcar fleets at ASU, college campuses’

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07
Sep
11

Ford SVT Raptor with… six doors?! Only in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a land that continually breathes new life into the phrase “More money than sense.” The new prime example of this is a custom-built Ford SVT Raptor that believes the prime number of doors is six. Said to hail from the UAE, it’s quite clear that anything goes in the Land Of The Burning Dollar Sign Sun.

We’re not going to completely hate on this thing, of course, as the idea of a six-door Raptor puts visions of a seriously great camping trip in mind. Still, we’re not even sure if this thing is actually real or if someone with solid skills spent too much time playing around on their computer. Judge for yourself by clicking past the jump and watching the video.

10
Jan
11

Consumer Electronics Show: Pandora’s Tim Westergren on car connectivity, smartphones and a potential IPO

As major automakers took the stage one after the other at CES, it wasn’t just their sweeping vehicle connectivity plans that made them sound like a broken record.  It was the constant reference to Pandora.

The Internet radio company, led by founder Tim Westergren, will offer its services through smartphones integrated into infotainment designs from Ford, Toyota, BMW and several other car companies.

Westergren still remembers talks several years ago with the automakers gaining “no momentum,” when the focus was all on spiffy navigation technology.

But then smartphones such as the iPhone emerged and the market for Pandora “just went berserk” and the audience doubled, he said at the electronics show in Las Vegas. The company’s music platform is now accessible from more than 200 devices.

Once users started plugging various gadgets into their vehicle auxiliary jacks, automakers finally perked up and took notice.

“The phones changed the whole equation,” Westergren said, sitting in a Ford Mustang, which will access Pandora through the AppLink feature. “Now, if you want to be a radio service, that’s half the market. It feels like we’ve reached critical mass.”

Catering to customized radio listeners as they drive is now a “huge priority” for Pandora, where “a quarter of the staff is chasing cars right now,” he said.

“We’re kind of in execution  mode right now,” Westergren said. “We want to be in every single car on every single phone.”

Well, maybe every car but, Westergren himself listens to his favorite Ben Folds channel on his iPhone and iPad while taking public transportation.

Looking forward, he said he might consider taking the company public.

“We’ve been through a long road to get here,” he said. “This company should have been dead long ago. But now I can be more ambitious about what we can accomplish. It’s surreal.”

 

26
Oct
10

Trisha Urban to use a Ford Explorer on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

October 22, 2010

The 2011 Ford Explorer has been redesigned from bottom to top, with at least 20 percent better highway fuel economy and uncompromised capability. These attributes will come in handy for Trisha Urban, as she travels to raise funds for the American Heart Association and while working as a hospice nurse.

Urban will be the recipient of an all-new Explorer – donated by Ford Motor Company – as a component of her Extreme Makeover: Home Edition segment. A widow, Urban lost her husband to a heart attack on the very day their daughter Cora was born. She devotes her time to fund-raising on behalf of the American Heart Association and helps families in need through her work as a hospice nurse.

The Explorer integration into the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition storyline offers viewers a demonstration of MyFord Touch™ driver connection technology, and how it can be life-enhancing for a driver on-the-go such as Urban.


 

31
Mar
10

FIESTA MOVEMENT CHAPTER 2 KICKS OFF; FIRST MISSION HAS AGENTS SHOWING OFF FAVORITE CITY HOTSPOTS

SUMMARY
  • Fiesta Movement agents kick off Chapter 2. In the first mission, Fiesta becomes the agents’ passport to explore what makes their city buzz. Agents will create a wallscape mural that doubles as a guide to their top 10 favorite places in their city
  • Once each map is completed, it will be highlighted through a variety of media. Followers will be able to attend an event at one of the selected locations with other Fiesta Movement fans
  • The 2011 Ford Fiesta goes on sale this summer offering best-in-class fuel economy, 15 class-exclusive technologies and personalization, all in a small car package
CONTEXT / BACKGROUND
The Fiesta Movement is back, and the new agents are ready for some action. Fiesta Movement Chapter 2 has 20 teams of two agents bringing the 2011 Fiesta to life through missions inspired by the new small car from Ford. A natural progression from phase one of the Fiesta Movement, missions will be centered on each team’s city, with agents tapping into their local communities to help execute and promote missions.
31
Mar
10

Mulally surprises again, delivers customer’s Ford Focus in Shanghai

source: EGM Car Tech

One of the many things Ford customers (very lucky few customers we might add) appreciate about FoMoCo is having CEO Alan Mulally deliver their car to them. Mulally, responsible for implementing the ‘One Ford’ motto at the Dearborn automaker, is know for randomly showing up to deliver customer cars.

While in town for the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, Mulally decided to head over to Ford’s Dongchang dealership where customer Harriet Luo was already excited to pick up her new Ford Focus. Luo received an added surprise when she realized the person handing over her new car was none other than FoMoCo president and CEO, Alan Mulally.

Mulally was also joined by Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Robert Graziano, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China.

“This is totally beyond my expectations. Having Mr. Mulally, Ford’s global CEO, hand over the keys to my new Ford Focus was absolutely incredible,” said Luo.

Luo, said that she compared more than 10 models from different brands and she finally made a decision to buy a Ford Focus.

“I spent more than one month mulling over which car to buy. I finally settled on the Ford Focus, as my family and many friends recommended it for its quality and safety, and I really liked its design and driving performance,” she added.

“I was as thrilled as Harriet to hand over the keys of her new Ford Focus, and be part of her Ford customer experience,” explained Mulally. “Chinese customers truly appreciate our world-class lineup of Ford vehicles, and it was so exciting to welcome Harriet to the Ford family of customers and help start her relationship with the Ford brand.”

We’re guessing Luo will be a customer for life now. Good job Mulally.

02
Feb
10

2011 Ford Mustang GT Named As Daytona 500 Pace Car

By Nelson Ireson Car Expert January 19th, 2010

The 2011 Ford Mustang GT is getting some major upgrades this year, including a new 5.0-liter 412-horsepower engine, and that’s enough to make it the pick for the pace car of the 2010 Daytona 500. It is the first Ford car picked to pace the race in 40 years.

The last Ford car to pace the Daytona 500 was the 1970 Ford Torino GT convertible. The 2011 Mustang GT is also the first Mustang to get the honor. But what does all this historical trivia mean to you?

It means that there will be a special limited-edition run of 50 pace cars built and sold to the public. The actual pace car itself is going to be up for sale, too, going under the hammer at the 39th Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car auction on January 23–and Richard Petty will be alongside the car to help it sell.

Not that it’ll need the help. On top of the 2011 Mustang GT’s already impressive spec sheet, the pace car gets a special Daytona 500 paint theme, Ford Racing suspension, upgraded strut tower brace and mufflers, unique painted wheels and a special interior look with unique sill plates denoting its Daytona heritage.

The 2010 Daytona 500 will run on February 14th at the Daytona International Speedway.




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