Posts Tagged ‘environmental


Advanced Steel Technologies Featured in 2012 Ford Focus The Car Connection’s Best Car to Buy 2012

DETROIT, Dec. 7, 2011 — /PRNewswire/ — 

Ringing in 2012 has come early for the North American steel industry and the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), as editors at High Gear Media’s The Car Connection have named the 2012 Ford Focus the “Best Car to Buy 2012” — due in part to the extensive use of higher-strength steels used on the vehicle.

According to Ford Motor Co., the 2012 Focus combines expressive design and an exceptional array of smart technologies, including high-strength steel, with high levels of craftsmanship and occupant safety, while delivering up to 40 mpg on the highway.

The Focus body shell consists of 55 percent high-strength steels, with ultra high-strength and boron steels making up more than 31 percent of the skeletal structure. These advanced steel technologies help the Focus meet crash regulations across world markets, while reducing the vehicle’s weight and contributing to improved fuel economy.

“Ford’s use of ultra high-strength steel in the 2012 Focus have resulted in a vehicle that not only is affordable and safe, but also fuel efficient and environmentally responsible,” Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive applications for SMDI, said. “Their decision to incorporate lightweight steel technologies into their designs, demonstrates that steel continues to be the material of choice for automakers in terms of meeting aggressive safety and stringent fuel economy and emissions requirements — a clear best buy for consumers.”

In addition, the Focus’ vehicle structure achieves its excellent crash protection in part through a newly designed ultra high-strength steel B-pillar reinforcement produced using an innovative tailor rolling process. The process allows the thickness of the steel sheet to be varied along its length, so the component has increased strength in the areas that are subjected to the greatest loads.

The Car Connection is part of High Gear Media, a vertical media company publishing engaging, premium automotive content on some of the Web’s fastest growing car websites, targeting key buyer and vehicle segments. Each year, The Car Connection team rates reviewed vehicles based on styling, performance, utility, safety and features to select its annual “Best Car to Buy.”

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit

SMDI investors include:


  • AK Steel Corporation
  • ArcelorMittal Dofasco
  • ArcelorMittal USA LLC
  • Nucor Corporation
  • Severstal North America Inc.
  • ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
  • United States Steel Corporation


SOURCE Steel Market Development Institute


Ford Grows Best-Selling Commercial Vehicle Lineup with New Products, Features to Meet Greener, Leaner Customer Needs

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — 

  • Ford sells six of the top 10 commercial vehicles in the U.S., according to Polk U.S. registration data  
  • By 2012, half of Ford vehicles will be capable of running on alternative fuels, including Ford commercial trucks, which will be available with flex fuel (E85), biodiesel, compressed natural gas, liquid propane gas, hybrid and battery electric powertrains direct from Ford or from certified partners
  • All-new Ford Transit full-size van to be built in the U.S. by 2013 will live up to Econoline’s Built Ford Tough reputation plus achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy, lowering CO2 emissions and customer operating costs
  • 2012 Ford (F) F-650 with new 6.8-liter V10 gas engine option and fuel-efficient six-speed transmission promises to save municipal customers with tight budgets an average of $8,300 per vehicle compared to the F-650 diesel model

Ford Motor Company, the best-selling commercial vehicle manufacturer in the U.S., will grow its product lineup in 2012 with a new medium-duty truck, two all-new Police Interceptors and a next-generation limousine to meet the rapidly changing needs of its commercial customers.

Ford’s commercial vehicle lineup is the most diverse and capable yet for 2012.

“Though they often go unnoticed, commercial vehicles play an important role keeping the nation’s economy moving and protecting people’s lives,” said Kevin Koswick, director, North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Operations.

Continue reading ‘Ford Grows Best-Selling Commercial Vehicle Lineup with New Products, Features to Meet Greener, Leaner Customer Needs’


Ford Begins Taking Orders for $40G Electric Car

Ford has opened the order books on its first-ever electric car, and now we know how far you’ll have to open your wallet to buy one.

The Focus Electric is priced at $39,995, exactly the same as the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and $3,945 more than its closest direct competitor, the Nissan Leaf. All three cars are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and various state incentives available toward the purchase of electric cars.

While the range of the Focus has yet to be revealed, Ford has previously said that it would be competitive with the all-electric Leaf, which has an EPA rating of 73 miles per charge. The 23 kWh battery pack in the focus takes up to 20 hours to recharge with a 120-volt outlet, but less than four when plugged into a 240-volt fast charger, twice as fast as the Leaf.

The Focus Electric is based on the standard five-door version of the Focus, which has a starting price of $19,095. Aside from a large intrusion in the cargo area to accommodate the battery, it offers the same sized accommodations as the standard car.

Ford is not requiring a deposit to reserve one, but orders are only being taken by dealers in California, New York and New Jersey, for now. At the unveiling of the car in January, Ford said that it would be available in 19 launch markets by the end of 2011, but that target been pushed to next year.

No word yet on exactly when deliveries of the car will begin.




Ford’s new Fiesta joins the exclusive 40-mpg club

source: USA Today

Ford Fiesta has become one of the few new cars to join an exclusive fraternity. Or is it sorority? Anyway, the new subcompact is now part of the 40-mile-a-gallon club. (We list the rest of the membership below).

With the six-speed automatic transmission, Fiesta was just certified by the Environmental Protection Agency at 40 mpg highway and 29 mpg city. The five-speed manual transmission model doesn’t do quite as well: 23 city and 37 highway. Still pretty darn good, though, especially with a starting price of $13,995 when Fiesta hits showrooms this summer.

At 40 mpg, Ford boasts Fiesta is five miles a gallon better than Honda Fit and four miles a gallon better than Toyota Yaris.

“The new Fiesta is yet another car in Ford’s lineup that delivers class-leading fuel economy,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford’s vice president of global powertrain engineering. The secret behind the Mexican-built Fiesta ?:

It’s the 1.6-liter Duratec engine with with variable camshaft timing, good for 120 horsepower and that impressive mpg.

Others in the 40-mpg club are Audi A3 diesel, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Civic, Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Smart ForTwo, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf diesel and Volkswagen Golf diesel. All get at least 40 mpg on the highway.


Ford says auto future hinges on electric car


Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford closed out the SAE World Congress on Thursday with an endorsement of the future of electric vehicles.

“All the early cars were electric,” said Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, at the engineers’ conference. “They’ve been around really for the past century or so, but they really haven’t had mass-market appeal.”

• Ford beats VW, takes No. 1 spot in Europe

But Ford said the automotive industry is rapidly changing.

Ford, an ardent environmentalist who worked for years to change the carmaker’s culture so that it would embrace environmental goals, said new technology makes it possible to introduce electric vehicles that appeal to mainstream consumers.

“It appears that the biggest game-changer will be electric vehicles,” Ford said during a speech in Detroit. “Our plan includes the introduction of five new high-mileage vehicles.”

Ford said the automotive industry must introduce more fuel-efficient vehicles in order to meet the challenges of diminishing oil reserves, global warming and a desire by customers to spend less money on gas.

“The majority of our efforts are aimed at fuel-economy leadership,” Ford said. “We want to provide affordable fuel economy for millions of customers.”

Over the next three years, Ford plans to introduce a Transit Connect Electric commercial van, a Ford Focus electric vehicle, two new gasoline-electric hybrids and a plug-in hybrid.

Ford also said the company is committed to improving the fuel economy of all of its new vehicles.

This summer, Ford plans to launch the Ford Fiesta subcompact car. Ford has said it expects the Fiesta will get 40 m.p.g. on the highway and 30 m.p.g. in city driving.

Ford also is introducing technology in the car to help drivers get the most out of their vehicles.

On Thursday, Ford announced that the company is adding a new feature for the company’s navigation software called Eco-Route.

Eco-Route will map the most fuel-efficient route to a destination and can help drivers achieve fuel-economy gains of up to 15%, the company said.

The feature is part of Ford’s MyFord Touch, a new system that controls all entertainment, climate and information systems in the company’s vehicle.

In addition to introducing new technology, Ford is gaining market share both in the U.S. and Europe. Ford’s stock closed Thursday at $13.76 per share, up 41 cents from its close on Wednesday and more than four times higher than its 52-week low of $3.27 per share.

The company, which typically reports first-quarter earnings at the end of April, is expected to report a profit of 30 cents per share, according to a survey of 12 analysts by Thomson One Analytics.

“Nobody is getting cocky, or overconfident,” Ford said. “Because, frankly, we’ve only taken baby steps on the long journey to where we really need to go.”

News and Events for the Ford or Lincoln owner and enthusiast.

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