January 14, 2019
DETROIT – The 2019 North American International Auto Show is William Clay Ford Jr.’s 20th as Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company. In that time Henry Ford’s great-grandson has seen the industry go through some changes. This morning Bill Ford and Jim Hackett, Ford’s President and Chief Executive Officer, met with the media to discuss what’s coming next.
Ford Motor Company’s press conference focused on how technology is driving vehicle development in today’s automotive marketplace. According to Bill Ford, “No company is better positioned to lead technology changes in the industry.”
The 2020 Ford Explorer
Ford Motor Company’s reveal of the 2020 Ford Explorer last week drove home the point. The list of high tech incorporated into the new Explorer is impressive.
- Human Centric Design
- Front Seats with 5 Different Massage Settings
- More Efficient and Fit 2.3L EcoBoost Engine
- New 10-speed Automatic Transmission with Electronic Rotary Shifter
- An Embedded Modem with 10-device WiFi Capabilities.
- Smart Technology Intuitive Command Center with a 10.1 inch Touchscreen
- A 12.3-inch Driver’s Display
- Sync Plus with an Amazon Alexa App Interface
- 980-Watt B&O Audio System, 14 Speakers with Immersive Sound
- Co-Pilot 360 Technology
- Blind Spot Detection
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control
- Lane Sensing System with Auto Correction
- Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
- Pedestrian Detection Scanning
- Reverse Brake Assist
Hackett refers to the new approach as “building smart vehicles for a smart world.”
“Trust in the Brand”
In a private meeting with Ford employees, the day before the press conference, Ford and Hackett delivered the message, “Trust in the Brand.” Hackett spoke about restructuring the company from an executive hierarchy to an employee-driven environment. Such a change is critical to Fords’ continued success.
Bill Ford addressed rumors that invariably swirl around as the industry shifts gears. He acknowledged the cost of technology-driven change is significant. But, he assured employees the fiscal health of the company would remain intact. Ford emphasized the company would partner with innovative companies that have already invested in tech development. These new firms bring a high level of expertise to the table with them. But, collaborating with these industry leaders would not result in giving the company away.
Partnering With the Cloud
Every new vehicle coming from Ford Motor Company will employ a level of technology that is cutting edge. This is accomplished by connecting the onboard electronics directly to “the cloud.” The new Explorer Police Interceptor Utility showcases the advantages of this technology. Equipped with an onboard modem and two years of complimentary Ford Telematics™ service. Police agencies receive timely feedback on vehicle usage and location. Including an advanced alert system should the vehicle become disabled due to an accident.
The Police Interceptor focuses on officer safety and driving performance. The popularity of Ford police vehicles continues a history that spans nearly seven decades. In that time, Ford has outfitted law enforcement with purpose-built vehicles based on some of its most popular nameplates. The Explorer continues that tradition.
Explorer Hybrid and Explorer ST
Explorer performance is not confined just to the Police Interceptor. Ford also introduced the Explorer Hybrid and Explorer ST during their media session. Who said Hybrid means slow and sluggish. Equipped with a 3.3L engine that produces 318 horsepower, the Explorer Hybrid is anything but slow. Combine those specs with the capacity to tow 5,000 pounds and you have something special. Did we mention a 500-mile range between fill-ups? Oh Yeah!
The Explorer ST sports a 3.0L EcoBoost powerplant that boasts 400 horsepower. New owners become eligible to enroll in the ST Octane Academy at the Ford Performance Racing School. Performance driving in an SUV? Oh Yeah!
Ford Shelby Mustang GT500
Saving the fun for last. Ford Motor Company treated the press to a combination of technology and performance. The introduction of the new Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 involved audience participation. Donning a virtual reality headset put you behind the wheel of the Shelby Mustang.
The 5.2L engine equipped with a 2.6L supercharger delivers over 700 horsepower. Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph takes just over 3 seconds. A quarter-mile thrill ride is over in 11 seconds. Oh Yeah!!!
While every other showcase model drove on stage. The Cobra dropped from the ceiling courtesy of a virtual reality helicopter. Impressive? Yes!
While mentioned as another of the new models Ford is introducing. The reincarnation of the Ford Bronco remains under wraps. Sorry Bronco fans, the anticipation will just continue to build.
It’s not even noon yet on Day 1 and we are already excited about this year’s Auto Show. Follow The Lasco Press as “live coverage” continues all week long. Yet to come. NASCAR at the Auto Show, we will take you around the floor to view race car’s in attendance. Ford Fun, the can’t miss activities at the huge Ford display. Interesting industry news, self-driving cars, mobility, cool accessories. Maybe even a not-your-average feature on a cool story we dig up.