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Hybrid muscle: Ford to build battery Mustang

2018-03-20 08:53

Michigan – By 2020, Ford will offer North America’s freshest lineup among all full-line automakers, with its average showroom age dropping from 5.7 to 3.3 years as it replaces three-quarters of its lineup and adds four new trucks and SUVs.

Ford is revamping its line-up, building on trucks, SUV and commercial strengths, investing in new propulsion and delivering standard connectivity on new vehicles, paving the way for over-the-air updates and the Transportation Mobility Cloud, an open platform that will empower tomorrow’s mobility systems.

READ: Ford pledges to revamp ageing product line, add SUVs, by 2020

The automaker says it's going all-in with hybrids, offering customers more performance and capability yet serving as a hedge against higher fuel prices. All new Ford vehicles will have 4G LTE connectivity by the end of 2019. Ford is also introducing Ford Co-Pilot360, a new driver-assist technology package with standard automatic emergency braking and helps protect from the front, rear and sides.

"Our passion for great vehicles is stronger than ever," said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. "This showroom transformation will thrill customers, drive profitable growth and further build toward our future of smart vehicles in a smart world."

Next-hen hybrids

Part of Ford’s new strategy includes going all-in on hybrids to bring more capability to customers of our most popular and high-volume vehicles like F-150, Mustang, Explorer, Escape and Bronco – and serve as a hedge for customers against higher gas prices.

Ford’s new hybrids will offer customers more space than today’s hybrids. On the F-150 Hybrid, Ford will lean in to capability, such as the low-end torque for extra pulling power and the fact it can serve as a mobile generator. Mustang Hybrid will be all about delivering V8-like performance with more low-end torque.

"Hybrids for years have been mostly niche products but are now on the cusp of a mainstream breakout," Farley said. "The valuable capability they offer – plus fuel efficiency – is why we’re going to offer hybrid variants of our most popular and high-volume vehicles, allowing our loyal, passionate customers to become advocates for the technology."

Ford’s new hybrid system is designed to be more efficient and less expensive than previous generations. These lower costs – achieved through supply base relationships, using common cell and component design and by manufacturing motors, transmissions and battery packs – with the intention of lowering cost of ownership for customers.

Battery electric vehicles: Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) represent more than a different powertrain – they represent a lifestyle change for consumers, especially for those who have never driven an electric vehicle.

That is why Ford’s strategy includes rethinking the ownership experience so it is more seamless than with today’s gas-powered vehicles. That means making charging an effortless experience at home and on the road as well as offering full-vehicle over-the-air software updates to enhance capability and features.

Redesigning the ownership experience 

Sherif Marakby, vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles said: “Throwing a charger in the trunk of a vehicle and sending customers on their way isn’t enough to help promote the viability of electric vehicles. In addition to expanding our electric vehicle lineup, we are redesigning the ownership experience to ensure it addresses customer pain points that currently hold back broad adoption today.”

Ford’s BEV manufacturing plan will be more efficient. The company will halve floor space for final assembly operations and reduce capital investment 50%. A projected 30% improvement in labor efficiency will allow Ford to redeploy employees to do other jobs, including assembly of battery packs (which are normally expensive and complex to ship).

Ford’s new performance battery electric utility arrives in 2020. It is the first of six electric vehicles coming by 2022 as part of the company’s $11-billion global electric vehicle investment.

Commercial vehicles: Ford, the only full-line brand with offerings that stretch from Class 1 to Class 7, has a commanding 38% share of the US commercial vehicle market. Last year, it sold more CVs than the second, third and fourth place competitors combined.

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