Ford Investigates the Use of Agave-Based Car Parts

The components that make up a vehicle are composed of a variety of different materials. Trimming on the inside can be wood, while the exterior body can be made up of aluminum. Ford uses a variety of different materials to create their cars, trucks, and crossovers. However, the latest material that Ford has decided to look into is surprising, yet represents the “spirit” of Ford ingenuity.

According to a Ford press release, Ford is investigating the use of Agave-based car parts.

The Agave plant is most known for being the primary ingredient in Tequila. However, the team at Ford has discovered that a plastic alloy can be created from the byproducts of the Agave plant as well. Ford is now teaming up with Jose Cuervo to discover what kinds of car components can be created out of the Agave.

“There are about 400 pounds of plastic on a typical car,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability research department. “Our job is to find the right place for a green composite like this to help our impact on the planet. It is work that I’m really proud of, and it could have broad impact across numerous industries.”

Ford is continually working to find ways to make their vehicles more sustainable. That’s a cause that we can lift a glass to. Just not on the road!

Agave-based Car Parts

Ford’s New Diesel-Powered F-150

We at Shults Ford Harmarville are thrilled to hear the rumors of Ford’s new diesel-powered F-150.

Why do we believe that there will be a new diesel F-150? Well, there a few reasons, but one is the fact that there is an emissions calibration sticker. This sticker indicates the engine’s displacement. The sticker number is currently listed as JFC1-3.0-966, and the 3.0 identifies a 3.0-liter engine under the hood. While that does not confirm that it is diesel, the Jaguar Land Rover vehicles use a 3.0-liter diesel engine, which could be similar.

Of course the most compelling piece of evidence is the sound of the diesel F-150. Diesel clatter is a distinctive noise, one that is very recognizable. The other good news about this particular noise is that it does sound different than the Ford Transit’s 3.2-liter five-cylinder diesel engine. Although the Transit engine is great, the Ford-150 needs a stronger engine for the heavy-duty hauling ability.

For now, we will just have to wait for confirmation, but we promise to keep you updated as more news appears!

diesel-powered F-150

Hypermiling Techniques Help You Save Fuel

It may not blow your hair back like an illegal street race but hypermiling also won’t put your life, or your license, at risk. It’s just a fun and challenging game to save money.

The goal of the game is simple: beat the EPA-estimated fuel efficiency numbers for your vehicle. But since many people find this too easy, the goal simply becomes to see how high you can go!

There are distinct hypermiling techniques for accomplishing the goal. The number one technique is slow and easy acceleration. You use considerably more fuel getting up to speed as compared to maintaining speed. That being said, traveling beyond 55 mph will also cause your efficiency to diminish.

Another technique is to eliminate unnecessary braking, which is largely caused by lack of awareness of traffic. A lot of people accelerate madly without realizing that they may need to brake soon. Hypermiling is all about anticipating what’s ahead because braking and then having to accelerate again uses more fuel.

There are other ways you can save fuel. For instance, avoid idling for too long. Underinflated tires may also cost your more fuel. Coasting down hills or coasting to upcoming red lights can be helpful.

Technology is your friend when it comes to hypermiling. Use an app like Fuel Buddy to keep track of your mileage!

hypermiling techniques

Ford Profits Double Due to Truck and SUV Sales

2016 is proving to be a successful year so far for auto brands, with Ford enjoying record-breaking profits. Strong truck and SUV sales all across the globe have led to the company’s profits doubling to $2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2016 alone, after taxes. Ford representatives say the brand already plans to surpass 2015’s pretax profit of $10.8 billion.

Ford currently ranks as the number two carmaker in America, but that’s swiftly changing as the brand’s popularity skyrockets in the face of low gas prices and high sales numbers. Over the course of the company’s entire history, which has now spanned over 112 years, Ford has never seen a first quarter quite as profitable as this one. With $3.8 billion before taxes for this quarter, sales are above and beyond what the brand could’ve predicted.

Worldwide sales rose to 1.7 million units for the first quarter — a 10 percent increase. Demand for SUVs drastically increased in North America, China, and Europe, with China’s sales numbers going up by 38 percent. In the United States, F-series trucks, the Explorer, and the Transit enjoyed dramatic increases in sales.

In addition to great sales, Ford’s shares have also jumped, due to shareholders more heavily investing in the brand following their announcement to develop a 200-mile electric vehicle to rival the upcoming Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. Because of this, shares rose 50 cents to $14.16.

Ford analysts had predicted to make revenue of $35.59 billion, with actual revenue coming out to $37.7 billion — over a 2 billion dollar surplus. Unprecedented truck and SUV sales considerably contributed to the drastic change for the better, while Ford continues to look forward to a brighter and more successful future the rest of the year.

truck and SUV sales

The 2017 Escape – The First Ford Vehicle with Apple CarPlay

We at Shults Ford of Harmarville know how important it is to stay connected when on the road. Technology can be used for navigation assistance, hands-free calling, and many other convenient features.

Ford has recently announced the first Ford vehicle with Apple CarPlay, the iPhone-connected CarPlay system. This vehicle will be the 2017 Ford Escape, which goes on sale this May. We have known since January that Ford was working on this connective technology, but now we have a first official release vehicle.

Ford stated that this technology will make the ownership experience easier, through features such as remote door lock and remote start. These vehicle features are available with the new FordPass platform. The Escape will also be the first vehicle to offer SYNC3, which features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The SYNC Connect option will also help with “driver-assist” technology, such as parking, and lane control. With CarPlay, drivers with iPhones can use iOS features through the dashboard display.

If you recently bought a Ford though, do not worry. Several of the 2016 models will be able to update the technology to use CarPlay through an upcoming software update.

If you are interested to see all the great connected options found on Ford vehicles, stop by Shults Ford of Harmarville!

First Ford Vehicle with Apple Car Play

Ford Improving Police Vehicles and Police Safety

Ford is working hard to protect those who serve us. Ford is the leading maker of police vehicles, and has been testing new technologies and materials to make improvements to its vehicles.

Police vehicles need strong protection, especially in the doors. During a high-risk stop, police will often crouch behind their car doors. Therefore, the material in the door needs to be strong enough to protect officers from bullets and even high-powered assault weapons.

Safety has been increased, thanks to engineering work done by Ford. The doors have been upgraded, despite the challenge of finding a light, yet durable material. This project has been in the works for over a year, as Ford was determined to make the vehicles safer.

Now, the doors have two layers of protection. One layer is a Kevlar-type material, and the second layer is ceramic tiles. These two materials combined create a strong door able to stop bullets. The doors were tested by machines, performing over 100,000 slams to make sure the hinges can support the extra weight.

The new doors are successful, and the upgraded police vehicles will be going on sale soon. There are already many orders by police departments for these safer vehicles. We at Shults Ford of Harmarville are appreciative of the commitment made to keeping police squads safe on the job by Ford improving police vehicles.

Ford Improving Police Vehicles

Ford Teams Up with Texas FFA Association to Promote Teen Driving Safety in Driving Skills for Life Program

Ford Trucks and Ford Motor Company Fund will team up with the Texas FFA Association to sponsor Ford’s Driving Skills for Life program in order to teach Texas teenagers safe driving habits through free courses including driving lessons, classroom materials, and an interactive website.

Over 1,000 students will participate in an online program, and after completing it they’ll be invited to a driving clinic at the 88th Texas FFA State Convention in July.

Ford has partnered with FFA before, awarding over $8M in scholarships to FFA students, and today Ford and FFA are “furthering our commitment by together striving to combat the leading cause of death for young people in the US,” according to James Graham, the global manager of Driving Skills for Life.

Students in the program will learn about handling their vehicle, how to recognize hazards, managing their speed, and maintaining a safe distance from other drivers. Driving Skills for Life was first established in 2003 and has since been implemented around the world, bringing safe driving skills and knowledge to over 800,000 drivers.

Driving Skills for Life program

The Ford Focus RS: A High-Performance Hatchback

Ford is adding some kick to the new Focus design, adding the RS trim for those looking for added performance. This model comes with a sporty hatch design with a redesigned exterior, distinct badging, and a powerful new powertrain.

According to Ford, the Ford Focus RS recently came off the line at its manufacturing plant in Saarlouis, Germany, and is set to reach the US sometime this spring. The RS has a new 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine with an integrated all-wheel drive system and Dynamic Torque Control.

“The arrival of Focus RS in the United States this spring adds to a potent hot hatch lineup,” said Ford in a press release. “Ford’s Focus ST and Fiesta ST both have enjoyed critical acclaim and success. Sales of the Focus ST increased 9 percent last year while Fiesta ST saw a gain of 4 percent.”

The RS will also feature an innovative driver select mode, letting you choose the performance configurations of your liking. These include Normal, Sport, Track, and Drift mode. Customizing shock tuning, stability control, and engine and steering response, the new select mode features makes the RS incredibly fun to drive. We can’t wait to see this model hit the streets later this year.

Ford Focus RS

New Ford GT Snap Kit Showcases Model’s Sleek Styling

Kids visiting the 2016 North American International Auto Show can get a free, limited-edition Ford GT snap kit from the Ford Kiosk. This snap kit is a build-it-yourself model of the real thing, celebrating the high-performance model and its striking looks.

According to Ford, the brand is still partnering with Revell to build the snap kits for the GT. Revell helped Ford build Mustang and Raptor kits in previous years. The Ford GT snap kit will also be available to purchase through online stores and retailers in April.

“Our annual Revell Make ‘n Take model kit program has become a fun-filled auto show tradition,” said Mark Bentley, Ford Licensing manager. “Letting kids build their own Ford GT is a great way to introduce them to the Ford brand and create new enthusiasts.”

This auto show kit includes a 14-piece assembly with a limited-edition badge to certify it is from the auto show. The retail model will be a little more complex, with 28 parts, and it will sell for roughly $15. Kids who are excited about the new Ford GT will love these kits.

Ford GT Snap Kit

Line of Ford Trailers and Campers Introduced

A line of licensed Ford trailers and campers have been introduced with the goal of letting Ford customers explore the nation. Ford officials say the new models are “for our adventurous customers” and are built from Ford’s top of the line towing technology.

The new trailers and campers are built in partnership with Livin Lite, an Indiana-based subsidiary of Thor Industries, a leader in the industry. Livin Lite will use its exclusive aluminum alloy to make the models stronger and more lightweight. Ford says licensing to Livin Lite was “an easy decision” given their use of advanced materials and bold design.

Ford will offer both slide-in campers and travel trailers and toy haulers, with the campers starting at 6 and 8 feet and the trailers starting at 22 and 24 feet. In the future Ford plans to add shorter campers and longer trailers as well. The models are inspired by the Ford F-Series and have a similar front end design.

Campers will be available in the first few months of 2016 with trailers and toy haulers following in the second quarter of the year.

Ford trailers and campers

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