June 29, 2015
Ford Motor Company has been sporadically trending on Google for a few days now. It seems every other time I check back on the Business or Technology tabs on Google News it is there. Every time I delve in there is a surprise, because the news is equally sporadic from positive to potentially negative. Ford Motor Company is renovating one side of their fence while innovating on the other side. The first time I saw the company on the News it was because their most profitable vehicle was being submitted to retesting. The 2015 Ford F-150s were redesigned, one of the changes was that they replaced their traditional steel panels with aluminum ones. I can only assume the switch was inspired by weight reduction, and/or gas mileage. Price reduction was not the goal, aluminum is much more expensive than steel. Intent aside, only one of three types of F-150s were tested by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), whom last week went back to retest the other two. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) already tested all three models, and all 3 received 5 stars, so there should not be any shocks in the panel department. However, the F-150 family is not out of the woods yet. The NHTSA is evaluating 2011 and 2012 F-150s for the potential failure of their power brakes. The investigation was opened because of 32 complaints on the NHTSA website. The inquiry is only for models with the V6 EcoBoost engine. The alleged issue, is that the vacuum pump in the brake pedal is malfunctioning. Apparently, the drivers were utterly shocked when their pedal; without warning; became much harder to press sans the vacuum pump’s assistance. Of the 32 complaints, 2 were linked to accidents. Ford Motor Company might have to renovate their 2011-12 and less likely 2015 F-150s, but they are innovating other parts of their business. They just introduced a new ride sharing policy, peer-to-peer car sharing. Those who use Ford Credit to buy their vehicle, have the option to rent their car out; when they are not using it; to help pay their credit back. The program is still in its infancy; only available in a handful of American cities and London, through Getaround and easyCar Club, respectively for the 2 countries. They eventually plan to incorporate their upcoming autonomous cars to increase the efficacy of their carsharing. Ford also released a new smart bike, the MoDe: Flex as a part of their Multimodal mobility Solutions. This is not their first bike, they made two others before. What makes the bikes special is that they allow for a seamless transition in commutes of various modes. For example let’s say you can start your journey in your Fiesta ST. When you reach the train station, you can hop out of your car, and take the Flex with you while you ride the train, then ride the Flex for the last leg of the journey. The car can be paired with MoDe:Link, for your phone or smartwatch. The app can give you help you with anything you need for your ride, from Weather and route assistance to pothole warnings and “No Sweat” mode, which activates an electric motor when your heart rate reaches a certain point. They sell more cars in the US than any other auto manufacturer under just one logo. After renovating their brand, then innovating industry, it is no wonder Ford Motor Company is selling their cars like candy at fat camp.