Sometimes, we're pleased to say, corporate one-upsmanship can result in more than just putting down the competition. Case in point: Manufacturers of all types have issued special pink products to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, typically donating some of the proceeds to charity. But Ford and Microsoft have raised the stakes by partnering to donate the entire $250 purchase price of 30GB limited-edition Zunes to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Engadget does note that, for the record, these are first-generation Zunes. But it's all for a good cause.
I know this blog is about product design and innovation but let's talk about PR for a minute. Why? Because the way you talk about your product should be part of your design process. The product design ought to incorporate the product story you want to tell. Sometimes, the story even becomes the product. Moreover, some may think PR is immune to innovation, but is in fact a field that is currently going through a series of pretty radical disruptions. The rise of social media has challenged the old way of promoting messages, and today's PR practitioners face … Read more
We get a hands-on test of the new Ford Sync system. We try out its text reading, Bluetooth music streaming, and its voice command system, which lets you tell it the name of any artist in your music collection you want it to play.
Ford Sync will be available in Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury models starting this November. Next year, it will be standard in all Lincoln models and generally available as an option in other models for around $400.
Someone at Ford Motor company seems to have a sense of humor.
This $69 branding iron from Ford will imprint the "Ford tough" logo on your steaks, hamburgers or anything else you choose. I'm not sure why anyone would want "tough" meat, but it could be one way to mark the well-done from the medium-rare steaks at your next barbecue.
Kudos to the Truckblog for finding this gem on the Ford Collection Web site.
Ford Motor and Mazda Motor plan to invest $500 million into a flexible small car manufacturing plant in Thailand, both companies announced Tuesday.
The plant, which is run through Ford and Mazda's joint venture company known as the Auto Alliance Thailand, will resemble the $510 million plant that was recently opened in Nanjing, China. It will include a set-up for producing small-size cars with the first to be available by 2009, according to Ford.
The plant will also have a new paint shop to accommodate Ford's three-wet paint process that Ford says reduces VOC and CO2 emissions, as … Read more
The 2008 Ford Taurus demonstrates that, although Ford builds good quality cars, it still can't come up with a logical product lineup. Ford ended production of its original Taurus model, then renamed the poorly selling 500 model as Taurus for the 2008 model year. Yet the 2008 Taurus is only slightly bigger and more powerful than the Ford Fusion, a lack of model differentiation that will make little sense to buyers.
As for the tech, the 2008 Ford Taurus gets a very advanced navigation system and voice command, a feature we haven't seen on a Ford until now. … Read more
Two of the biggest energy-related stories of late have been the push toward alternative automotive fuels and a newfound enthusiasm for nuclear power. What better time, then, to dust down the blueprints for the Ford Nucleon, a nuclear-powered concept car that was developed in the late 1950s?
The Nucleon got its thrust from a small onboard nuclear reactor in the form of a radioactive core suspended between twin booms to the rear of the driver. The Nucleon' passenger compartment featured a one-piece, pillarless windshield and compound rear window, and was topped by a cantilever roof. Ford claimed that the car … Read more
Ford Motor is sponsoring two fellowships to study energy technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of a five-year initiative, both organizations have announced.
Two Ford Alliance Energy fellows will study technology to improve power-train and fuel-efficiency technology for vehicles.
Ford is the first "Sustaining Member" to become part of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), a group established in November 2006 for the purpose of studying global energy problems.
"As the first mover for the automotive technologies of the 20th century, Ford Motor Company transformed the world. This research collaboration is designed to support Ford'… Read more
While new car launches were few at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, some were significant. Mini brought around the Clubman, a stretched version of the Cooper. Volkswagen showed off its new crossover, the Tiguan, and Audi had a significant model update for the A4. Dodge also came to play, putting a crossover called Journey on the floor.
Besides Toyota Motor and BMW, automakers haven't done a great job of building fleets that emit less carbon dioxide, according to an Environmental Defense report.
The organization's 80-page report, called "Automakers' Corporate Carbon Burdens" (PDF), evaluated the carbon dioxide emissions of vehicles from major automakers between 1990 and 2005. Companies graded were: Ford Motor, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, Volkswagen, BMW, Subaru and Mitsubishi Motors.
"The rate of carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and light trucks in the U.S. dipped for the first time in two … Read more