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Ford Expands Commercial Vehicle Lineup With Three New Transit Variants

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Ford’s all-new Transit van and chassis cab variants, along with new Tourneo people movers, will become the backbone of small and large businesses, the company’s award-winning commercial vehicles.

The two-tonne version of the Transit panel van is available to customers in both medium wheelbase (MWB) or extended long wheelbase jumbo configurations to suit customers’ load-carrying needs. Both versions also retain the smart load space features that have made Transit a household name abroad. These two vans are joined by the MWB and Jumbo versions of the Transit chassis cab, which businesses can tailor to fit their needs. The Tourneo is also added to the commercial vehicle lineup and will be available in 15-seat configurations. Built from the ground up as a people mover, the Tourneo offers African businesses a factory-built bus for safely transporting passengers. Read the rest of this entry

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2015 Ford Mustang to Debut in Africa

Iconic coupé to be introduced in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa

Iconic coupé to be introduced in South Africa and Sub Saharan AfricaAuto

The Ford Motor Company has announced that the Ford Mustang, the world’s favorite pony car, will be on show at Ford’s inaugural Go Further event happening on the 17th of July in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The all-new Ford Mustang fastback and convertible models promise exceptional performance and refinement while embracing the Mustang’s half-century of heritage and status as a global icon. Notably, it will be the most modern Mustang to date, boasting independent rear suspension, a first for the vehicle that will transform the way it handles. Equipment levels will also be on par with what customers have come to expect of Ford’s smart vehicles, including technologies such as SYNC® 2, Blind spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, and other driver aid systems.

“Few other cars inspire passion like the Mustang,” says Mark Kaufman, vice president of marketing, sales and service, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA). “The iconic design and visceral sound of Mustang resonate with people, even if they’ve never driven one. It is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”

More than 9 million Mustangs have been sold since it was first launched in 1964. The world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook*, Mustang has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is one of 17 new vehicles that Ford will launch in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2015.

“With a formidable reputation, both on and off the track, as well as its iconic status as a symbol of freedom, Mustang’s reputation precedes it even in those parts of the world where the car has never been sold,” continues Kaufman. “It epitomises Ford’s aggressive product acceleration; technologically advanced and forward-looking, and embracing the heritage that has inspired Ford customers for generations.”

The new Mustang has been developed with impressive performance, driving dynamics and usability in mind – and includes a significant amount of advanced driver convenience and driver aid technologies.

“We’re proud to have Mustang back in South Africa – and this model is the best Mustang yet,” says Kaufman. “Longtime admirers will be able to see an icon return to South African roads, and we are confident the new Mustang will bring even more fans to the brand.”

Ford Unveils Figo Concept at Go Further in South Africa

Ka Concept

…brings advanced technology and design to emerging markets

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) will give a glimpse of its vision for a new global B-segment compact car, in the form of the Ford Figo Concept, at the inaugural Go Further event in Johannesburg, on 17 July 2014.

Highlighting premium design along with smart and safety features, the concept vehicle provides an indication of the design language to be used in a future version of the popular Figo.

It is also confirmed that a production version of the Figo Concept is planned for South African and Sub-Saharan African (SSA) markets; however details and specifications have yet to be confirmed.

Ford aims to set new standards for quality and craftsmanship in the B-segment, and exceed the expectations of consumers in emerging markets. At less than four metres long, the concept displays a purposeful presence and a no-compromise aesthetic that continues Ford’s design leadership in the global compact car market.

“We don’t want consumers to have to compromise when it comes to choosing modern design, value, safety, and technology in their cars” says Mark Kaufman, vice president for marketing, sales and service, Ford SSA. “Figo Concept offers all of the above in a package that would surprise many.”

Building on Ford’s compact car offerings, the Figo Concept illustrates how Ford plans to face growing global demand for compact vehicles. Despite its rapid growth, the compact car segment will remain highly competitive as increasingly savvy buyers look for ways to make their money go further.

“Increasingly we are seeing everybody – from first time buyers to families looking at their second or third car – demanding more from their cars,” says Kaufman. “With the Figo Concept we explore the possibilities of offering fresh design, a roomy interior, as well as the latest safety and connected technologies.”

With the goal of bringing unexpected levels of refinement to the compact car segment, designers created the Ford Figo Concept using design elements common to more expensive vehicles.

“In designing the Figo Concept we took a no compromises approach,” says Moray Callum, Ford Motor Company’s vice president, Design. “The Figo Concept’s premium, long-lasting design was crafted from the ground up, building on Ford’s global small car expertise and success. The design is clean and elegant, to convey a sense of precision, efficiency and sophistication, and to provide our customers worldwide with the global standards of design, quality and performance they are looking for.”

Smart design features like electrically adjustable power-fold mirrors are practical, helping to remove the stress of driving through a busy and congested environment. The mirrors also have a flexible architecture that prevents them from being broken off if bumped by another car or motorbike. Ford also designed the Ford Figo Concept to feature unprecedented levels of safety for its class, further enhancing the peace of mind for drivers.

Moving inside, the spacious cabin is filled with innovative stowage spaces, the Ford Figo Concept delivers surprising features that bring the promise of tomorrow’s technologies to drivers of compact vehicles. With an innovative device dock, the Figo Concept introduces a new way to store, mount and charge devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and satellite navigation systems, seamlessly integrating them into the in-car entertainment system.

“The Ford Figo Concept is the embodiment of how we are building on the One Ford plan to go further for all of our customers globally. The design builds on Ford’s brand pillars (Quality, Green, Safe, and Smart) to meet all the functional requirements customers expect while providing a package that is sure to surprise and delight customers,” ends Callum.

Ford and Heinz Collaborate on Sustainable Materials for Vehicles

ford-heinz-sustainability (1)

Researchers at Ford Motor Company and H.J. Heinz are investigating the use of tomato fibres in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing. Specifically, dried tomato skins could become the wiring brackets in a Ford vehicle or the storage bin a Ford customer uses to hold coins and other small objects.

Speaking on this development, Plastics Research Technical Specialist for Ford, Ellen Lee explained that research was to explore whether the food processing by-product will be useful as an automotive application.  “Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact”, she said.

Nearly two years ago, Ford began collaborating with Heinz, The Coca-Cola Company, Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble to accelerate development of a 100 percent plant-based plastic to be used to make everything from fabric to packaging and with a lower environmental impact than petroleum-based packaging materials currently in use.

At Heinz, researchers were looking for innovative ways to recycle and repurpose peels, stems and seeds from the more than two million tons of tomatoes the company uses annually to produce its best-selling product: Heinz Ketchup. Leaders at Heinz then turned to Ford.

“We are delighted that the technology has been validated,” said Vidhu Nagpal, Associate Director, Packaging Research and Development for Heinz. “Although we are in the very early stages of research, and many questions remain, we are excited about the possibilities this could produce for both Heinz and Ford, and the advancement of sustainable 100% plant-based plastics.”

Ford’s commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle is part of the company’s global sustainability strategy to lessen its environmental footprint while accelerating development of fuel-efficient vehicle technology worldwide. In recent years, Ford has increased its use of recycled non-metal and bio-based materials. With cellulose fibre-reinforced console components and rice hull-filled electrical cowl brackets introduced in the last year, Ford’s bio-based portfolio now includes eight materials in production. Other examples are coconut-based composite materials, recycled cotton material for carpeting and seat fabrics, and soy foam seat cushions and head restraints.