Home Sweet Hohm
Ford, Microsoft team up again
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid | Police Interceptor | Green dealers
Connecting North America
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April 2010 | 1
Publisher: Sara Tatchio | Associate publisher: Susan Krusel | Managing editor: Robert Musial
Contributing editor: Jenn Corney | Advertising coordinator: Michele Holtcamp | Graphic designer: Julie Yeiter
Editorial: (313) 206-4679 | Advertising: (248) 318-6316 | Address changes: (313) 322-3131 (@Ford changes only)
No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written consent of @Ford.
Items advertised in @Ford are not connected with Ford Motor Company. Availability, price, safety, quality and durability of
these items rest solely with the respective manufacturers. Ford assumes no liability for their use.
@Ford is available online at www.at.ford.com. The magazine is available six times a year in racks at all Ford facilities in the U.S. and Canada, and
mailed to retirees. Retirees may opt out of mail delivery, opt in for an e-mail copy or make @Ford address changes at: FWINFO@ford.com.
Connecting North America
3 Monthly sales
March sales and share rise as
market begins to improve.
5 Third parties
lauds Ford as does
J.D. Power & Associates.
7 Police Interceptor
New police car unveiled by
Ford to replace venerable
8 ‘American Idol’
Show contestants get to style
their own Ford Fiestas.
9 Heading for Hohm
Ford and Microsoft software
will assist plug-in car owners.
10 41 mpg –
New Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
delivers sustainable luxury.
13 ‘Green’ dealers
New program aims to make
dealers more energy-efficient.
15 Benefits change
Q & A explains why Ford
is transitioning to ACS.
17 Ford History
How a Lincoln concept car
became TV’s Batmobile.
20 Back Page
They Said It plus Nelly’s car,
bear vs. Raptor, green taxis
and 500,000-mile Lincoln.
Products gaining momentum
As we close out the first quarter of 2010, I would like to
congratulate all of you on the success our new products are
finding among customers as we continue delivering our
ONE Ford plan.
Sales of our high-quality, fuel-efficient lineup of vehicles
were up 37 percent in the first quarter of 2010 versus the
first quarter of 2009. Products such as the Ford Fusion
continue to set all-time sales records.
In March, Fusion set another all-time sales record with a
year-over-year increase of 79 percent. Additionally, our
new flagship sedan Ford Taurus continues to post strong
sales results, achieving an 86 percent increase in March
versus the same time period a year ago.
And our hybrid lineup, comprised of Fusion, Milan,
Escape and Mariner, also posted an impressive 69 percent
sales gain in March versus a year ago. Ford remains
America’s largest domestic hybrid company, with more
than 125,000 hybrid vehicle sales in the U.S.
At this year’s New York International Auto Show, we
further solidified our aggressive electrification plan and
second-generation hybrid technology through the
unveiling of the new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. In the true
spirit of delivering best-in-class fuel economy with every
new vehicle introduced, the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is
poised to be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America
when it arrives this fall.
As the economy continues to stabilize, our world-class
products – along with your focus and commitment – will
remain the cornerstone of delivering sustainable and
profitable growth for all.
Keep up the great work!
President, The Americas
A more interactive @Ford
Throughout the magazine,
we’ve highlighted stories
that offer much more
information at @Ford
Just look for the highlights box like the one pictured here.
A similar logo is in the upper left corner of @Ford Online in
the rotating promo box section.
Click to @Ford Online
for more information
2 | April 2010
Local Ford, Geely agree
to Volvo deal
Ford has reached a deal to
sell Volvo to the Zhejiang
Geely Holding Group Co.
for U.S. $1.8 billion.
The Chinese automaker
will pay Ford $1.6 billion in cash and a $200 million note, to be
adjusted when the deal closes in the third quarter. Following the
sale, Ford will continue to cooperate with Volvo in several areas.
“We are confident Volvo has a strong future under Geely’s
stewardship,” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford.
Ford recognized as one of the
world’s most ethical companies
Ford has been recognized as one of the world’s
most ethical companies by a leading business ethics
Ford was among
companies – and the
only automaker –
chosen for the
designation by the
companies in more
than 100 countries
The choice was
based on an extensive review of
companies’ social responsibility
efforts, corporate governance
and business practices.
“This honor underscores the
efforts by the men and women at Ford who diligently
work every day to do the right thing on behalf of all
our stakeholders,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman.
Ford Mustang V-6 takes on challenge:
1,000 racetrack laps on one tank of gas
A team of engineers and celebrities aims to prove the Ford Mustang’s
ranking as the world’s most fuel-efficient pony car, by attempting
to run 1,000 laps at the Bristol
Motor Speedway – on one
tank of gas.
On June 23, a 2011 Mustang
with its new 305-horsepower,
31 mpg V-6 will set out to do at
least 500 miles on the half-mile
NASCAR track in Tennessee.
Fans can enter to win a 2011
Mustang V-6 by guessing the total number of laps the car will complete
at www.Mustang1000LapChallenge.com between now and June 23.
Open 24 hours a day on www.villageford.com
All of our new and used vehicles have prices online, but please call for the latest incentives
on the vehicle of your choice to further reduce your price!
800-257-1538 23535 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI 48124
28 Years of Quality Customer Care in Sales and Service
In Dearborn. We have to be Better.
April 2010 | 3
U.S. Market Share – 2010 Year-to-Date vs. 2009
Ford closed the books on a
successful first quarter by posting
a 43 percent sales increase in March
for its lineup of Ford, Lincoln and
For the quarter, the sales jump was
37 percent versus a year ago, the
largest gain of any full-line automaker.
“Once again, our outstanding lineup
of new products carried the day,” said
Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S.
Marketing Sales and Service. “What
was true in March was true every
month in the first quarter. Cars were
up every month, utility vehicles were
up every month and so were trucks.”
Retail and fleet sales both increased
over the first three months of 2010,
driving Ford’s first-quarter share to
16.6 percent, up 2.7 points versus a
year ago. Equally impressive is the
fact that the sales and share gains
were accomplished with lower
incentives and higher transaction
prices over the three-month period.
The Ford Fusion set an all-time sales
record in March, up 79 percent.
The new Taurus posted an 86 percent
increase, Focus and Mustang were
each up 57 percent and F-Series
grew its segment share by more than
5 points to 39 percent in the first two
months of 2010.
The Ford Escape, up 52 percent in
March, led a sales surge of utility
vehicles and Ford’s hybrid vehicles
combined for a 69 percent increase.
Source: Manufacturers’ Reports
*Does not include Volvo
2010 Ford Taurus SHO
First quarter sales jump
37 percent; Ford gains share
By John Fossen
Ford of Canada sales up
29 percent in first quarter
Ford of Canada registered a
29 percent sales increase for March
and for the first quarter of 2010.
Results were led by strong sales of
Ford Taurus and F-150, which saw a
monthly increase of 230 percent and
52 percent, respectively, and total
Lincoln sales which rose 109 percent.
U.S. Vehicle Sales
Top-Selling Cars and Trucks
Rank Nameplate Units Sold
1 Ford F-Series 103,039
2 Chevrolet Silverado 72,480
3 Toyota Camry 68,595
4 Honda Accord 65,579
5 Toyota Corolla/Matrix 63,740
6 Nissan Altima 59,483
7 Honda Civic 53,627
8 Ford Fusion 51,411
9 Chevrolet Malibu 49,339
10 Ford Escape 45,091
11 Ford Focus 43,597
12 Toyota RAV4 40,474
13 Chevrolet Impala 38,273
14 Dodge RAM 38,042
15 Chevrolet Cobalt 37,379
16 Honda CR-V 36,348
17 Hyundai Sonata 31,747
18 Nissan Versa 31,334
19 Chevrolet Equinox 30,379
20 Toyota Prius 28,238
21 Mazda3 26,936
22 VW Jetta 25,917
23 Kia Sorrento 25,452
24 Ford Edge 25,191
25 Hyundai Santa Fe 24,716
26 Ford Econoline 24,628
Source: Manufacturers’ Reports
*Optional. **Optional. Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it
is safe to do so. †Not all buyers will qualify for Ford Credit APR ﬁnancing. Take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 6/1/10. Offer available on 2010 model year
Ford vehicles excluding hybrids, Taurus SE, Edge SE AWD, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT500™ and Transit Connect. See dealer for qualiﬁcations and complete details.
“Lots of cool features.
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The F-150 completely
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—Chris Moore, Chevy Silverado owner
“Ifeelsafein the Escape.
Ihave more control. I love it.
The park assist feature* is awesome.”
—Laura Saleh, Honda CR-V owner
“I thought I was going to miss my Camry,
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—Christine Williams, Toyota Camry owner
We swapped people’s rides for a week.
And changed their minds forever.
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4 | April 2010
Lincoln scored second only to
Porsche in the latest three-year
Vehicle Dependability Study
(VDS) released recently by
J.D. Power & Associates.
Mercury and Ford also finished
in the top eight nameplates in
the long-term reliability study
measuring problems experienced
by original owners of 2007 model
The annual study showed
that Lincoln had improved six
positions to come in second while
Mercury remained in fifth and
Ford moved up four positions
to eighth, ahead of such brands
as Mercedes Benz, Acura
Leading all cars in the
entry level premium vehicle
segment was the Lincoln MKZ
while the Lincoln Mark LT
ranked highest in the large
premium SUV category. The
Ford Freestar was the
highest-ranked midsize van.
Other segment honorable
mentions included Ford F-150 LD,
Ford Mustang, Ford Ranger,
Ford Expedition, Ford Freestyle
and Lincoln Town Car.
April 2010 | 5
The latest auto issue of
Consumer Reports (CR) contains
some good news for Ford –
the magazine now recommends
75 percent of Ford models tested,
up from 70 percent last year.
manufacturers, only Ford
improved over last year,” the
magazine reported in its April
issue. “The reliability of some
Ford models now rivals their
competitors from Honda
In addition, the Focus SES and
four-cylinder Fusion SE and base
Milan made CR’s list of recom-
mended vehicles under $25,000.
The magazine also said
that the Ford Flex
Due to recent
vehicles dropped by
almost half, CR said.
In its report cards
on the performance,
comfort, utility and
reliability of the more
than 280 vehicles it
recently tested, the
Chrysler again in last
place in the rankings
with General Motors
again in second-to-
Eight GM models
and one Chrysler
Lincoln among top two in reliability;
Mercury, Ford also score high in study
By Robert Musial
over last year.
of some Ford
– Consumer Reports
V-8 GT and
rated by CR.
Consumer Reports recommends
75 percent of tested Ford models
By Robert Musial
The 2007 Ford
F-150 LD and
April 2010 | 7
Ford’s all-new Police
Interceptor will be purpose-built
to exceed the durability, safety,
performance and fuel economy
of the current police car of choice –
the long-running Ford Crown
The recently unveiled Police
Interceptor will offer two fuel-
efficient powertrains, including
EcoBoost™ with all-wheel-drive,
plus an array of safety
technologies and an interior
specifically designed for police.
The new car will be offered
without interruption when
production ends in late 2011
of the current Crown Vic police
model, which has dominated the
market for more than 20 years.
Ford also plans to reveal an
additional Police Interceptor,
a utility vehicle pursuit-rated
to complement the new sedan,
later this year.
During development, Ford
worked closely with its Police
Advisory Board to get their input
on safety, performance, durability
and driver comfort and
Engineered to pass 75-mph
rear crash testing (an industry
exclusive), the new car has front
air bags, seat-mounted side air
bags and Ford’s exclusive Safety
Canopy® side-curtain air bag
Under the hood, the standard
3.5-liter V-6 engine will deliver at
least 263 horsepower while being
25 percent more efficient than the
4.6-liter V-8 offered in the current
Crown Vic model.
Also offered will be the
all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-
engine, which will deliver at least
365 horsepower – 115 better than
the Crown Vic – while cutting fuel
costs and CO2 emissions.
Though based on the Ford
Taurus, the Police Interceptor has
a beefed-up chassis, suspension,
the rigors of
of the interior
of police. For
front seats are
belts and the
stab plates to
and the space-
rear seats are vinyl for easy
Currently, 70 percent of the
police pursuit vehicles in the
U.S. are Ford Crown Vic cruisers.
All-new Ford Police Interceptor
built for law enforcement
By Diane Majeske
• 40-mph curb impact-rated
• 18-inch vented disc brakes
• 220-amp minimum alternator
• Undercarriage deflector plates
• Six-way power seat plus
• Center console space identical
to current Crown Vic so current
equipment can be reused
• Column shifter with manual tilt
• Integrated wiring conduits
to the headliner and trunk
• BLIS® (Blind Spot
• Cross-Traffic Alert
• Reverse Sensing System
• AdvanceTrac® with ESC
(electronic stability control)
• Customizable Ford SYNC®
hands-free information system
• Available factory-installed
ballistic door panels
• Available rear view
April 2010 | 9
Ford and Microsoft are leading
the way toward a more energy-
efficient future by offering a new
solution to make electric vehicle
ownership easier and more
affordable for consumers.
The two companies have teamed
up to implement the Microsoft
Hohm™ energy management
application for Ford’s upcoming
electric vehicles, starting with the
Ford Focus Electric which arrives
Hohm will help owners
determine when and how to
most efficiently and affordably
recharge battery electric (BEV)
and plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
vehicles. It also should help utility
companies manage the added
demands of electric vehicles on
the electric grid.
“For Ford, this is a needed step
in the development of the
infrastructure that will make
electric vehicles viable,” said Alan
Mulally, Ford president and CEO.
Since increasing numbers of
electric vehicles will have a
significant impact on energy
demand and usage, Ford and
Microsoft believe that making
energy management easy and
affordable is the key that lets
electric vehicles succeed in the
marketplace while creating a
positive environmental impact.
“With Microsoft Hohm, Ford
and Microsoft will deliver a
solution that makes it easier for
car owners to make smart
decisions about the most
affordable and efficient ways to
recharge electric vehicles, while
giving utilities better tools for
managing the expected changes in
energy demand,” said Steve
Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.
Since full battery electric (BEV)
and plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
vehicles need to be recharged
daily, the Internet-based Hohm
service is designed to help
customers avoid unnecessary
expense by providing insight into
their patterns of energy use and
suggesting recommendations to
In this way, Hohm will help
drivers of Ford electric vehicles
determine the best times to
recharge their vehicles.
Energizing Ford’s Product Plan
The announcement at the
New York International Auto
Show that Ford will be the first
automaker to use Hohm supports
the company’s aggressive global
electrification plan which will put
five new electrified vehicles on the
road in North America and
Europe by 2013.
In North America, that includes
this year, the
in 2011 plus a
and two next-
hybrids in 2012.
largest domestic hybrid seller,
Ford currently has four hybrids on
the road with another, the Lincoln
MKZ, coming later this year.
Microsoft Hohm is now
available for free to all U.S.
residential energy consumers.
Ford, Microsoft team up to aid
consumers of electric vehicles
By Kristopher Spencer
will let owners
of Ford electric
the best time
Visit the “Photos Videos” box
Complete New York Auto Show coverage
Inside, the MKZ Hybrid offers
hand-crafted Bridge of Weir
leather tanned by a chromium-
free process, wood trim from
sustainably sourced forests and
the new Lincoln SmartGauge™
instrument cluster that coaches
drivers to more fuel-efficient
driving habits with the only gauge
that “grows” leaves and flowers.
Sustainable luxury, driven by
technology – it’s the Lincoln MKZ
Hybrid. Its 41 mpg fuel economy
rating tops its only close
competitor – the 2010 Lexus HS
250h – by 6 mpg. The new Lincoln
can also be driven in pure electric
mode up to 47 mph, compared to
just 25 mph for the Lexus hybrid
on electric power alone.
Revealed at the recent New
York Auto Show and arriving in
showrooms this fall, the MKZ
Hybrid also trumps the Lexus with
more passenger space, more
standard luxury and safety
features exclusive to the segment.
To this world-class powertrain,
the new MKZ delivers an elegant
10 | April 2010
With the efficiency of a hybrid and the
luxury of Lincoln, the new Lincoln MKZ
Hybrid is projected to be the most
fuel-efficient luxury car in America,
achieving a stunning 41 mpg in city
driving and a range of more than
700 miles on a single tank.
2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
offers luxury – and 41 mpg
By Chris Rahi Kassab
• SmartGauge with EcoGuide
registers long-term fuel economy
with small white flowers that
bloom amid a new set of green
leaves that encourage short-term
• 10-Way Passenger Seat
accommodates riders sized from
NFL linemen (6-feet-5 inches and
300 pounds) to Olympic gymnasts
(4-foot-10 inches and 90 pounds).
• Power Driver Memory Seat
helps ensure individual seating
preferences with the touch
of a button.
• Heated and Cooled Front Seats
operate uniquely to heat or cool
the air for circulation to seatbacks
• Genuine wood trim comes in swirl
walnut or olive ash veneers from
controlled, well-managed sources.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Standard Features
exterior, a luxurious interior and
an ultra-smooth, class-leading
quiet ride for a truly refined
“Our engineers worked to
ensure the hybrid electric motor
and engine complement each
other in a fashion that is deserving
of the Lincoln customer,” noted
Derrick Kuzak, group vice
president, Global Product
Offering an impressive array of
standard luxury appointments,
interior craftsmanship and
leading-edge technologies, this
new Lincoln is a welcome addition
to a brand with a rich tradition, a
growing portfolio and a
“The new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
leads the brand in an exciting new
direction that embraces both
luxury and sustainability,” said
Mark Fields, president, The
Expanding on that point was
Jonathan Richards, marketing
“The MKZ Hybrid clearly
expands the Lincoln showroom
and it will change
the brand,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity
to draw in
customers who are
both fuel economy
“Once they check
us out, they’ll find
the best line-up of
April 2010 | 11
to draw in
– Jonathan Richards,
Luxury shoppers go green
Besides adding an important new vehicle to Lincoln’s product
renaissance, the MKZ Hybrid dovetails neatly with the upscale
trend of socially responsible consumerism.
It’s one of the most significant current trends seen among today’s
luxury consumers, said Pam Danziger, an internationally
recognized expert on consumer insights.
“They know that the choices they make have a direct impact on
the future well-being of the planet and the society they leave to
their children and grandchildren,” said Danzinger, the president of
United Marketing, of Stevens, Pennsylvania.
Danziger believes the current economic recession will change
the way luxury customers shop.
“It will no longer be about an outward show of status or wealth,
but an inner state of being linked with personal happiness and an
outstanding quality of life,” she said.
• Reverse Sensing System gives an
audible alert to objects you may not
see behind you.
• Lincoln SYNC® is the exclusive,
and entertainment system, now with
Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist.
• Keyless Entry Keypad is an
exclusive feature that provides
secure entry at your fingertips.
• Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel-Filler
provides hassle-free, odor-free
and more consistent seal.
• Personal Safety System™,
an exclusive suite of seven
proven technologies that protects
occupants, includes dual-stage
front air bags and Ford’s
• MyKey™ is an exclusive Lincoln
feature that lets parents limit
speed and audio volume to
encourage safer, more
economical teen driving.
• Integrated Spotter Mirrors provide
a better view of the driver’s
• Acoustic Laminated Windshield
enhances interior quietness.
• Bridge of Weir Leather Seats are
world-renowned for their softness
and chromium-free tanning
These features are not offered on
the Lexus HS 250h or are available
only at extra cost.
April 2010 | 13
Ford has launched a voluntary
dealership sustainability program
for Ford and Lincoln Mercury
dealers to improve the energy
efficiency of their businesses and
reduce their carbon footprint.
Sue Cischke, group vice
Environment and Safety
Engineering, said the initiative is
cost-effective, regardless of the
age and design of the dealership.
“This allows all dealers the
opportunity to participate in
improving the energy efficiency of
their facility and gives them
flexibility in making choices that
are right for them,” she said.
Besides using less energy,
“implementing these cost-
effective solutions will also
improve the dealer’s bottom line
over the long term,” said Amory
Lovins, the Institute’s co-founder,
chairman and chief scientist.
Dealers interested in the
program will first receive a
assessment by experts at Ford.
After that, Ford and the dealer
will collaborate on the energy-
saving options available and tailor
a plan that meets the dealer’s
The solutions can be used by
dealers in existing facilities or by
those building new facilities.
Besides state and federal tax
credits and incentives, dealers in
the program will have access to
the expertise and resources to
select energy-efficient products
“Through this initiative, we are
making available to dealers the
same techniques, principles and
expertise we use to reduce our
energy use and contribute to a
better world,” said Cischke.
Whether it’s your first home or your fourth – an FHA loan from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage may be the
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Ford launches voluntary
‘green dealer’ program
By Steve Kinkade
ATTENTION FORD EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES
www.mazdausa.com/splan Partner Code: F000520
Suburban Mazda of Farmington Hills Suburban Mazda of Troy Suburban Mazda of Sterling Heights
www.suburbanmazdaoffarmingtonhills.com www.suburbanmazdaoftroy.com www.suburbanmazdaofsterlingheights.com
866-353-1908 866-353-1292 888-871-3453
* All payments plus monthly use tax. Lease is for 10K miles/year. Must qualify for MAC or Mazda Owner Loyalty.
Must qualify for S-plan/ Ford Employee Purchase Program.
Prior sales excluded. Picture may not represent actual vehicle. Programs subject to change.
April 2010 | 15
After their careers at Ford, many retirees want to keep up
with the latest news and information about Ford Motor
Company and its future.
This keeps retirees in the loop and informed about the latest
from Ford – and helps them continue to be strong
ambassadors for the company.
Coming up in the next Blue Oval Connect are:
• News about new and current products
• Updates on breaking news and event promotions
• Links to important Web sites and “outside voices”
• Access to Ford retiree groups across the U.S.
• Money-saving discounts on goods and services
Just visit www.BlueOvalConnect.com to sign up for this
free electronic news service for Ford retirees.
Blue Oval Connect
links retirees with Ford
401(K) accounts (TESPHE or SSIP) , FRP (Ford Retirement Plan)
Comerica Bank (Retirees Only) : 800-647-3674
Direct deposit, tax updates, address changes
Extend Health (for Salaried Retirees):
866-427-4830 or www.extendhealth.com/Ford
Assistance regarding Medicare supplemental coverage
Ford Customer Relationship Center:
800-392-3673 Product issues, dealer issues
Ford Motor CompanyWorld Headquarters:
313-322-3000 General information, corporate directory
Phone number is located on the back of your ID card
National Employee Service Center (NESC):
800-248-4444 Questions about your benefits
Smith Barney (LL5+ Retirees): 877-664-FORD (3673)
www.benefitaccess.com or email@example.com
UAW-Ford Retirement Board: 800-829-8833
WageWorks: 866-840-0911 www.wageworks.com
Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) administration
Donald N. Frey, the engineer
who spearheaded the design
and development of the Ford
Mustang, died March 5.
Frey and his team created
the car – from approval by
top management to the
showroom – in just 18 months.
The team included designer
Joe Oros, product planner
Hal Sperlich and then general
manager Lee Iacocca.
Frey finally sold the idea to
Henry Ford II, who told him, in
rather salty terms, that the car
had better be a success. It was
– selling more than 400,000 in its first year.
Frey also helped create the Ford Bronco and became
a vice president in 1967. Later, as CEO of Bell Howell,
he helped engineer the first CD-ROM and was a key player
in getting Hollywood to release its films on videotape.
At his death, Frey still owned an original Mustang which
he liked to drive fast. But he was proudest, he said, that he
helped introduce safety features like disc brakes and radial
tires to Ford cars.
1923 – 2010
Earlier this year, Ford
began transitioning the
benefits to ACS,
a Fortune 500 company
that supports multi-
agencies in more than
100 countries around the
world. Rick Popp,
Benefits, explains this change and what it means.
Q. Why did Ford decide to make this change?
A. In the second half of 2008, as Ford was faced with
unprecedented financial challenges that resulted in continued
cost cutting actions and personnel reductions, the Employee
Benefits office began an extensive benchmarking study to see
if there were better ways to administer benefits in the U.S.
The study looked at health and welfare, pension plans, savings
plans and call center operations supporting these plans.
As a result of this benchmarking, we identified several
potential opportunities, including the integration of benefits
administration, improved technology and further
opportunities to enhance our customers’ experience.
ACS was selected based on a proven track record
administering large, complex benefit plans with high customer
satisfaction, lower costs, and state-of-the-art technology, to
name a few key considerations. ACS also planned to establish
an Employee Services Center in Allen Park, Mich., to support
Ford and other clients.
So, we saw a unique opportunity to improve services for
employees and retirees, both online and by phone, and to
reduce company costs. At the same time, with ACS’s planned
customer service center in southeast Michigan, the
partnership maintained employment for our team members at
the National Employee Services Center and created new jobs
in the area.
Q. What does the change mean for employees
A. Once the transition is complete later this year, salaried
employees and retirees will have their savings plans, health
and welfare plans, and retirement plans administration being
handled by one company, with one integrated Web site and
the same call center support system. The hours of call center
support will be increased from today’s schedule and the hours
of operation will be Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.
to 9 p.m. ET.
Q. What are some of the important transition dates
A. April 7-20 is the annual Flexible Benefits Enrollment for
salaried employees. On June 1, health and welfare benefits for
hourly and salaried employees will be transitioned to ACS. On
October 1, the defined benefit pension plan administration for
salaried employees will be transitioned to ACS. The call center
support for these administrative functions will happen at those
Q. There’s been a lot of traffic on the ACS site and on the
phones. Any tips for navigating those two systems?
A. After the first several days of 2010, where call volumes were
five times the expected level, volumes have settled to a normal
has been a matter of seconds for the past several weeks. So you
Q. Who can employees contact for support and to have
their questions answered?
A. First try www.myfordbenefits.com. But if you’re unable to
find answers online, you can call the same number as before,
1 (800) 248-4444.
16 | April 2010
Employee Benefits Director Rick Popp
explains Ford’s transition to ACS
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April 2010 | 17
Someone once said there are no
second acts in show business but
a car designed in Dearborn and
built in Italy more than 50 years
ago proved that adage wrong.
The car was the 1955 Lincoln
Futura concept, designed as
jet-age vision of tomorrow with
its hooded headlights, sculpted
tail fins and dual bubble-top.
The design was inspired by an
encounter Lincoln Mercury’s chief
stylist Bill Schmidt had with a
manta ray and a mako shark while
scuba-diving on a Bahamas
Unlike most show cars of the
era, this one was made to
be drivable and fully
it could be
used as a test
lab on wheels.
After it was
detailed plans and
running gear to Ghia, the
Italian specialty car maker.
After Ghia’s craftsmen
hand-built the Futura’s
metal body, it was painted a
pearlescent frost-blue white,
to match the shimmery colors
seen on tropical fish.
Under the dual
canopies, the interior
seats, a speedometer
in the center of the steering
wheel and a telephone.
In January 1955, the Futura
was unveiled at the Chicago Auto
Show and then traveled to auto
shows in Detroit and New York,
where Schmidt and Benson Ford
drove it from the United Nations
building to a press event in
In 1959, it was painted red so
it would photograph better when
used in the romantic
comedy, It Started
with a Kiss, starring
Glenn Ford and
But the Futura had its most
famous starring role as the
Batmobile on the campy
ABC-TV series Batman that
debuted in 1966.
The car’s front, sides and rear
were slightly modified as was its
canopy top. With the addition of a
black paint job, a police light and
bat insignias, the car was ready
for the Dynamic Duo.
With its colorful comic book
effects and famous guest stars,
TV’s Batman was a huge hit
and the Futura/Batmobile
became one of the most famous
cars in the world.
Lincoln concept car
became a Batmobile
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a concept car
to a TV star.
April 2010 | 19
Ford Focus wagon unveiled
for Europe at Geneva show
European customers will soon be able to
buy the next-generation Ford Focus
wagon, which was unveiled at the Geneva
The model is an important one in Europe,
where it is purchased by one-third of all
Focus customers. In Italy and Germany, the
wagon represents more than one-half of all
Focus cars sold.
For now, there are no plans to introduce
the Focus wagon in the U.S. and Canada.
The last year a Focus wagon was available
in North America, in 2007, it only accounted
for 4 percent of total Focus sales.
Ford Figo production begins
Less than six months after its reveal, production
of the all-new Ford Figo has begun in Chennai, India,
at a plant that has undergone a U.S. $500 million
The four-door Figo hatchback is designed and
engineered for India’s small car segment, which
accounts for more than 70 percent of the country’s
new car market.
Manufactured mainly for India, the new sub-
B-sized car will also be exported to other Asian
countries and South Africa, beginning later this year.
Canada Post chooses Transit Connect
Canada’s new mail
trucks will be Ford
In open and
Canada Post selected
Ford’s new small van to
begin replacing its aging
fleet of light vehicles.
This year, 1,175 Transit Connect vans will be purchased by
the postal system, which said they are “much more efficient
and environmentally friendly” than the existing fleet of
Grumman-General Motors mail trucks.
Ford sales rise in Europe
For the ninth month running, Ford Europe maintained its
momentum with sales increasing 1.8 percent for the month.
Ford was the top-selling brand in the United Kingdom,
Hungary and Turkey and increased its market share in eight
of its 19 main European
Led by the Fiesta, Ford
was the leading import
brand in Italy, France and
the Czech Republic and
also registered strong
gains in Spain, Poland,
Sweden and Switzerland.
Brazil launches 2011 EcoSport
The Brazilian-built Ford EcoSport has arrived in showrooms with
a freshened face, a lower price and a three-year warranty with
With the widest range of options, EcoSport is a leader in the
compact SUV market in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico.
With more than 550,000 units produced since its 2003 launch, the
EcoSport was developed entirely in Brazil for use in Latin America.
20 | April 2010
Hip-hop superstar Nelly
gives Mustang his vote
The 2011 Mustang 5.0-liter V-8 makes its hip-hop
debut this spring as part of the artwork on the
upcoming album of Grammy-winning artist Nelly.
Customized by DUB magazine, the tricked-out
Mustang GT got its start after Nelly caught a
glimpse of an early version while touring the Ford
design studio more than a year ago as part of his
partnership with the Ford Flex.
The album car features gloss black paint
with flat black racing stripes, custom 22- and
24-inch wheels, a billet grille with special headlights and a custom interior.
In Oakland, Calif., the
17 newest vehicles in the
Friendly Cab fleet are
Ford Escape Hybrids and
they’re drawing plenty of
“We have people calling our
dispatch department, saying
taxis,” says Dhar Mann, the
company’s general manager.
Driver Tim Baker said he
sometimes gets twice as many fares during his shift in one of the green machines.
Bay-area companies like Pixar and FedEx have also been using Friendly’s cabs more.
“The Mustang remains
what it’s always
been – America’s
premier pony car.
The convertible just
adds to the fun.”
– Dan Wiese,
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“We drove the Lincoln
with an Audi Q7 and
were impressed how
much quieter, nimbler
and more involving
the Lincoln was…”
– Steven J. Ewing,
“The top-selling Ford
F-150 is better-looking,
more powerful, more
refined and offers a
long list of amenities,
making it irresistible
when compared to
– Ira Siegel,
In 2000, Michael Minkin bought a new
Lincoln Town Car Executive Series to start
his own limo business in Boston. The car,
which rolled past 500,000 miles earlier this
year, is still in use every day.
“It has the original engine, transmission
and rear end and it’s never failed a client.
It’s very reliable,” said Minkin, who makes
sure his black beauty gets regular oil changes.
He figures he puts up to 1,000 miles a week
on the car, making runs as far away as
Pennsylvania, Maine and New York.
“I feel if
Hail a green taxi
had to leave
to test out the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.
In the Delaware Water Gap National
Recreation Area on the New Jersey –
Pennsylvania border, the Maxim
magazine reviewer found some hilly
gravel-and-mud roads to suit the Raptor.
He also encountered a big black bear.
“This beast saw the Raptor’s big Ford
grille and ran. Guy must have known his
trucks,” wrote Will.
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