Product Development

In Ford’s Global Product Development System, environmental objectives – including targets for fuel economy, vehicle emissions, the use of recycled and renewable materials, and restrictions on substances of concern – are defined at the outset of the design process for every new Ford vehicle. We track our progress toward these targets throughout product development.

As part of our ONE Ford global integration process, we are developing targets for a range of vehicle attributes, including for fuel economy, quality and safety that aim to make our vehicles either leaders or among the leaders compared to competitor vehicles in the same segments. We develop these competitive vehicle attribute targets for every vehicle program, to deliver on key customer demands and Ford strategies, by using a range of consumer data, internal brand data and competitor vehicle data. Based on this process, in 2009 we committed that every all-new or redesigned vehicle we introduce will be the best in class or among the best in class for fuel economy in its segment. Since that time, we have followed through on this commitment with vehicles introduced in both the U.S. and Europe, and we will continue to do so in future product launches. For examples of 2010 and 2011 vehicles that meet this commitment, please see Vehicle.

In addition, we have identified global leaders and attribute teams within Ford who coordinate the development of the global product attribute targets in key areas such as sustainable materials, recycling, materials of concern, vehicle interior air quality and vehicle lifecycle issues. These leaders coordinate the global implementation of our corporate sustainability strategies and support our ONE Ford strategy to harmonize product development across regions.

We use our Design for Environment (DfE) tool to bridge the gap between product development and environmental management. DfE uses simplified lifecycle assessments and cost calculations, substance restrictions, checklists and other tools to identify and reduce significant impacts. We are continuing to broaden the range of issues we consider in our product development process as we move from Design for Environment to Design for Sustainability (DfS). Ford of Europe’s Product Sustainability Index is incorporating DfS principles, to improve each vehicle’s environmental, social and economic performance.