Product Competitiveness

Our financial turnaround has been based largely on our ability to deliver high-quality, innovative and desirable products everywhere we operate, in both mature and rapidly growing markets. To further our progress, we are continually improving quality and customer satisfaction and anticipating and responding to changes in customer demand. We have aligned our product development, manufacturing and marketing organizations worldwide to deliver the right products to the right markets as efficiently as possible.

We see ourselves as much as a technology company as a car company, and our cars, utilities and trucks are more technologically connected than ever. Everything we do is based on technology innovation, whether it is quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design or value – the hallmarks of our ONE Ford plan.

We’re leveraging technology to change the way people think about midsize cars. We started this journey in 2006 with an all-new Ford Fusion that was designed to win market share from popular Japanese midsize sedans. In the years since, we have continued to improve the Fusion, adding hybrid and plug-in hybrid models that are bringing more new buyers to the brand than any other Ford vehicle.

The global Ford lineup is now one of the most extensive in the industry and includes a full spectrum of offerings from innovative small cars (B-platform products), such as the Fiesta or Focus, to large, commercial trucks sold around the world.

We have realigned our capabilities to deliver better products faster than ever before. We are continuing our investment in flexible manufacturing, which reduces costs for each new product and lets us shift production at an individual plant from model to model to address changes in customer demand quickly.

We are making swift progress on our commitment to platform consolidation. In 2007, we utilized 27 different vehicle platforms. By 2014, we will have 14 total platforms, and we are on track to meet our target of nine core platforms globally. By 2013, more than 87 percent of our global volume will be produced across just nine core platforms. One of these platforms – our global C-platform, which underpins a number of vehicles including the best-selling Focus – will produce more platform volume than any other automaker, which is evidence that small cars are a clear global priority. Our new B-sized Fiesta and C-sized Focus are now among the best-selling nameplates in the world. Over the past few years, we have been reinventing our global portfolio of vehicles – small, medium, and large; cars, utilities, and trucks – and have a mid-decade target of selling approximately 8 million vehicles around the world.

Giving Customers a Choice

Ford offers customers a range of electrified vehicles to meet customer needs. We leverage our global platforms to achieve engineering efficiencies. Coupled with our commitment to standardized flexible production facilities, this provides Ford with the advantage of producing vehicles to meet unique customer preferences or changes across markets as they occur in real time. More important, our commitment to provide economy leadership with every all-new or significantly refreshed product is unwavering.

The new C-platform is a good example. The 2013 Focus SFE, with 2.0-liter gasoline-engine technology, is among the fuel-economy leaders in the U.S., delivering an EPA-rated 40 mpg on the highway. In Europe, the same Focus with a 1.6-liter diesel engine enjoys fuel economy/CO2 leadership in the most competitive diesel market in the world. The Focus is also available in North America as Ford’s first full battery-electric vehicle offering and is among the leaders in charge rate and range. The Focus Electric has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to offer 110 MPGe in the city. (MPGe is a mile-per-gallon equivalency metric for electrified vehicles.) (Read more on our electrification approach.)

In addition, the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid sold in North America are built on the same C-platform and deliver leadership against competitive vehicles. Lastly, our first global C-size sports car, the Focus ST, delivers more than 250 horsepower from an advanced 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine. All of these vehicles, from the Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi to the high-performance Focus ST, are built for North America at the same plant – Michigan Assembly Plant – running on the same line, resulting in lower overall costs.

EcoBoost® Production

To meet rising consumer demand for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, we’re investing nearly $200 million and adding 450 new jobs at our Cleveland (Ohio) Engine Plant. The plant was the first to produce EcoBoost engines and will continue to be a cornerstone of our strategy to deliver affordable fuel economy for millions.

Production of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost for North America is currently based in Valencia, Spain. The investment in Cleveland will shift North American production to Ohio, while Ford’s Valencia Engine Plant will remain the exclusive production location for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost for vehicles built in Ford Europe. Valencia will continue to produce and ship parts for these engines to North America. Production will begin in North America in late 2014. Cleveland Engine Plant currently builds the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and 3.7-liter V6.

In 2013, we will expand EcoBoost production to 1.6 million engines – nearly 100,000 above the previous target. We expect to sell more than 500,000 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles in the U.S. in 2013 – a sizeable increase over the 334,364 sold in 2012.

Our Sustainable Technologies and Alternative Fuels Plan, which highlights how we will meet our product carbon-dioxide reduction goal, has positioned us to lead in our industry and will help us meet new regulatory emissions standards. In the U.S., government regulations will require approximately 35.5 mpg (fleet average) by the 2016 model year – a 30 percent improvement from the 27 mpg required for 2011 models.

As consumer demand for smaller vehicles increases, we need to provide the vehicles people want, and provide them profitably, in order to remain a sustainable business.

Customer-Driven Innovation

Our customers are looking for ever more ways to personalize their vehicles and driving experiences. What better way to meet that need than engage them in developing the technologies they want? We’re looking for customers to design driver-friendly apps that will enhance their driving experiences. In early 2013, we became the first automaker in the world to launch an open developer program that enables software developers to directly interface with the vehicle and create their own apps.

The Ford Developer Program marks a dramatic shift in how we will innovate new features and add value to our vehicles. Opening the car to developers gives consumers a direct voice and hand in the creation of apps that can help our products remain relevant, up to date and valuable to our customers.

According to a recent Nielsen survey, more than half of all American mobile subscribers now use smartphones of some kind, and two-thirds of newly activated phones can run apps. Globally, there are now more than 1 billion smartphone users, a population that is expected to double by 2015. More than 55 billion apps have been downloaded from the leading digital markets, and American users have an average of 67 apps on their devices.

When we first introduced SYNC in 2007, there was a need for an appropriate way to connect and control cellphones and digital music players in the car due to the massive consumer adoption trend. Offering voice control so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road has proved to be popular with our customers. Now, with an even faster adoption rate of smartphones, there is a need for a renewed focus on voice control for the unique capabilities of these devices, especially for the use of apps.

Engaging innovators outside of the Company is a key part of our strategy to be consumer-driven in all aspects of our business, helping us not only satisfy what’s going on today, but setting us up for innovative solutions to the challenges coming in the future.


Download Summary Report

Ford’s 2012/13 Sustainability Report is summarized in this 8-page downloadable document.

Visit our Downloads page for this report in full or as separate sections along with supplementary publications.