Behold the Newly-Expanded Ford Escape’s Storage Space!

Sometimes, it seems like no matter how much storage you have in your car, you always need more. Auto manufacturers are always looking for new ways to optimize storage space for drivers looking to get a little extra out of their vehicle. Recently, Ford did that exact thing with the new Ford Escape’s storage space. Featuring an entirely redesigned exterior, the 2017 Escape is said to have 25% more storage in the front row and 15% more storage overall compared to the previous model year.

2017 Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape

The most drastic change is that of the center console, which is now 50% larger and is designed to be more comfortable and ergonomically efficient for the driver’s right arm. Additionally, the all-new electronic parking brake system freed up space in the interior for two new storage areas, a larger media bin with power ports, a new glove-box, and improved cup holders.

Ford senior Interior designer Zulf Ali said, “That whole center console area is what we call ‘Manhattan real estate’ because it’s valuable. It isn’t a lot of space to work with, but as a designer, those constraints are exciting. It’s a challenge that forces you to be more creative–to ask yourself, ‘OK, how can we get clever with this?’”

Last year, the Escape—Ford’s #2 best-selling vehicle—tied for first place on J.D. Power’s highest-ranked compact SUV of initial quality. However, designers and engineers who worked on the new Ford Escape are confident that the dramatic changes to the SUV’s interior and technology will help solidify its standing. The 2017 Escape is already available in showrooms with the spacious redesigns and extra storage.

Ford Drives U

schoolThe “broke college student” stereotype exists for a reason. Between the rising cost of tuition and how much money students spend on textbooks every semester, the prospect of purchasing a new car can seem like a distant post-graduation dream.

However, Ford is here to help. With the Ford Drives U program, eligible college students can apply for a $500 incentive and better finance rates; now that distant dream of owning your own brand-new car can become a not-so-distant reality.

You can sign up for the $500 in bonus cash right on Ford’s website to see if you’re eligible for the program. Once you sign up, you’re pre-registered until Ford approves you for great rates through Ford Credit.

In order to be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a full-time or part-time student at an accredited four-year college or university, junior college, community college, or trade school
  • Graduate between the dates of May 1, 2014 through January 3rd, 2017 (yes, recent graduates are still eligible!)
  • Be a student in an accredited Graduate School program

The Ford Drive U program began January 5, 2016 and will end January 3, 2017. Only Ford vehicles in the model years 2016 and 2017 are applicable. In order to become approved for the program, you must bring Proof of Student Eligibility, including a copy of your diploma, a copy of your final transcript, a letter of intent, or proof of enrollment status such as a current class schedule, reported card, or a dated letter from the school itself. Applicants must be enrolled in at least two classes or the equivalent of six credit hours.

Lincoln Vehicles to Excel Following Large Ford Investment in Luxury Segment

Ford plans to put $5 billion or more into Lincoln vehicles and their designs. Within five years, a Ford investment in luxury segment Lincoln vehicles will replace or revitalize every single one to guarantee improvement and future success. The Lincoln overhaul is necessary to give the brand some traction in the luxury segment and the ability to compete with rivals fairly.

USA Today said, “The investment will include developing a big, new vehicle platform unique to Lincoln, meant to give the brand a chance to challenge the top BMW and Mercedes-Benz models.” Having a luxury lineup that is new and exciting will no doubt make the company more profitable, but it cannot be achieved without a large sum of money or a huge time investment. Luckily, Ford is willing to put in both to make a respectable luxury brand.

Lincoln will use the new D6 design, which will be the base for a new line of vehicles in 2019. The D6 will give Lincoln a distinctive look from Ford, making it sophisticated like other luxury brands on the market. Before the D6 launches, the brand will first give its current models updates.

Try out our many Ford models at Friendly Ford now!

Ford Fusion Sales Lead Brand to Good September Numbers

Ford Fusion Sales

2014 Ford Fusion

It’s been quite a year for the Ford Fusion, which just recorded its fifth straight month of record-breaking sales performance in September. The Fusion sold 29,452 vehicles in September alone, a huge percentage of the 137,297 vehicles sold in September for the brand overall. The Fusion wasn’t the only vehicle to perform well, though; the Explorer and Transit Connect also posted great numbers, making up for a lower volume in F-Series trucks while the new F-150 gets prepared.

“Fusion is selling strong, with five straight months of record performance and California driving more than 20 percent of our retail growth this year – more than any other state,” said John Felice, Ford Vice President, US Marketing, Sales and Service. “Lincoln produced its best sales results in seven years with the recent introduction of our all-new Lincoln MKC.”

Come see us at Friendly Ford to check out any of these awesome best-selling vehicles and to keep our streak of great sales going for the rest of 2014!

Ford F-150 Configurator Open for 2015 Model Year

Ever wish you could build your dream truck, but you just haven’t the tools to do it? Good news—now, you do! Ford recently announced that the F-150 configurator is ready to go to work for you, creating the perfect 2015 F-150 for even the pickiest pickup truck lover.

F-150 Configurator

2015 Ford F-150

With this new configurator, you are free to pick and choose features as you please. Are you one who prefers a touch of luxury? The King Ranch might just be the truck for you. As the most expensive option—even more so than the top-end Platinum model—this trim provides you with both premium technology and the versatility of a Ford truck. For those who want to bring the blue jeans with them everywhere they go, the F-150 offers a specific color blue called—you guessed it—Blue Jeans.

As we approach the aluminum F-150’s release, make sure you click here to check out this new configurator. If you are interested in seeing the truck firsthand, keep an eye on the dealership lots at Friendly Ford for its arrival!

Ford Is a Job Creator: 1,200 New Jobs at Kansas City Plant Are Added

When it comes to adding jobs to our economy, Ford is totally winning. Back in 2011, Ford told the United Auto Workers union it would add 12,000 hourly jobs by 2015. Well, 2015 is nearly here and that number already exceeds 14,000. Now, Ford has announced that it is adding 1,200 new jobs to the Kansas City Assembly Plant.

“The job growth we have created in U.S. manufacturing is a testament to our strong partnership with the UAW, the union’s competitiveness, and the growing demand for Ford’s portfolio of cars, utilities and trucks,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas, in a press release. “Adding a second shift to Kansas City Assembly Plant adds more jobs to this community, and it also helps deliver more Transit vehicles to more customers throughout North America.”

The 1,200 jobs at Kansas City Plant will create a second shift at the facility to support the Ford Transit, which is rapidly gaining in sales.

Since 2011, Ford has added 3,600 jobs at the Louisville Assembly Plant, 1,800 jobs at the Michigan Assembly Plant, 1,700 jobs at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, 600 jobs at the Kentucky Truck Plant, 230 jobs at the Chicago Stamping Plant, and more elsewhere.

Way to go, Ford, for helping so many people get back on their feet!

Millennial Car Shopping: The Young and Active Are Ditching Cars for Crossovers

Millennials are growing up. Gen Y (people born anytime from the early 80s through the early 2000s) are turning in their compact cars that got them through college and their first jobs, and upgrading to something bigger.

millennial car shopping

2015 Ford Explorer

Crossovers and SUVs are taking over this generation’s top car choice, and it makes sense. Sports, active lifestyles, adding pets, and even starting families make a roomier car an ideal choice. Millennials are looking for cars they can see themselves growing into the next phase of their lives in. An SUV is great for throwing their bikes in now, and loading their babies in later.

The older Millennials are about 32, and that means they are more often holding down stable jobs with higher incomes than the generation behind them. Purchasing a new SUV or crossover is not such a far reach for people falling into this category.

A study conducted by Maritz Research surveyed 122,000 participants and found that cars remain top choices for Millennials overall, but the percentage considering a small car has fallen from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 9.7 percent.

According to the data compiled by Maritz Research, Ford has climbed to the top of the list in sales consideration among millennials – meaning that regardless of whether or not Millennials actually have the means to buy a Ford, the automaker is their top choice over any other brand.

millennial car shopping

2014 Ford Flex

“The trend of millennials starting families comes at the same time Ford is updating or replacing nearly its entire product lineup,” said Amy Marentic, Ford global car and crossover marketing manager. “These fastest-growing segments – like small utilities – coincide with Ford’s product strengths.”

Friendly Ford has an entire lineup of best-selling crossovers and SUVs. The Escape, Explorer, and Edge are ideal cars for an active lifestyle.

Ford Sends ST Owners to Octane Academy

Octane Academy

2014 Ford Fiesta

Ferrari and Jaguar send buyers of their most exotic racecars to racetrack lessons; what’s the point of owning a Ferrari and not knowing how to tame the beast? These automakers don’t want you making a fool of their cars while you’re out and about, trying to strut your stuff.

Not all of us can afford a Ferrari or a Jaguar, but for driving enthusiasts in the market for a more reasonable sports car, Ford is offering a free day of training at the ST Octane Academy to anyone who buys a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST.

Ford Fiesta ST Specifications

Focus ST Specifications

Located at Miller Motorsports Park near Park City, Utah, the Octane Academy happens to be one of America’s longest, most lavish racetracks, according to Yahoo Autos. The Miller Motorsports Park opened in 2006 and has been ground zero for Ford driver training, including extreme off-roading.

Octane Academy

2014 Ford Focus

The training day begins with a classroom session which outlines safety, the track, and an overview of the program. Everyone then heads to their cars and the real fun begins. Drivers practice rotating the cars around cones at 90 and 180-degrees using steering, clutch and handbrake, and even go so far as to practice reverse 180-degree spins.

Next up: an intense timed autocross course where drivers wind and sprint through orange cones, including slalom and figure 8’s.

After lunch, drivers are hooked up to outriggers that raise the car’s tires slightly off the pavement, creating a simulation of driving on ice. It can’t all be fun and games, can it?

The day wraps up with a visit to the East portion of the Miller circuit. Instructors get in the passenger seats and offer invaluable tips over the course of six laps. After that, drivers get wide-open free time to put their new skills to work and push their cars to their limits.

All in a day’s work, right?

Stop by Friendly Ford to learn more and check out a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST for yourself!

Redesigned Focus for 2015

Redesigned Focus for 2015

Current Ford Focus

The results are in and the Ford Focus was the world’s best-selling vehicle nameplate in 2013! The Focus really boosted sales with a 50% sales growth in China and with registrations in the US up 8.1%.

The Focus’ next stop is the New York International Auto Show where it will debut its four-door sedan and its electric version. The Focus hatchback and wagon both debuted at the Geneva Motor Show back in March sporting improved performance and many great upgrades.

The 2015 Ford Focus will feature MyKey®, a heated steering wheel, and 10 different wheel options available for all trim levels. New for 2015 is the SE Sport Package, a performance enhanced Focus featuring paddle shifters, advanced suspension, new body treatments, and 17-inch black wheels. The SE Sport Package is a great option for those who love the Focus, but also value performance and uniqueness.

Ford is thrilled that the Ford Focus was the number-1 selling nameplate in 2013. They hope to keep the momentum running for years to come. At Friendly Ford, we are proud to carry the best-selling nameplate and we look forward to the 2015 making its way to our lot in Roselle!

Ford’s March Sales

Ford Motor Company had the best March it has seen in eight years! Vehicle sales were up 3% year-over-year and there were 244,167 units sold last month. Ford attributes much of its success to the Fusion and its excellent lineup of F-Series trucks.

Ford's March Sales

Ford F-Series

Through the month, Ford sold a whopping 70,940 trucks which beat out their 70,000 benchmark and was an increase of 5% from last year. It is important to note that the 70,000 benchmark has only been beaten four times; therefore March was an extremely good month for the F-Series. Along with the ability to do some serious work, the F-Series of trucks pack comfort, technology, and reliability making them excellent family vehicles as well.

Ford's March Sales

2014 Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion was sold 32,963 times which was an increase of 9% year-over-year. This car was introduced in 2005, and has since really taken hold of the sedan market. The Fusion offers style, class, and efficiency making it an all-around great vehicle. Many people choose this sedan because of its exceptional interior space and luxurious feel. It’s safe to say that the Fusion was a great addition to the Ford family almost 10 years ago.

If you would like to see why these vehicles lead the way for Ford sales in March, stop by our Chicago area dealership. The team here at Friendly Ford will be happy to assist you in choosing the perfect vehicle to fit your needs!