History of the Chicago Auto Show

Chicago Auto Show

One of America’s most popular automotive events, the Chicago Auto Show was held for the first time in 1901. It debuted in March at the third Chicago Coliseum. The first show included electric, steam, and gasoline-powered vehicles. It also offered an indoor track where visitors could test drive the vehicles.

The show continued each year after that, and by 1935 it had grown significantly and was moved to the International Amphitheatre. This year was also special, because in 1935 there were two Chicago Auto Shows. There was the usual one in January for 1935 models, and then a second one in November to debut 1936 models. This was the first time that the model year was debuted before the calendar year.

Because of World War II and its effects, the Chicago Auto Show took a hiatus between 1941 and 1949. In the second half of the 20th century, the show moved back to McCormick Place, then back to International Amphitheatre, then back to McCormick Place where it is held today.

Today, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in all of North America, taking up more than 1 million square feet. With new vehicles and concept vehicles debuting every year, it’s an exciting place to learn about what’s new in the automotive industry.

Ford Ranger Production Kicks Off at Michigan Assembly Plant

2019 Ford Ranger

Truck lovers, rejoice: the 2019 Ford Ranger is on its way. In late October, Ford began production on this all-new vehicle at the Michigan Assembly Plant, marking the occasion with quite the celebration. The automaker constructed an off-road course in the parking lot and invited the plant’s 3,000 employees to take part in the festivities. As Erik Williams, the Michigan Assembly Plant Manager, stated, “We have been waiting for this day for a long time. The Ranger is back home in the U.S., and our employees at Michigan Assembly Plant are thrilled to be able to build it for our customers.”

The new Ford Ranger is part of a larger rejuvenation project for the Michigan Assembly Plant, which has been a staple of the Ford family since 1957. To pave the way for the Ranger’s production, Ford invested $850 million into the plant. The plant will also produce the all-new Ford Bronco, which is expected to begin production in 2020. Not only are these cars geared towards American drivers, but their production at the Michigan Assembly Plant provides well-paying jobs for Americans.

The Ford Ranger is a midsize pickup that arrives to compete. This tough and sophisticated truck will come equipped with a standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that delivers 270 horsepower and boasts best-in-class torque, towing, and payload. Ford has been closely monitoring the wants and needs of American drivers, and the Ranger will surely capture the hearts of many adventurers.

Thanksgiving Day Options in Roselle, IL

Thanksgiving in Roselle, IL

Autumn has arrived in Roselle, Illinois, and that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Prepping for the big holiday can be daunting, but here at Friendly Ford, we have some suggestions for how keep your sanity during this hectic season.

Take the family out

If you lack the space for entertaining but still want to gather with loved ones, Wildfire Restaurant has a solution for you. Stop in from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. this Thanksgiving Day and enjoy a full family-style spread, including spit-roasted turkey with all the fixings — even gluten-free options.

Gather loved ones at home

If you have the space but lack the time or the cooking know-how, Catering Sensation has options to fit your needs. Turkey, ham, and sides are prepared fresh here every day, including Thanksgiving. You can either stop by to pick up your food or schedule a delivery by or before 1:30 p.m.

Give back

If you’re just looking to give back this Thanksgiving, consider helping out with WACO’s 23rd annual food drive. It runs from Oct. 29 to Nov. 16, with opportunities to volunteer on Nov. 17 to sort out donations. Another way to give back is by participating in Roselle’s fifth annual Turkey Tango Trot 5K. This race will be held Thanksgiving morning at 8 a.m., with all proceeds kept in the community. It’s a great way to contribute locally — and to work up an appetite for the big meal.

Redesigned 2019 Ford Focus Coming to Europe but Not USA

2018 Ford Focus

As part of its effort to revise its lineup into a collection of only crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, Ford has given the Focus a next-generation redesign. The 2019 Focus will come in multiple forms, including the Focus Active, which is a taller, crossover-like version.

Unfortunately, the new import tariff imposed on automakers has compelled Ford to exclude the Focus from its North American lineup. The Focus Active, which is built in China, would cost the automaker and buyers far too much to be worth bringing to America, so the redesigned 2019 Ford Focus sedan and hatchback will only be available in Europe and Asia.

One of the most appealing features of the 2019 Ford Focus is the expanded back seat area. The new Ford Focus will offer class-leading rear knee-room at an additional 1.97 cubic inches over previous model years. Additionally, the new Ford Focus expands rear shoulder room by adding on an additional 2.4 inches. The 2019 Focus features expanded rear windows that stretch further back, making the new Focus feel more spacious for passengers of all sizes.

While we still have plenty of new 2018 Ford Focus models and pre-owned Ford Focus models available at Friendly Ford, we will not be getting the Europe-exclusive 2019 Focus Active here at Friendly Ford. So, get your hands on one of the new 2018 Focus models we have in stock while they’re still available!

Ford Celebrates Incredible Achievement of 10 Million Mustangs Built

Ford Mustang

Ford first unveiled the Ford Mustang in 1964, and it was an instant hit with performance enthusiasts who loved the car’s stunning profile and exhilarating drive. Since then, the Ford Mustang has attained legendary status, consistently pushing the envelope when it comes to high-end performance and design. Recently, the car achieved a new milestone when the 10 millionth Mustang rolled off the assembly line.

Ford Mustang No. 10 Million was a 2019 GT convertible in Wimbledon White. This milestone car was built in August at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan.

To commemorate ate such an incredible achievement, Ford gathered 60 Mustang owners from every Mustang model year to spell out “10,000,000” in the parking lot of the assembly plant. As if that weren’t memorable enough, the event also featured three vintage P-51 Mustang fighter planes performing a flyover.

The 2019 Ford Mustang pays homage to this long legacy of excellence while also looking to the future. With a stunning fastback profile and more power than ever before, the 2019 Mustang is waiting for you here at Friendly Ford. Stop in to learn more from our experienced sales staff or to take one out for a thrilling test drive.

Keeping Your Car Cool In Summer

Keeping Your Car Cool

There’s a certain dread that comes with getting back into your car on a hot day. The muggy, thick air and the blazing hot steering wheel are enough to make even the shortest commute home unpleasant. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to keep your car cool in the summertime.

Avoid Sun

When possible, parking in the direct path of sunlight, and especially if you plan on being parked for a long period of time. Search for shade, be it beneath a tree, in the shade of a tall building, or in a garage or underground parking facility. This will go a long way toward keeping your vehicle cool on hot days.

Keep Windows Cracked

Keeping your windows cracked just a bit can improve air circulation in your car, therefore keeping your car cooler. When you do crack your window, however, make sure that it’s just enough that nobody could potentially reach into your car and unlock the door.

Cover Leather

If you’ve ever had a car with leather seats, then you know how hot they can get during the summer. To keep your skin from getting burned when you sit back down, purchase seat covers for the summer or put blankets down while your car is parked.

Use Sunshades

Putting reflective sunshades in your vehicle’s windshield will help keep intense sunlight away. This will prevent you from having to deal with hot seats and steering wheels, making your trip home all the more comfortable.

Keeping your car cool is one thing, but what if you need a cool car? Look no further than Friendly Ford, where we’ve got the latest and coolest vehicles that Ford has to offer.

June Employee Spotlight – Billy Dewbray

Billy Dewbray, Product Specialist at Friendly Ford in Roselle, IL

  1. Please tell us a little bit of background information: some of your previous jobs, and how you got into your Product Specialist position at Friendly Ford?

I bartended for a few years and met a guy named Jim Orlando, who happened to be a vendor for Friendly Ford. He got me an interview with Jeff Conn, the GM at Friendly. Needless to say Jeff and I hit it off and I have been here for the past 8 years.

  1. Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

No, I have never lived in Roselle, but it is a great little town and I love being a part of the community here!

  1. What are your current job responsibilities as a Product Specialist? What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day in my shoes is to call people that are interested in purchasing a vehicle, touch base with past customers to make sure that they are happy and see if they need anything else from me. I like to constantly check our inventory and see what new vehicles came in and try to find them a new home! I also Talk to customers that are here and see if I can help them at all. It all sounds pretty easy I am sure, but trust me it is quite the opposite!

  1. What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish at Friendly Ford as you move forward?

My immediate goals are to make as many deals I can. I would like to eventually get out of the actual selling position and climb the ladder.

  1. What do you like most about your job and what makes you passionate about your line of work?

The thing I like most about my job is that I work with some great people. We truly are a family here and that is not something that is easy to find! I understand that buying a car is a huge investment and I like to really get to know my customers and find them the perfect fit! When I can get someone into a car that they love, that makes my whole day!

  1. What would you consider to be your dream car?

My dream car is an Aston Martin DB11!! Ever since I saw James Bond I have been obsessed with Aston Martins!! If you have one bring it by and let me take a look!!

Billy Dewbray, Product Specialist at Friendly Ford in Roselle, IL

  1. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

I enjoy golfing, going to as many sporting events as I can, spending time with my family and friends. I really enjoy just hanging out, trying new restaurants, relaxing and having a few drinks with my wife!

  1. What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I am a HUGE Chicago sports fan.. Well except for that team over on the North Side!!

  1. If someone made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you and why?

Jeremy Renner! If you haven’t seen any of his movies you need to. Obviously I don’t personally know him, but what I know of him he seems like a great well rounded man. One of my favorite quotes by him is, “I live my life through fear. If I’m afraid of it I’ll do it just so I’m not afraid of it anymore.” That always has stuck with me that you can’t live life full of fear. If something scares you all the more reason to do it!

Eric Schmit – Friendly Ford Employee Spotlight

Body Shop Director Eric Schmit is our employee spotlight for April at Friendly Ford

  1. Please tell me a little bit of background information – some of your previous jobs, how you got into your Body Shop Director position at Friendly Ford?

I have been with Friendly Ford for my entire working career. I started almost immediately out of college and graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. I was looking for a teaching job and could not find one in the middle of a school year. I had worked part-time as a service porter at another dealership. I was lucky enough to have been turned onto this opportunity at Friendly Ford, and received a job as a Service Advisor. To be honest, it was my intention to continue to look for teaching jobs and go into the field I had gone to school for. At first, I was a little intimidated at the fast-paced automobile service industry. But as the weeks, months, and years went by I felt a special connection to my working family: owners, employees and customers. The job really wasn’t a job anymore. I developed such strong relationships with customers that they would put the keys in my hand and state, “Just do whatever the vehicle needs, I trust you.” It was these relationships that made my job so enjoyable. I continued on like this for about eight years until one day my boss, Randy Yockey, called me into his office and told me he wanted to make me a Body Shop Manager. To be honest I was a little apprehensive. I knew nothing about that side of the business but, “sure boss I will give it my best try.” Now nine years later we have grown the business into something really special and have partnered with a nationally recognized body shop franchise with CARSTAR. I could not have done all of this without the daily support of everyone I work with. I also could not have succeeded without the support of my loving wife Kelly and two kids Jacob and Chloe.

  1. Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

I have always lived in the western suburbs and I currently live in Glen Ellyn

  1. What are your current job responsibilities as Body Shop Director? What is a typical day like for you?

I oversee all aspects of our body shop franchise. A typical day is managing the flow of the body shop and stay in constant communications with customers, employees, insurance partners, and vendors.

  1. What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish at Friendly Ford as you move forward?

My goal is continue to grow the business and continue the outstanding relationships with everyone I have met through the years. Not a lot of people truly love their jobs, but this isn’t just a job, it’s being a part of the “Friendly Family”. Moving forward I want to strengthen the body shop we already have and possibly expand our footprint to other areas.

  1. What do you like most about your job and what makes you passionate about your line of work?

The one thing I love the most about my job is simply working with people, taking an unfortunate situation and making it into a positive experience.

Friendly Ford Body Shop Director Eric Schmit

  1. What would you consider to be your dream car?

My dream car is a Ford GT.



  1. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

I love to watch my kids play sports, such as baseball and cheerleading.

  1. What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I am a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan who cried like a baby when the Cubs finally won the World Series.

  1. If someone made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you and why?

The actor I would love to portray me is Joe Pesci, because he is short like me but makes up for his shortcomings with a fiery personality.

New On-the-Go H2O System Developed by Two Intelligent Kids

Ford's new On-the-Go H20 System is useful and environmentally friendly

Ford recently worked with two smart kids to develop one of their ideas in order to make it a reality. Siblings Daniel and Lara Krohn discovered on a road trip that water that is typically wiped from the windshield can actually be used to clean the windshield in lieu of washer fluid. This could just save billions of liters of water over the course of years.

From the Science Fair to the Factory

According to Ford, the Krohn’s idea was developed into a full-size test car after the siblings presented at a local science competition. Daniel, who is 11, and Lara, who is 9, came up with the idea to recycle rain water on a road trip with their father, Gerd. The two used a pump from a toy fire engine and an aquarium filter system to test the idea, which was later developed by Ford engineers.

“Daniel and Lara’s idea has been staring drivers in the face for decades – and it has taken one moment of ingenuity to bring it to life. In less than five minutes of rainfall the washer reservoir is completely full,” said Theo Geuecke, supervisor, Body Exterior Hardware, Ford of Europe.

On-the-Go H2O

The On-the-Go H2O system, as dubbed by Ford, was reworked into a full-sized version on a Ford S-MAX test car. It captures water via rain and condensation, filtering it for washer fluid. However, engineers were also able to collect and purify the water to such as degree that it was drinkable. Basically, you can now get a fresh drink of water from the moisture in the air.

Be on the lookout for new technology like this at Friendly Ford!

Unveiling Ford at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

It was a great year for Ford at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Another Detroit Auto Show (also known as the North American International Auto Show) has come and gone. It was a big year for Ford, whose luxury arm Lincoln received the North American Truck of the Year Award for its Navigator SUV. But more importantly for Ford fans, Ford unveiled a number of new high-performance models.

Ford at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

  • 2019 Ford Ranger: Ford unveiled the new 2019 Ford Ranger at the auto show in January. The new Ranger mid-size truck is built with high-strength steel, is powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine, and boasts a class-exclusive 10-speed automatic gearbox. The Ranger will compete directly with the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
  • 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby® GT500®: In 2019, Ford will unleash its most powerful street-legal production car ever. The new Mustang Shelby GT500 will be more than twice as powerful as the original 1967 Mustang.
  • 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt: The Shelby GT500 wasn’t the only Mustang on display in Detroit. It shared the stage with the 2019 Mustang Bullitt, which is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that will achieve at least 475 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque with a top speed of 163 miles per hour.

These are just three of the hottest new Fords on the horizon. To see what’s current—including the all-new 2018 Expedition and redesigned F-150 and Mustang—stop into Friendly Ford.