2013 Ford Escape in Portland soon, production has begun!

Portland Ford dealer, Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro, is celebrating production of the all-new Ford Escape at the company’s transformed Louisville Assembly Plant, one of several U.S. manufacturing sites where Ford is adding jobs to meet strong customer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. To contacdt Mackenzie Ford, call (800) 783-0863.

Ford already has added 1,800 jobs at Louisville Assembly Plant and is adding 1,300 additional workers to a third shift this fall, bringing total hourly employment at the plant to 4,200.

Nationwide, Ford has added more than 5,200 hourly jobs already this year. With Louisville’s third-shift in place, by year end, Ford is set to deliver more than half of the 12,000 additional jobs it committed to add by 2015.

The company invested $600 million to convert Louisville Assembly from a plant producing body-on-frame SUVs into a facility that builds America’s most fuel-efficient small utility vehicles with automatic transmissions.

“Today marks a celebration of progress and transformation,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Louisville Assembly Plant’s reinvention illustrates how Ford is going further, continuing to invest in American manufacturing and new jobs while delivering even more of the fuel-efficient vehicles that give customers true power of choice.”

The upgraded Louisville Assembly Plant is capable of producing up to six different vehicles at the same time, making it Ford’s most flexible U.S. plant.

As part of the upgrade, Ford installed new tooling and improved equipment in the plant’s final assembly area and body shop, including more than 1,000 robots and 20 miles of conveyors. Reprogrammable tooling in the body shop allows the plant to produce multiple vehicle models at the same time without requiring downtime for tooling changeover.

“Manufacturing flexibility is critical to staying competitive in today’s global automotive marketplace,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford vice president of North America Manufacturing. “Our ability to produce up to six vehicles from a single plant gives us a sizable advantage in quickly adjusting our products and volumes to match changes in customer preferences and market factors.”

Louisville Assembly is the third Ford plant in North America to retool from producing traditional body-on-frame trucks and SUVs to fuel-efficient vehicles from global platforms.

The company’s investment in Louisville is supported by strong partnerships at the state, county and local level, as well as by Ford’s green partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. Louisville Assembly Plant is one of 11 Ford facilities in the U.S. participating in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program initiated by Congress and implemented by the Obama administration.

“This is a day of celebration for Ford and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Production of the new Escape not only means thousands of jobs for Kentuckians, it boosts our GDP, tax revenue, and raises the level of the Commonwealth’s robust automotive industry, which is already one of the top five in the nation.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer added: “This is a great day for our city. Ford’s history and Louisville’s history are intertwined, and today we begin a new chapter in that heritage – a chapter of business expansion and job growth.”

The all-new Escape, which is on sale now, offers strong fuel economy and customers’ choice of two EcoBoost® engines – a 2.0-liter four-cylinder as well as a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that delivers 33 mpg highway, which is 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4. The Escape also features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 31 mpg highway.

In addition, Escape delivers 11 features no other small SUV offers – including a hands-free liftgate with motion-sensing technology, SYNC® with MyFord Touch® and active park assist. The Escape also features a new Ford Intelligent 4WD system that provides even better traction off-road.

The Louisville-built Escape is the first of the new line of compact SUVs to be built off of Ford’s global C-car platform. The same vehicle will be built and sold in Europe and China, where it is called Kuga, although there will be unique powertrains and features for customers in those markets.

Ford’s global supply network is playing a key role in the launch of the Escape, as well as the economic development of the Louisville area. Several major suppliers have invested more than $56 million locally and are in the process of adding more than 900 jobs, many of which will support the Escape. Suppliers that expanded operations include:

Magna Seating of America Inc., which invested nearly $20 million to build a new 140,000-square-foot plant in Shepardsville, Ky., and will eventually employ 450 people. Magna supplies seat assemblies, fascias, the rear subframe, upper control arms, rear camera module, trailer tow module, fixed back glass and the rear bumper beam
Faurecia, which invested $19 million at its Faurecia Interior Systems plant in Louisville. The facility will have 260 employees at full production – 250 dedicated to producing the Escape instrument panel. Faurecia also supplies exhaust systems
Martinrea International expanded its Shelbyville, Ky., operations with a $12 million investment, adding 150 jobs. Martinrea makes body stamped subassemblies, the front subframe and fuel filler pipe
Piston Automotive invested $5.5 million and added 50 jobs, many of which are supporting the Escape launch. Piston makes cooling module assemblies for the Escape

In addition to its manufacturing presence, Ford continues to play a significant role in the Louisville community. Through its Operation Goodwill with area dealers, Ford and its manufacturing operations expect to donate more than $1.5 million in 2011 and 2012 combined, supporting local nonprofit agencies.

Portland Ford Taurus dealer sells best full-size car, according to U.S. News & World

Portland Ford Taurus dealer, Dick Mackenzie’s Ford in Hillsboro is pleased that four Ford models have been selected for U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 Best Cars for Families awards. These awards help busy parents navigate a confusing automotive market by identifying the cars that offer the best combination of factors important to everyday families.

Editors selected Ford Taurus as the best full-size car for families because, “An expansive interior, strong crash test ratings and Ford’s MyKey system – which lets parents set speed limits to help keep new drivers safe – make the Taurus a strong choice for families who have kids in car seats as well as teens.”

Beaverton Ford Taurus shoppers will notice that quality begins with its distinctive design. Vehicle appearance is a significant purchase reason for full-size sedan buyers. Taurus is muscular and athletic, with design cues – such as the lower trapezoidal grille opening – that give some visual linkage and family resemblance to other nameplates in the Ford showroom.

Exterior craftsmanship for the new Taurus has been improved through the employment of digital pre-assembly. This advanced technology enables engineers to address potential issues in Taurus manufacturing while still in the online phase, and ensures precise, uniform surface gaps and margins once series production is initiated. Taurus was benchmarked against premium European sedans for exterior fit-and-finish superiority.

Taurus’ interior craftsmanship is elevated through expanded use of soft-touch, high-quality materials inside the cabin. Upgraded materials across the instrument panel and throughout the center console are evidence of continuous improvement.

Other Ford winners include the 2012 Fusion, Fusion Hybrid and Edge.

Portland Ford Fusion dealer announces 2013 Ford Fusion win “Eye on Design” award

Every year at the Detroit Auto Show, the Eyes on Design awards honors the best designs among production vehicles and concepts debuting that year. Unlike, say, the North American International Car and Truck of the Year awards, the only vehicles eligible for an Eyes on Design award are the ones that introduce themselves to the world – well, really just North America – in Detroit.

What’s particularly interesting is that the judges for these two awards (one for production vehicles and the other for concepts) are all active or retired designers themselves, so they know a little something about the topic. This year’s group includes, among others, Volkswagen head of design Walter de Silva, President and CEO of SRT Ralph Gilles, and GM Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn.

This year, the Eyes on Design awards were handed out to the 2013 Ford Fusion in the production category and the Lexus LF-LC in the concept category. The Fusion’s fellow finalists were the 2013 BMW 3 Series and 2013 Cadillac ATS, while the LF-LC eked out a W over the Chevrolet Tru 140S and Lincoln MKZ.

Ford updates Sync Destinations with voice controls, better traffic data

Ford is extending its AppLink support to its own Sync Destinations app, finally providing voice control and including more accurate, real-time traffic and rerouting data thanks to its partnership with Inrix.

Surprisingly, you weren’t able to access the app through voice commands before, but this latest version of Destinations allows the driver to access all the traffic, saved routes and direction services without having to tap their phone or touchscreen.

In addition to routing to saved destinations, users can send an address from their smartphone directly to the Sync system, get real-time traffic data with rerouting and report accidents, which helps increase the accuracy of Inrix’s crowd-sourced traffic information.

The updated app for iPhones will be rolling out soon, but Android users will have to hold out for a few more months

Dick’s Mackenzie Ford Presents Check to Liberty High School

Last May, your Portland Ford dealer, Dick’s Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro and Hillsboro’s Liberty High School teamed up for a fundraiser to raise money for sports and extracurricular activities  for the school. In a time when school funds are being cut left and right, Dick’s and Ford recognize that high schools need to raise funds to support their extracurricular activities.

The fundraiser, Drive One 4 UR School, was developed as a unique and exciting way to engage the local community and support their fund-raising efforts. Your Oregon Ford dealer partnered with Liberty High School to conduct this test-drive fundraising event. For every valid test-drive completed, Ford Motor Company donated $20 to Liberty High.

Recently, Shannon Inukai-Cuffee, vice-president at Dick’s Auto Group, presented a check for $3,280 to Liberty High School. We are so incredibly happy and proud to be a part to help this wonderful school and wish all of the students at Liberty success and prosperity in their academic endeavors.

Portland Ford dealer sells the winner of the most Ideal Vehicle Awards!

Your premier Portland Ford dealership is pleased to announce that Ford Motor Company has scored more wins in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVAs) than any other company!

AutoPacific bases the IVAs on 72,000 owner ratings of 2011 model year vehicles across 15 key attributes including power, acceleration and interior roominess. Those vehicles that owners say they would change least are deemed the most ideal. For the fourth year in a row, Ford F-150, for sale in Portland won in the Large Light-Duty Pickup category. Winners for two straight years include Ford Fusion, for sale in Portland, as Premium Mid-Size Car, Ford Fusion Hybrid, for sale in Portland, in the Hybrid category, Ford Super Duty, for sale in Portland, in Large Heavy Duty Pickups and Lincoln MKZ in the Luxury Mid-Size Car group.

The Large Crossover SUV and Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV went to Ford as well, with Flex and Explorer, respectively, ranking as most ideal.

You can find the entire lineup of Ford vehicles at Portland Ford dealer, Dick’s Mackezine Ford, in Hillsboro. We are part of Dick’s Auto Group. When you’re looking for your new or used Ford in Portland, pick Dick’s!

Ford Wins 2011 Automotive News Suppliers’ Choice Award

Children these days are lucky! When my family took road trips when I was a child, I would be squished in the back seat with my siblings, sometimes bored out of my mind. Now, there are so many innovative extra’s that come in vehicles and Ford is at the forefront in the development!

Ford Motor Company, which is working closely with suppliers to offer increasing levels of new technologies in its vehicles, was named a winner of the 2011 Automotive News Suppliers’ Choice Award.

The award, announced at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual conference here, recognizes outstanding work in bringing innovations to market. Winners were chosen through a detailed survey of suppliers that J.D. Power and Associates conducts for Automotive News every two years. It ranks North American automakers on their ability to support, foster and commercialize the suppliers’ innovations.

Ford’s top performance in 2011 follows a significant improvement in the 2009 study, and is the latest example of Ford’s continuously improving supplier relations. Ford uses the principles of its Aligned Business Framework (ABF) to guide how it works with suppliers. In addition to collaboration and transparency, ABF promotes early sharing of product plans and new technologies between Ford and its key suppliers.
“Smart technologies are a distinguishing feature of Ford vehicles and we are collaborating more closely than ever with our suppliers to put these in customers’ hands,” said Tony Brown, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing. “It is gratifying to see that our efforts are paying off, because they represent a win for both Ford and our suppliers.”

The new Ford Focus, for sale in Portland at Dick’s Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro, shows how Ford is working closely with suppliers to equip vehicles with numerous technologies that enhance customer comfort and convenience – technologies that are normally associated with luxury vehicles. The Focus includes 14 key technology benefits, such as the Active City Stop feature that helps drivers avoid low-speed collisions, that are the result of early cooperation with suppliers during the car’s development process.

In the Automotive News survey, automakers are evaluated on five factors: openness to new ideas; ease of working with the automaker on innovative ideas; level of trust; willingness to provide financial incentives or rewards for supplier innovation; and ability to implement innovations.

The 2011 survey included responses from supplier CEOs, presidents and executives, and represents all areas of vehicle design, engineering and manufacturing. Responses on 15 automakers that manufacture vehicles in North America are included.

The survey, launched in 2003, was conducted for Automotive News by J.D. Power.

You can check out the entire lineup of new Ford vehicles in Portland at Portland Ford dealer, Dick’s Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro. We are part of Dick’s Auto Group.