My trip to Detroit for the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show) with Ford has been nothing but excitement. From my first flight that took me to Detroit, but returned to Toronto due to bad weather to my 12 hour chill in the airport that concluded with another cancelled flight. Finally, today there was some light at the end of the tunnel. I made it on the 830 am flight (by the skin of my teeth!) and landed in Detroit with enough time to drop my bags in my hotel room and dash over to the COBO for the big FORD conference.
The Ford news conference was hosted by none other then the host of America’s favourite television show, American Idol, Ryan Seacrest. Ryan Seacrest has collaborated with Ford for many years on American Idol so it only seem right that he sit down with CEO Mark Fields and President Bill Ford to discus what the future has in store for the FORD Family!
Looking Forward with Ford
Today’s society is not happy with the world we live in. Too often they are fed coping mechanism, placebo and copy cat ideas to satisfy their problems. This year, Ford is taking a new approach to their customers needs with new concepts that are inspirational, full of ingenuity and strengthen the sense of self identity.
The Ford news conferences released its new Ford Pass Programs that I think will hit home with a lot of frustrated consumers and make you a valuable member of the Ford Family
1. Lease Share Program – This program is designed to allow up to 6 families to share the terms of a lease. Great for families in the city, where a car is not essential but a luxury they would like to include in their life. This program is setup through digital technology that allows the families to stay in contact, make usage arrangements, and share the cost of a single lease. The pilot for this program starts next month in Austin, TX. As well, if any lessee doesn’t use up all of the allotted kilometers on their contact, they can receive a discount on their next purchase.
2. Autonomous Vehicle Advancements – Ford, along with many other car companies have been investing in autonomic vehicle features like park assist, but this year Ford has taken it further. They have partnered up with IBM to create a mobile platform that uses things like heart beat and blood pressure to help assist your driving. If the driver becomes tired, their body signals will tell the car. A few other examples of Fords ingenuity is their cars will be able to locate parking spots, avoid gridlock with an alternative parking space, and this year, they are putting a special interesting in adapting their autonomous vehicles to provide stellar performance in the snow.
3. Ford Pass By far my favourite outcome from the Ford news conference was the announcement of the Ford pass. Ford as always treated their customers like a family and now they want to grow that family into a customer friendly community. The pass works to provide their customers with not only a great vehicles, but personal mobile assistance 24 hrs a day, discounts on brands you use every day(ie 7 Eleven and McDonalds), special events and opportunities to provide you ideas and input, as well as cool features like an auto car start from your phone! Ford will begin by opening hubs in San Francisco, New York and Shanghai.
This was only day 1 and I was blown away by the advancements that the future holds. I can’t wait to see the positive impact they have on society.
Which feature mentioned above are you most excited about?
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