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Auto blogFri, 12 Apr 2013 11:26:00 EST
The current Ford Explorer is sold in more than 64 countries, and this three-row vehicle continues to grow in popularity worldwide. To keep up with demand, Ford began producing the Explorer at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in Tatarstan, Russia, a joint venture facility. This partnership will build Russian-market Explorers only, and production of export vehicles not destined for Russian buyers will continue to be built at Ford's assembly plant in Chicago.
Before this plant went online, Ford would ship Explorers to Russia (and other regions around the world) as partially assembled knock-down units where final assembly would eventually take place. While there is no indication as to how many Explorers Ford Sollers will build for Russia, Ford did add that exports of the SUV were up 65 percent last year (from 2011) accounting for more than 24,000 units.
Scroll down for a press release about the Russian Explorer as well as a video (bad music and all) showing the SUV being produced in Tatarstan.
Ford F-450 claims best-in-class towing, company abandons practice of removing items to boost payload numberTue, 02 Sep 2014 18:30:00 EST
The ongoing heavy-duty truck battle between Ford and Ram is showing no signs of slowing down. The Blue Oval is trying to remove at least one point of contention between the two brands by testing its 2015 F-450 Super Duty using the Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 towing standard, which Ram also uses. In the new evaluation, the F-450 is rated at a max towing capacity of 31,200 pounds. That's an identical amount as under Ford's own, previous test.
"We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds - whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development, in the company's release.
At the same time, Ford is also changing how it calculates the F-450's payload. Instead of using its minimum curb weight as before, the brand is now using the truck's base curb weight. The revision lowers the pickup's rating to 5,300 pounds, compared to 5,450 pounds previously. The company said in its announcement that the reason for this is "aligning its payload rating practices with other manufacturers to make it easier for customers to compare vehicles." General Motors made a similar switch for its pickups in August.
You will probably remember the ads for the Ford Figo hatchback in India, the ones that showcased the extra large boot of the little hatchback by joking that you can fit three of your enemies in the trunk. One of the ads had Michael Schumacher in the front seat, obviously pleased about having Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso tied up in the back. But the other two had Paris Hilton and ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi up front and three bound and gagged women in the back - in Hilton's case (shown above), it was the Kardashians.
This did not go over well, and Reuters reports that certain employees at JWT India have been fired over the matter. It is also reported that the images weren't actual advertisements, nor were they part of an actual campaign; JWT said they "were never intended for paid publication, were never requested by our Ford client." A JWT rep said the employees who created the ads did so on their own, Ford commented to Automotive News that the ads were "part of a creative exercise intended to test concepts for an advertising competition."
The problem, if the story is to be believed, is that the employees skipped the regular review protocols and uploaded their work to an ad industry site - they were found on Ads of the World. That page, like the employees, has been removed.