Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ford Wins Auto-Brand Popularity Contest at Edmunds.com

Popularity may be fleeting when it comes to superlatives in high-school yearbooks, but with vehicle sales, a popular model can have a lasting effect on an automaker's bottom line. For the millions of car shoppers who visited Edmunds.com last year, no other auto brand had more top-viewed vehicles than Ford, as 10 of the automaker's models were recently honored in the inaugural Most Popular on Edmunds.com Awards.

The 2014 Most Popular on Edmunds.com Awards were determined by car-shopper consideration during the 2013 calendar year -- in other words, the total number of unique monthly visitors that each model attracted to its inventory and research pages on the Edmunds.com desktop site. In addition to traditional brand favorites like the Ford F-150 and Mustang, several of Ford's cars and SUVs also earned Most Popular Awards by finishing in the top three of their respective segments, including the recently redesigned Ford Escape, Fiesta and Transit Connect van, as well as the Ford Expedition, Explorer, Taurus and Focus.

"Ford's leadership in the Most Popular Awards shows just how far the brand has come in building a well-rounded lineup that not only appeals to American buyers with capable trucks and SUVs, but also with compacts subcompacts and anything in between," said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Massachusetts Ford dealer. "A decade ago, the folks at Edmunds.com would have probably laughed if someone told them that Ford would be a sales leader in the small-car segments, but the automaker has been focused on developing the efficient-yet-responsive models that modern drivers want. And that push for incredible fuel economy has even rubbed off on its larger vehicles."

Ford's smaller cars aren't just winning over visitors to Edmunds.com, but the site's staff as well. Six of the automaker's subcompact, compact and midsize models were recently named Top Rated Cars by the Edmunds Testing Team, standing out among the more than 200 new vehicles that the auto researcher evaluates each year. After showing off their skills on a standardized road-test loop and taking to the Edmunds.com test track for controlled performance evaluations, the 2014 Ford Fiesta, Fiesta ST, Focus, Focus ST, Fusion and Fusion Hybrid all received "A" ratings when compared to competitors in the same price and size segments. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stoneham Ford Helps Stoneham High School Add New Water Filtration System

With more than $20 million raised for local schools and community nonprofit organizations, Ford's Drive 4 UR School and Drive 4 UR Community fundraising programs have been hugely successful as we look to give back to our drivers and our homes. During our annual "Drive 4 UR" events, each Ford dealership gives $20 to local schools and organizations for each qualified test-drive that occurs during the event. It's a great way to get people excited about the newest Ford models, while also advancing our communities as a whole.

Stoneham Ford has proudly contributed to this total through our Drive 4 Ur School campaign benefitting Stoneham High School. Now, we're happy to reveal that our donation of more than $3,000 from our event last October has helped provide Stoneham High School students with a new water filtration system that will help keep students happy and healthy, while reducing plastic bottle use and making the school more eco-friendly. Students elected to have the donation spent on the new water filtration system, which will be installed in place of a broken water bubbler this coming spring.

"We're happy to hear that Stoneham High School is putting the donation from the Drive 4 UR School event to such good use," said John Melkonian, general manager at Stoneham Ford. "We know that the Stoneham community is a huge part of what's made us so successful, and giving back to our schools is a great feeling."

We're always looking for ways to give back to the community at our Massachusetts Ford dealership, and when our commitment to our community also encourages Ford fans to come test-drive our cars, trucks and SUVs, we say that's all the better! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ford Gains Most Market Share Among Automakers in 2013

Ford recently announced that it was America's best-selling auto brand for the fourth consecutive year in 2013, but perhaps the most telling news is that it accomplished that feat while also gaining the most market share of any automaker. Though Ford's F-Series was again a big factor as the country's best-selling vehicle for the 32nd year in a row, annual sales records from recently redesigned vehicles like the Ford Fusion, Fiesta and Escape also played significant roles in the brand's impressive growth.

With its U.S. market share increasing by about a half a point in 2013, Ford more than doubled the gains of its main competitors while also being the only auto brand to surpass 2 million units sold. Boosted by their 2013-model-year redesigns, the Fusion midsize sedan and Escape compact SUV each moved more than 295,000 units, resulting in year-over-year sales increases of 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the Ford Fiesta subcompact rode the success of an all-new 2014 model to sell 25 percent more units than last year. Despite the introduction of next-generation pickup trucks from competitors, the Ford F-Series saw its sales rise by 18 percent in 2013, totaling 763,402 units.

"Ford's resounding success last year came from both reliable standbys like the F-150 and progressive new designs on cars like the Fusion and Fiesta," said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Massachusetts Ford dealer. "The automaker's emphasis on fuel-efficient vehicles has been instrumental to its revival in recent years, but its refusal to sacrifice style and driving fun in the process has been equally important."

Ford's turbocharged and direct-injected EcoBoost engines have gone a long way toward enabling that engaging-yet-efficient performance. In the Ford Fusion, buyers can opt for a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that returns up to 33 mpg on the highway or a 1.5-liter EcoBoost that nets up to 37 mpg. On the other hand, the smaller Fiesta is available with an award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder rated at 45 mpg on the highway or a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder on the ST performance trim that churns out 197 horsepower while still achieving up to 35 mpg.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2014 Ford F-150 Readied for Fueling with Compressed Natural Gas

Though buyers of the Ford F-150 have enjoyed big gains in gas mileage in recent years, commercial-fleet owners must still contend with fluctuating gas prices that can have a negative impact on their bottom line. For businesses that would like to cut gas costs out of the equation altogether, certain models of the 2014 Ford F-150 are now rolling off the assembly line with the ability to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Available with a factory-installed bi-fuel CNG/LPG engine package costing $315, the 2014 Ford F-150 with the 3.7-liter V6 is the only half-ton pickup truck offered with a gaseous-fuel-ready engine directly from the plant. Commercial buyers must then choose a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to install the fuel system for somewhere in the range of $6,000 to $9,500; however, the significantly lower costs of CNG would help them achieve payback in a short period. At the time of this writing, the least expensive gallon of gas in Stoneham, Mass., is $3.37, while the gallon equivalent of CNG is priced at $2.49. Not only is CNG a cheaper alternative to oil, but its prices also fluctuate less and its emissions are cleaner.
“Fleet owners who opt for the CNG-capable Ford F-150 will not only notice a big drop in their operating costs but they will also be able to confidently plan ahead knowing their fuel expenditures aren’t going to skyrocket every time there’s a conflict in the Middle East,” said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, aMassachusetts Ford dealer. “As an added bonus, the CNG/LPG engine package features hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings so drivers can fill up on both gas and CNG in separate fuel tanks to drive a range of more than 750 miles without a pit stop.”
While the CNG-ready F-150 caters to commercial customers, retail buyers of the F-150 equipped with the gas-powered 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine aren’t without their share of fuel savings. Ford announced in November that it had sold 400,000 units of the F-150 EcoBoost in the United States since the model’s launch in February 2011, and those trucks have collectively saved buyers an estimated 45 million gallons of gas when compared to the same amount of units of the 2010 Ford F-150 with a 5.4-liter V8 engine.

Friday, November 15, 2013

2014 Ford Fiesta Rides New 1.0-Liter EcoBoost to 45-MPG Highway Rating

While hybrid and diesel vehicles continue to gain acceptance in the U.S. market, some automakers are showing there are still plenty of miles per gallon to be gained in the development of traditional gas-powered engines. Look no further than Ford's award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder powerplant, which will make its U.S. debut in the 2014 Ford Fiesta later this year, allowing the subcompact to return up to 45 mpg on the highway.

By earning that impressive highway rating, the 2014 Fiesta with SE Manual EcoBoost Package will become the most efficient non-hybrid, gas-powered car in the United States, besting the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris by 12 mpg and 8 mpg, respectively. The Fiesta model will also produce 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque with its new EcoBoost, making it the only subcompact to generate at least 120 horsepower while achieving 45 mpg on the highway. Additionally, drivers can take advantage of an overboost function to surpass 145 pound-feet of torque for up to 15 seconds.

"The Fiesta's new 1.0-liter EcoBoost is innovative in both its efficiency and its responsiveness relative to its small displacement," said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Massachusetts Ford dealer. "The new Fiesta model beats the Volkswagen Golf TDI diesel and Honda Insight hybrid in highway fuel economy, yet it boasts more horsepower per liter than a Lamborghini Aventador. That means that buyers don't need to sacrifice driving fun when they downsize to a subcompact for better gas mileage."

Beyond its new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, the Fiesta with SE Manual EcoBoost Package features a number of aerodynamic enhancements to return its leading fuel efficiency, including lower grille blockers, side air deflectors, a rear spoiler, underbody shields and low-rolling-resistance tires. The Fiesta model is also rated at 32 mpg in the city and 37 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

While the 2014 Fiesta's increased fuel economy will help it solidify its popularity among younger buyers, the car continues to offer intuitive technology options that cater to millennials' affinity for staying connected on the road. A new MyFord Touch infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen and enhanced voice commands for controlling navigation, entertainment and communication functions, while drivers can use SYNC AppLink to access audio-streaming apps like Pandora, iHeartRadio and Stitcher Smart Radio.

"Younger buyers tend to view their vehicle as an extension of their mobile devices, and the Ford Fiesta allows them to safely stay connected with that technology while they're driving," added Melkonian. "They also expect more out of automakers when it comes to fuel efficiency, which makes the 1.0-liter EcoBoost a perfect fit for the Fiesta."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Amid High Demand, Ford Produces 2 Millionth EcoBoost Powerplant

When the EcoBoost engine was first made available in the Ford F-150 in 2011, its biggest challenge was convincing truck buyers that a more efficient V6 engine could be just as capable as a V8. Today, 42 percent of F-150 buyers opt for an EcoBoost, and the engine technology has spread across Ford's lineup. This month, the company built its 2 millionth EcoBoost unit globally, with output now averaging more than 100,000 engines each month, up from 65,000 per month last year.

Ford predicts that it will produce 1.2 million EcoBoost engines this year, which would be a more than 60 percent increase compared to 2012. A look at the EPA's fuel-economy website reveals the superior value of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine in a 2013 Ford F-150 with two-wheel drive. While that model is estimated to cost owners $3,000 annually based on current gas prices, a two-wheel-drive 2009 Ford F-150 with a 5.4-liter V8 will set drivers back $3,400. After 10 years of ownership, drivers of the EcoBoost-equipped F-150 would save $4,000 in comparison, and they would also benefit from an extra 55 horsepower and 55 pound-feet of torque, having 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque at their disposal.

"When you evaluate the performance and fuel-economy figures, the EcoBoost is really a no-brainer for F-150 buyers who need a truck that can handle the tough jobs but also avoid the gas station as much as possible during the daily commute," said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Massachusetts Ford dealer. "As successful as the EcoBoost's emergence in the pickup-truck market has been, it is pulling off equally impressive feats with its four-cylinder variants in several car segments."

In addition to the 3.5-liter V6, Ford's current EcoBoost lineup in the United States includes 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter units. Both of those four-cylinder powerplants are available in the redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan, granting drivers as much as 240 horsepower or returning up to 37 mpg on the highway. Later this year, the 2014 Fusion will receive an all-new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, while the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine will make its U.S. debut in the redesigned 2014 Ford Fiesta subcompact. Producing 123 horsepower per liter, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost packs in more power for its size than the engine of a Lamborghini Aventador, which generates 108 horsepower per liter.

To keep up with rising demand for its 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, Ford will begin manufacturing the powerplant at its Cleveland engine facility in 2014. That $200 million investment will shift production of the engine for the North American market away from its current location in Valencia, Spain, and create 450 new jobs for U.S. workers.

"In its few years on the market, EcoBoost technology has managed to make the rugged F-150 a surprisingly efficient vehicle while turning the small Fiesta into a highly engaging ride," added Melkonian. "Those are two very different examples, but they showcase the widespread appeal of EcoBoost engines and help explain why the technology continues to attract so many new buyers."

Friday, August 23, 2013

2013 Ford Focus Receives Top Safety Pick+ Status from IIHS

Following up its five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this year, the 2013 Ford Focus has again proven its crash-protection prowess, earning a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Though the small-car class yielded mixed results as a whole in the latest round of testing, the Focus was one of six models to receive the IIHS' highest rating.

To be labeled with the Top Safety Pick+ designation, a vehicle must achieve the top rating of "good" in four out of five IIHS crash tests, as well as score no lower than "acceptable" in the fifth test. The stringent evaluations include moderate- and small-overlap frontal, side-impact, rollover and rear crash tests. Boosted by the extensive use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel in its body structure, the 2013 Ford Focus received "good" ratings in four tests and an "acceptable" in the new small-overlap frontal test.

"Unlike some of its competitors, the Ford Focus' smaller size doesn't result in any sacrifice in safety, as its body structure is designed to absorb more energy during an impact," said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Massachusetts Ford dealer. "Beyond its rigid frame, the Ford Focus uses sensors to determine the weight and seat-belt status of front passengers, allowing the car to tailor the deployment force of airbags for maximum protection."

The Ford Focus also uses smart technologies to promote safe driving, making an accident less likely in the first place. Parents of teen drivers can program Ford's MyKey feature to limit the volume of the audio system or even completely mute sounds when seatbelts aren't fastened. Additionally, they can set the top speed of the vehicle to 65, 70, 75 or 80 mph.

While the Ford Focus is designed to fully protect its passengers, it is far from a snoozer on the road, especially for buyers who opt for the performance-focused ST model. Featuring a 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine churning out 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, the 2014 Ford Focus ST hatchback harnesses all that output with a sport suspension and high-performance front and rear disc brakes. Outside, the model's more aggressive demeanor is communicated by a bold one-piece trapezoidal grille with hexagonal mesh, an integrated roof spoiler and wraparound taillamps.

"The Focus ST is a great choice for buyers who want a hot hatch that is still a sensible purchase," added Melkonian. "It is very safe, returns a class-leading manual fuel economy of 32 mpg on the highway, and features intuitive technology like the optional SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system."