Friday, December 21, 2012

Ford Introduces Its Versatile, Fuel-Efficient 2014 Transit Van Family

As businesses continue to look for more fuel-efficient and practical means of transportation, global sales of commercial vehicles are expected to grow by 4.8 million units in the next five years. Ford is hoping to take advantage of that lucrative market following the recent introduction of its redesigned 2014 Ford Transit Connect and its all-new full-size 2014 Transit, both of which are slated to go on sale in the United States later in 2013.

Receiving the sleek front end of the Ford Escape crossover and a new optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, the 2014 Transit Connect compact cargo van ramps up both style and cost savings compared to the previous generation. While the EcoBoost is expected to help the vehicle return more than 30 mpg on the highway, the standard 2.5-liter powerplant can also be outfitted with a compressed natural gas and liquid propane gas (CNG/LPG) prep package, catering to those business owners who want to bypass volatile gas prices entirely.

“The next-generation Transit Connect will use the latest drivetrain technology to improve upon the already impressive fuel economy of the current model, and it will do so while looking and feeling more like a stylish crossover than a van,” said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Greater Boston Ford dealer. “At the same time, Ford is offering several different configurations to meet the unique needs of small businesses and fleet owners, which means greater cost savings through increased productivity.”

Available in two wheelbase lengths, as well as with or without the second row of seats, the 2014 Transit Connect features surprising capability despite its nimble ride, including a 1,600-pound maximum payload, more than 130 cubic feet of cargo space and a newly available 2,000-pound towing capacity. Meanwhile, useful technology options like a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with navigation and the SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system help drivers’ daily tasks go more smoothly.

Even in its current form, the Ford Transit Connect remains a popular choice for businesses, with sales of the small van rising 12 percent through November year-over-year in the United States. Another in-demand Ford commercial vehicle, the E-Series, has seen its sales increase 6 percent during that same time period. After 33 years as America’s best-selling commercial van, the E-Series will be replaced by the Ford Transit next fall.

Recognizing that it would be no easy task to follow up a class leader, Ford has made its 2014 Transit as much as 25 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor. Buyers will have a variety of choices for saving on gas costs, including an optional 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and an all-new 3.2-liter Power Stroke Diesel unit, as well as a gas-powered standard 3.7-liter V6 that can also be made compatible with a CNG/LPG package. Like the Transit Connect, the Transit is designed for versatility, featuring a choice of two wheelbases, three roof heights, three body lengths, and cutaway, van, chassis cab and wagon configurations.

“It takes a lot to replace a popular, instantly recognizable vehicle like the E-Series, but when you look at the specs of the Transit, it becomes clear that the van segment is about to take a huge leap forward,” added Melkonian. “The powerful-yet-efficient EcoBoost and diesel options will provide all of the E-Series’ capability, but with an improved ride that is lighter in the turns, as well as lighter on the wallet.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Final 'Random Acts of Fusion' Adventure Comes to Stoneham Ford

Stoneham Ford and Ford dealerships across the nation are banding together to present a spectacular, one-night-only fundraising event on Thursday, Nov. 15 that will benefit local communities, engage consumers in a unique American Idol® experience and offer visitors a personal introduction to the all-new Ford Fusion.

"Go Further with Ford Night" is the fun finale to "Random Acts of Fusion," the unique transmedia program hosted by Ryan Seacrest that has generated more than 12 million consumer engagements with the Ford Fusion by playing out a story arc through multimedia platforms.

"Random Acts of Fusion has captured America’s imagination," said Lew Echlin, Fusion Marketing manager. "Go Further with Ford Night is our way of pairing that imagination with reality by offering consumers the chance to give back to their local communities, have a lot of fun, enjoy the final random act – which will test their judging skills to win a unique VIP American Idol experience – and meet the all-new Ford Fusion in person."

For each preregistered guest that visits Stoneham Ford on Nov. 15, the dealership will donate $20 -- up to a total of $2,000 -- to the Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham.

"We all want to be part of something bigger," said Echlin. "This is a great way for our customers to go further with Ford and our dealers, and to give something back to their local communities."

What: Stoneham Ford "Go Further With Ford Night" benefitting Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham

Where: 211 Main St., Stoneham, MA

When: Thursday, Nov. 15, 4 p.m. -- 8 p.m. EST

How: Preregister online at

While at Stoneham Ford, consumers will have a unique opportunity to compete to win a special VIP experience with American Idol. A computer with a webcam will be set up in the dealership to allow consumers to view a special message from Seacrest and test their judging skills on camera, in true American Idol style. American Idol premieres in January 2013 on FOX.

Entries will be sent back to Ford’s program headquarters where a team of experts will evaluate and select one winner to receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Hollywood and a unique VIP experience with American Idol.

Consumers 18 years and older who are interested in participating in Go Further with Ford Night may preregister for the event at and be entered for a chance to win tickets to a live taping of American Idol. Additionally, registrants at dealerships on Thursday, Nov. 15 will be entered into a prize drawing to win an all-new 2013 Ford Fusion. No purchase is necessary and other restrictions apply. See full official rules online for details.

All-new Ford Fusion
With its sleek new design, the all-new Ford Fusion brings alive the next generation of more expressive vehicles from Ford.

In addition to its fresh face, Fusion offers the broadest selection of fuel-efficient powertrains in the midsize segment. It offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid alternatives, a pair of EcoBoost® four-cylinder engines, a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive applications, and a choice between automatic and manually shifted six-speed transmissions.

On sale now, the new Fusion offers consumers seven must-have technologies, including a Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, active park assist and MyFord Touch®.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stoneham Ford to Celebrate Arrival of All-New 2013 Fusion on Oct. 24

Since being named Best in Show by Autoweek during its debut at the Detroit Auto Show last January, the 2013 Ford Fusion has been a highly anticipated new addition to the Blue Oval's lineup. To celebrate the end of the wait for car buyers, Massachusetts Ford dealer Stoneham Ford will be hosting a 2013 Fusion launch party this Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The dealership’s 2013 Ford Fusion launch event will have FordDirect reps on hand to answer questions, and snacks and refreshments will be served as attendees take in the car’s sleek silhouette, aggressive new hexagonal grille and laser-cut, low-profile headlights. Customers are also invited to get behind the wheel of the redesigned midsize sedan to test out the new drivetrains, including two available EcoBoost engines. Returning up to 37 mpg on the highway, the available 1.6-liter EcoBoost is efficient yet responsive, while the range-topping 2.0-liter EcoBoost offers an impressive mix of performance and fuel economy, churning out 240 horsepower and netting up to 33 mpg on the highway.

"With three different gas engines, a 47-mpg hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid coming early next year, the new Fusion has an unprecedented range of options to find your ideal combination of responsiveness and efficiency," said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford. "We can’t wait to see our customers’ reactions when they get behind the wheel and realize that the car performs just as smoothly as its sleek exterior implies."

What: Stoneham Ford’s 2013 Ford Fusion Launch Party

When: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 4 p.m. EDT -- 7 p.m. EDT

Where: Stoneham Ford, 211 Main St., Stoneham, MA

How: RSVP on Facebook at or by calling 781-438-0490.

The 2013 Ford Fusion also features a variety of available technologies to help drivers stay both connected and safe. Using touch controls and voice commands, owners can access their favorite music, make phone calls and get directions with the SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system, all while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Meanwhile, advanced safety features like the Blind Spot Information System, Lane-Keeping System, Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning can proactively protect against potential collisions.

Next month, Stoneham Ford will be offering a chance to win an all-new 2013 Ford Fusion with its Go Further with Ford Night on Thursday, Nov. 15. As the finale of Ford’s elaborate Random Acts of Fusion marketing campaign, Go Further with Ford Night enters every attendee that is 18 or older into the sweepstakes for the new car. At the same time, $10 will be donated to a local charity for each visitor at Stoneham Ford that day, for a total of up to $500. Fans of “American Idol” will also be able to test their judging skills in a virtual online contest with Ryan Seacrest for a chance to win a VIP experience during the next season of the show.

"The new Ford Fusion is a one-of-a-kind car, and the Go Further with Ford Night will be a one-of-a-kind event," added Melkonian. "It will not only be a really fun way to get customers acquainted with the redesigned Fusion, but it will also help those in need in our community at the same time."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ford Fusion Posts Sixth-Straight Monthly Sales Record in August

August marked the sixth month in a row that the Ford Fusion has set a monthly sales record in the United States, with its tally up 21 percent year-over-year. The midsize sedan moved 21,690 units last month and reached 181,865 vehicles sold for the year, an increase of 8 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Ford hopes to build upon its successful Fusion formula when a redesigned 2013 model starts arriving at dealerships this fall.

The updates to the 2013 Ford Fusion include a sharp focus on improved fuel economy, bringing two new optional EcoBoost engines. Using direct injection and turbocharging for a better mix of performance and efficiency, a 1.6-liter EcoBoost powerplant will generate 178 horsepower, while a 2.0-liter EcoBoost unit will churn out 240 horsepower. In addition to the optional Auto Stop-Start technology, new hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will also be available for even better fuel economy, though official EPA ratings have yet to be released for the new Fusion lineup.

"It's not surprising that, as gas prices go up, so do sales of fuel-efficient cars like the Ford Fusion," said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Ford dealer in Massachusetts. "However, while the current generation offers an excellent balance of efficiency, power and useful features, the 2013 Fusion has improved on all fronts."

Technology upgrades are packed into the new Ford Fusion, including the addition of the latest SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system, which keeps drivers connected to audio, phone calls and navigation through voice controls and a touchscreen. New safety features have also been made available, including the BLIS blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert and the Lane-Keeping System, which nudges the car back toward the center of the lane if it detects drifting. Meanwhile, drivers can opt for a rear-view camera to become more aware of obstacles when backing up.

Like the 2013 Fusion, technology and fuel efficiency were also high priorities during the redesign of the 2013 Ford Escape, which is now available at dealers. A new optional hands-free liftgate makes it easier to load or unload groceries and gear, while a boost in fuel economy means owners can save more than $1,500 on gas during a five-year period compared to the previous generation. The 2013 Escape earns up to 33 mpg on the highway with the same optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine slated for the 2013 Fusion.

Currently the fastest-turning vehicle in Ford's U.S. lineup, the Escape also posted its best August sales ever last month. Moving 28,188 units, the Escape was up 37 percent in August sales compared to the same month last year. To keep up with demand for its compact SUV, Ford added a third crew last month at its Louisville Assembly Plant.

"Competitors that have similar fuel economy to the new Escape are SUVs in name only, but Ford's offering returns great gas mileage while providing all the versatility that the term 'sport utility vehicle' implies," added Melkonian. "The 2013 Escape can open up to nearly 68 cubic feet of cargo space, and it has the available towing capacity to transport jet skis or a snowmobile for weekend adventures in the White Mountains."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kelley Blue Book: Ford Fiesta Is Stylish, Safe and Smart Enough for Students

Student drivers can be a demanding bunch, not to mention their parents, but both groups can be happy with the 2012 Ford Fiesta, according to Kelley Blue Book's The vehicle-information provider recently included the Fiesta on its 10 Best Back-to-School Cars of 2012 list, praising the subcompact for its fuel efficiency, safety and, perhaps most importantly for students, its cool looks.

Available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, the Ford Fiesta can return up to 40 mpg on the highway when equipped with the SFE package, meaning a budget based on a part-time job doesn't have to keep students at home on weekends. Like all vehicles on the 10 Best Back-to-School Cars list, the Fiesta is available for under $16,000, according to Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price. Meanwhile, parents can rest assured that their children are safe and secure, thanks to the car's seven standard air bags.

"Appealing to young drivers and their parents at the same time isn't an easy task, but Ford has done a great job of getting high grades from both groups with the Fiesta," said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Ford dealer in Massachusetts. "Other cars on the market with similar pricing or fuel economy don't have the head-turning style of the Fiesta. Or, if they do turn heads in the high school parking lot, it's not in a good way."

Though the Fiesta was lauded by for its fuel efficiency, it is not the only Ford grabbing headlines for gas mileage. The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid multi-activity vehicle, which will reach dealerships this fall, recently became the first Ford hybrid to earn across-the-board EPA fuel-economy ratings of 47 mpg in city, highway and combined testing. On the highway, the C-MAX Hybrid handily beats its direct competitor, the Toyota Prius v, by returning up to seven more miles per gallon. That efficiency allows Ford's new hybrid model to travel 570 miles on a single tank of gas, topping the Prius v by 120 miles.

The key to the C-MAX Hybrid's impressive fuel economy is its advanced gas-electric drivetrain, which combines an efficient 2.0-liter gas engine with a powerful electric motor that pulls electricity from a 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Power is channeled to the front wheels through an electronic continuously variable transmission, which allows for swift acceleration and smooth cruising in any circumstances.

While fuel efficiency is a standout characteristic of the C-MAX Hybrid, Ford engineers put an equal emphasis on versatility when designing the vehicle. Even with five passengers, there are 24.5 cubic-feet of cargo space, enough for groceries or camping equipment, but that number increases to 52.6 cubic-feet with the back seats folded, providing ample room for bikes, skis or home-improvement materials. The C-MAX Hybrid makes it easy to load all that gear too, with an available hands-free power liftgate that is activated by swinging a foot under the rear bumper.

"A lot of Massachusetts families need a multipurpose vehicle that doesn't sacrifice fuel economy, and the Ford C-MAX Hybrid fits that mold perfectly," added Melkonian. "Not only is it roomy, safe and incredibly efficient, it is very reasonably priced, starting at $1,300 less than the Toyota Prius v."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ford Lets Fans Star in Random Acts of Fusion Campaign

Some automotive marketing campaigns use celebrities to advertise new cars, while others use customer-centric contests, but Ford is combining both approaches to promote the upcoming release of its all-new 2013 Fusion. The automaker’s Random Acts of Fusion campaign has kicked off, using TV personalities Ryan Seacrest, Joel McHale and Kate Micucci to distribute 100 models of the 2013 Ford Fusion for fans to try out before its arrival this fall.

As a detailed ‘transmedia’ campaign running through October, Random Acts of Fusion is using online video, TV, radio and social media to develop a storyline involving Seacrest, McHale and Micucci that gives the public chances to participate in a broader 2013 Fusion documentary. Ford fans can share their ideal Fusion moment online, whether it is an elaborate road trip or a quick ride to volunteer at a local homeless shelter, and the automaker will choose 100 of the best entrants and document their trip in a 2013 Ford Fusion.

“The new Ford Fusion is a ground-breaking vehicle in the midsize segment, so it’s only appropriate that it is introduced with a ground-breaking campaign,” said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Ford dealer in Massachusetts. “We’re encouraging our customers to submit their thoughts on where they’d take the 2013 Fusion, because New England has so many great spots that we’d like to see featured.”

In addition to putting fans behind the wheel of Ford’s latest midsize sedan, the Random Acts of Fusion campaign showcases Big Acts, which give participants a chance to win free vacations by submitting themed videos and photos. Ford has also organized an assortment of Pop-Up Acts, which invite the public to join the 2013 Fusion at regional events that range from concerts to free coffee at local coffee shops. Those interested in participating in the Random Acts of Fusion campaign can visit

Featuring bolder, sleeker styling, the 2013 Ford Fusion will be available with both gas and hybrid powertrains when it goes on sale, while a plug-in hybrid option will arrive in early 2013. Among the gas engines will be 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter EcoBoost units, which simultaneously increase power and fuel efficiency over conventional engines by using turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable cam timing. Inside the new Fusion, buyers can opt for a variety of technologies, including SYNC with MyFord Touch, adaptive cruise control and a Lane Keeping System that warns drivers of unintentional lane departures.

Even with a new 2013 model on the way, the 2012 Ford Fusion continues to be a hot seller at Ford dealerships. Sales of the Fusion reached 24,433 units last month in the United States, netting a 17-percent increase year-over-year and setting a June record for the vehicle. Through the first half of 2012, Ford has moved 136,849 Fusion models, a jump of 4 percent compared to the car’s record first half sales last year.

“One of the reasons that the 2012 Fusion has been so popular is that it offers a variety of drivetrain options to meet each buyer’s ideal mix of power and fuel economy,” added Melkonian. “The 2013 model will take that variety to another level, with five efficient engines to choose from. But regardless what engine you decide on, you’ll still get to enjoy the Fusion’s aggressive new design.”