To match FEATURE FORD-CHINA/

Η Ford είναι χαρούμενη από τις πωλήσεις που πέτυχε το 2012 στην αγορά της Κίνας, αφού πούλησε συνολικά 426.608 αυτοκίνητα (+31%), ενώ το μόνο τον Δεκέμβριο είδε τις πωλήσεις της να αυξάνονται κατά 43%, αφού πούλησε 70.510 αυτοκίνητα. Η Ford έχει βάλει ως στόχο έως το 2015 να πουλά 15 μοντέλα της στη Κίνα, όπου ανάμεσα τους θα υπάρχουν τα EcoSport, Kuga, Edge και Explorer.

Στις σχετικές ειδήσεις, η Μπλε Οβάλ εταιρία ανακοίνωσε ότι θα προσλάβει 2.200 μόνιμους υπαλλήλους της στα εργοστάσια της στην Αμερική μέσα στο 2013 ενώ στο περιθώριο της CES ανακοίνωσε το πρόγραμμα Ford Developer Program, το οποίο είναι ένα πρόγραμμα ανάπτυξη apps, στο οποίο όποιος επιθυμεί μπορεί να συμμετάσχει. Η Ford θα παρέχει τη βάση πάνω στην οποία θα κατασκευαστούν τα apps από τους developers, οι οποίοι θα δημιουργήσουν εφαρμογές έτσι τα smartphones των ιδιοκτητών να επικοινωνούν με το σύστημα ενημέρωσης και ψυχαγωγίας SYNC.

Τέλος η Ford πουλά στο κομμάτι της το εργοστάσιο Wixom Assembly Plant εμβαδού 1.000 στρεμμάτων. Το εργοστάσιο, γνωστό σήμερα ως  Ford Renewable Energy Park, έχει εδώ και χρόνια κλείσει και από το 1957 που άνοιξε για πρώτη φορά έχει κατασκευάσει μεταξύ άλλων τα Lincoln Continental, Ford Thunderbird, Town Car και το θρυλικό Ford GT.

[Πηγή: Ford]

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Ford China Delivers another Record Sales Month, December Sales Up 43%; Annual Sales Up 21%

– Ford China 2012 wholesales reach 626,616 vehicles, up 21%; December sales up 43% – CAF passenger car 2012 wholesales reach 418,500 vehicles, up 31%; December sales up 60% – JMC commercial vehicle 2012 wholesales reach 200,008 vehicles, up 3%; December sales up 14%

SHANGHAI, China, 7 January, 2013 – Ford China set an annual sales record in 2012, selling 626,616 wholesale vehicles, up 21 percent from 519,390 wholesales in 2011. For the fourth month in a row Ford also set a monthly sales record, with 70,510 wholesale vehicles sold in December, up 43 percent from 49,238 a year earlier.

“Record 2012 sales highlight the positive response our customers have for our full portfolio of high-quality, safe, fuel-efficient and smart vehicles,” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. “Their enthusiasm for Ford cars validates our aggressive plan to introduce 15 new vehicles, double production capacity, and double our China dealership network-all by 2015.”

Ford also set records for annual passenger car sales, which include the imported Ford Edge. 2012 passenger car sales are up 31 percent with 426,608 wholesale cars sold compared from 324,802 in 2011. December passenger car sales reached 50,569 wholesale cars, an increase of 59 percent compared from 31,729 in December 2011.

Ford’s passenger car joint venture Changan Ford Automobile (CAF) broke records as well this year, with 418,500 wholesale Ford-brand cars sold in 2012, a significant increase of 31 percent from 320,658 in 2011. CAF also had a record December, selling 49,212 wholesale Ford-brand passenger cars, up 60 percent from 30,788 in 2011.

The Focus, which was repeatedly named the best-selling nameplate in China in 2012, continued to drive great sales performance in December, with 36,868 wholesale cars sold. For the year, Focus sales totaled 296,360 wholesale units.

Edge sales are up 44 percent in December and 96 percent for the year with 8,108 wholesale cars sold in 2012 compared from 4,144 in 2011. Year-to-date Mondeo sales are also on the rise, up 6 percent in 2012 with 68,334 wholesale cars sold.

Sales at Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), Ford’s commercial vehicle investment in China also broke both monthly and annual records. December sales grew by 14 percent with 19,941 wholesale vehicles sold compared from 17,509 vehicles last year while JMC’s 2012 total sales reached 200,008 wholesale vehicles, up 3 percent from 194,588 last year.

Ford to Hire 2,200 Salaried Workers in the U.S. This Year, Building on Aggressive 2012 Hiring to Support New Products

  • Continued aggressive pace of new Ford products creates need for largest U.S. hiring for salaried workers in more than 10 years
  • Ford plans to hire 2,200 salaried workers in 2013 to fill jobs in such key areas as Product Development, Manufacturing and IT; recruiting through social media being expanded
  • The hiring builds on the creation of more than 8,100 salaried and hourly jobs in the U.S. in 2012 – including 1,000 in-sourced hourly positions; Ford is more than halfway to its goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015 to support new products and investment

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 11, 2013 – Ford Motor Company plans to hire 2,200 salaried workers in the U.S. this year – the largest increase in new salaried workers in more than a decade – to support the continued aggressive pace of new Ford product introductions.

The hiring is in addition to the more than 8,100 combined hourly and salaried jobs Ford added in the U.S. in 2012, as the company increased production capacity and expanded Engineering, Manufacturing and other areas to meet the growing demand for its fuel-efficient, high-tech vehicles. Approximately 1,000 of these positions were hourly jobs brought back to Ford plants in the U.S. from other locations, including suppliers in Japan and Mexico.

The company now is more than halfway to the 12,000 new U.S. jobs it committed to deliver by 2015 as part of its 2011 contract with the United Auto Workers.

“Our One Ford plan is designed to create profitable growth, and our new hiring is a direct result of our plan working,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “As we expand our product lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles, we need more people in critical areas – such as in a range of engineering activities, vehicle production, computer software and other IT functions – to ensure we deliver the vehicles people want and value.”

Ford’s U.S. hiring also will help support the company’s global product momentum. Ford is committed to serving customers in all markets with a full family of vehicles offering the best in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.

To attract new team members, Ford is expanding its use of social media to reach new, technology-savvy workers, including such sites as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The company also is stepping up its recruiting efforts to reach military veterans.

All salaried job openings at Ford are posted on the Ford Careers website at www.careers.ford.com.

Interested candidates are encouraged to follow Ford recruitment on key networking sites, including Twitter (http://twitter.com/FordCareers) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FordMotorCompanyCareers). Individuals who “like” the Ford Careers Facebook page and follow Ford Careers on Twitter will receive regular updates about new career opportunities at Ford Motor Company.

The company also announced in late December it is spending more than $773 million on new equipment and capacity expansions across six manufacturing facilities in southeast Michigan as it delivers on a commitment to invest $6.2 billion in U.S. plants by 2015.

The investments in Michigan will create 2,350 new hourly jobs and allow the company to retain an additional 3,240 hourly jobs. The 2,350 new positions also are part of the 12,000 hourly jobs Ford is adding across the U.S. by 2015.

“We are proud to expand our U.S. manufacturing operations in line with our aggressive new product introductions – and to create more jobs,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford vice president of North America Manufacturing. “This would not be possible without the cooperation of our UAW partners. By working together, we have crafted labor agreements that improve our competitiveness and allow us to bring jobs back to Ford and the U.S.”

About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2013 – Providing developers the information and tools needed for the creation of relevant, voice-activated experiences inside the car, Ford Motor Company today announces the launch of the Ford Developer Program (http://developer.ford.com) at the 2013 International CES.

Utilizing the SYNC® connectivity system and AppLink™ application programming interface (API), Ford becomes the first automaker in the world to launch an open developer program that enables software developers to directly interface with the vehicle and create apps that will enhance the driving experience.

“The Ford Developer Program marks a dramatic shift in how we will innovate new features and add value to our vehicles throughout the ownership period,” said Hau Thai-Tang, vice president of Engineering, Ford Global Product Development. “Opening the car to developers gives consumers a direct voice and hand in the creation of apps that can help our products remain relevant, up to date and valuable to our customers.”

According to a recent Nielsen survey, more than half of all American mobile subscribers now use smartphones of some kind and two-thirds of newly activated phones can run apps. Globally, there are now more than 1 billion smartphone users, a population that is expected to double by 2015. More than 55 billion apps have been downloaded from the leading digital markets, and American users have an average of 67 apps on their devices.

“When we first introduced SYNC in 2007, there was a need for an appropriate way to connect and control cellphones and digital music players in the car due to the massive consumer adoption trend,” continued Thai-Tang. “Offering voice control so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road has proven to be popular with our customers. Now, with an even faster adoption rate of smartphones, there is a need for a renewed focus on voice control for the unique capabilities of these devices, especially for the use of apps.”

A recent Frost & Sullivan study shows one in five survey respondents acknowledge using apps while driving with absolutely no connection to the vehicle. While SYNC provides connectivity and voice control for phones and music players via Bluetooth® or USB, AppLink provides a voice-activated interface, allowing drivers to control smartphone apps without the need to pick up their devices. First launched in 2010, SYNC AppLink provides industry-leading voice command and control of mobile apps including popular services like Pandora personalized radio, Stitcher smart radio, NPR News, iHeartRadio digital radio and Scout personal navigation. “The car presents an all-new opportunity for developers, especially the millennial market, and we’re looking forward to seeing what results,” said Thai-Tang. “Engaging innovators outside of the company is a key part of our strategy to be consumer-driven in all aspects of our business, helping us not only satisfy what’s going on today, but setting us up for innovative solutions to the challenges coming in the future.”

Millennials – those aged 18-33 – are particularly interested in customizing their experience with consumer products. Four in 10 respondents to a survey of millennials by Edelman 8095 want the opportunity to influence the products they use. Selecting and using apps is one of the easiest ways to personalize the functionality of both communications devices and vehicles they connect to for a unique user experience.

Ford Developer Program Ford has been in a beta test with a group of invited developers as they work out details of the software development kit (SDK), documentation and technical support systems. With more than three dozen AppLink-compatible apps publicly available on Apple iOS and Google Android, the SDK is now mature enough that Ford engineers are ready to let the vast ecosystem of developers try it out.

The Ford program is similar to those at technology companies including Apple, Google and Facebook. App developers who want to enable their creations for AppLink can now register at http://developer.ford.com to download the AppLink SDK. The SDK contains code libraries and documentation for the APIs that enable two-way communication between mobile apps and the vehicle including voice commands from the driver.

“Since launching AppLink, we’ve worked with developers ranging from a two-man startup at Roximity to large organizations like National Public Radio and Major League Baseball,” said Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink. “The experience we gained from these projects as well as supporting hackathons at TechCrunch Disrupt and Facebook has helped us refine the development and testing process.”

In addition to the libraries and documentation, developers will have access to technical support directly from Ford engineers and online discussion forums where they can share lessons learned with other developers.

Developers who have a great idea for an app but need some help building it can turn to jacAPPS.Michigan-based jacAPPS will be the recommended mobile app development house for the Ford Developer Program. The company has been chosen to provide development and technical support to third-party developers wanting to create voice-activated smartphone apps for Ford SYNC AppLink.

“Our focus is to enhance the driving experience by minimizing the distractions caused by hand-held usage of smartphones while driving,” added Marchwicki. “We know consumers are using apps such as music and navigation while driving; therefore, by making AppLink available to developers, we can help ensure relevant apps can now be voice-controlled.”

Currently, the three main categories of AppLink-enabled apps include: News and Information, Music and Entertainment, Navigation and Location.

Once a developer has incorporated AppLink code into the app, it will be submitted for review by Ford engineers to ensure it works properly and is suitable for use in the vehicle. Once approved, Ford will then work with the developer to provide a distribution license, after which the app is submitted to the relevant app marketplace.

New AppLink-enabled apps In addition to the launch of the Developer Program, Ford has worked with several new partners to offer SYNC AppLink-equipped vehicle owners all-new voice-activated versions of their apps.

To showcase the global nature of the Developer Program and launch of AppLink in Europe and Asia later this year, Ford has announced a collaboration with Sina to enable its Weibo mobile app with AppLink for use in Ford vehicles to provide news, weather, microblogging and location-based services. Sina is an online media company serving China and the global Chinese communities. The digital media network of SINA.com (portal), SINA.cn (mobile portal) and Weibo.com (social media) enables Internet users to access professional media and user-generated content in multimedia formats from the Web and mobile devices and share their interests with friends and acquaintances.

“Our Developer Program is open and available to anyone around the world,” said John Ellis, global technologist for Ford Connected Services. “A key advantage of our approach is the ability to quickly have relevant apps and services to support the launch of AppLink in Europe and Asia, by making it easy for local developers to tell us what the most popular and important apps are to suit the buyers in that region.”

Other new app partners that joined the existing Ford AppLink ecosystem include: News and Information • Wall Street Journal – The Journal’s interactive app now features live and on-demand radio programming to stay on top of the latest news, markets, technology and lifestyle coverage from the nation’s largest newspaper • USA Today – Get 24/7 access to the latest USA TODAY content. Hear headlines from News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel categories. Play, pause, skip and go back within and between stories, for an easily customized listening experience • Kaliki – Radio talent reads audio versions of the most compelling articles from a variety of magazines and newspapers such as Shape Magazine, TV Guide, Men’s Fitness, OK! and Agence France-Presse. Launching with local papers in Detroit and Los Angeles with more publishers to come later in the year. All the content in Kaliki is free, with no subscription required Music and Entertainment • Amazon Cloud Player – Drivers can listen to their personal music collection streamed from Amazon’s cloud-based music locker service • Aha Radio – Voice control of more than 30,000 stations of your favorite Internet content – radio, on-demand music services, news, entertainment, podcasts, audiobooks, social feeds, personalized restaurant, coffee, weather and hotel stations, and more • Rhapsody – Listen to millions of songs, plus radio stations and expert-created playlists from America’s top premium subscription music service on the road • Greater Media – Listen to live streams of favorite radio stations from around the United States Navigation and Location • Glympse – Provide friends and family with an ETA and update of your location in real time on a dynamic map, completely hands-free • BeCouply – Get instant suggestions for cool date ideas in your area SYNC history SYNC was co-developed by Ford and Microsoft based on the recognition that consumer electronics evolve much more rapidly than vehicles. The connectivity system was architected to work with the mobile devices that drivers use every day, while providing an upgrade path that can bring new capabilities into the vehicle.

Since debuting in 2007 on the Focus, Ford has added numerous features to SYNC including AppLink, 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report and SYNC Services, a cloud-based service network featuring traffic reports, turn-by-turn directions, business search, news, sports scores and movie listings.

“Thanks to our partner Microsoft and their expertise, we have turned the car into a development platform with extensive opportunities to continue to add value through new features delivered at the speed consumers now expect,” said Doug VanDagens, global director of Ford Connected Services. “With more than 1 billion smartphones now in service around the world, we expect mobile connectivity will continue to grow in importance.”