Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn has released a marketing campaign highlighting the importance of American manufacturing and celebrating the resolve and flexibility of its workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The automaker will reopen its North American plants on Monday after a two-month shutdown.
The new campaign, which includes three television ads and social media content, underscores how Ford’s workforce shifted gears to develop medical supplies and personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were produced by Wieden and Kennedy, which has U.S. offices in Oregon and New York, and include a voiceover by actor, director, and producer Bryan Cranston.
“The auto industry is the backbone of America’s economy, and we’re proud of our workers’ resolve and dedication to quickly pivot and produce life-saving personal protective equipment during the coronavirus, making a real difference when the country needed us,” says Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Americas and international markets group.
“Now Ford is ready to lead the way in safely restarting our U.S. factories, reopening other facilities essential to delivering the vehicles our customers need, and doing our part to help restart the country.”
Ford’s phased restart will include renewed vehicle production at key plants and bring back about 12,000 employees who cannot work off-site. Ford parts distribution centers resumed full operations in North America this week, supporting Ford dealers in providing service.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ford has implemented safety and health protocols including health assessment measures, personal protective equipment provisions, and facility modifications to increase social distancing.
Built to Lend a Hand, a payment relief program for existing customers, was created in response to the pandemic. Ford then created an initiative for new customers that allowed up to six months of payment relief with the purchase of a new vehicle.
“Our initial communications focused on assistance and reassurance,” says Matt VanDyke, director of U.S. marketing for Ford. “The next phase of communications is about recovery. Ford is America’s car company. We’re looking toward the future and staying committed to our customers – what they want, what they need – each step of the way.”
Ford has developed powered air-purifying respirators approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The company has produced more than 400,000 reusable surgical gowns manufactured from material used to make airbags and other durable fabrics, and shipped them around the U.S. It makes more than 1.5 million face shields each week, shipping more than 14 million to all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and Guam.
The company says it employs more hourly workers in the U.S. and assembles more vehicles in America than any other automaker. Last year, Ford says it assembled about 492,000 more vehicles in the U.S. than the next highest-producing automaker. It also says it exports more vehicles from the U.S. than any other automaker.
“Ford chooses to invest more in America than any other automaker in part because of its rich history here,” Galhotra says. “There are a lot of parallels between how the company and the country face and ultimately overcome challenges. It’s not easy, and it’s not always comfortable, but we don’t back down. We will work hard to come back, aiming to be even stronger than before.”
An estimated 10 million Americans are employed by automakers, their suppliers, dealers, and related businesses. Vehicles sales and service, as well as incomes and government revenue, generate $953 billion annually in the U.S.
“Autos are the engine of America’s economy,” Galhotra said. “While we must do so safely, it’s time for us to start running again while remembering those who helped keep us in the race.”
In related news, Ford estimates its all-electric Mustang Mach-E, expected to launch in the fall, can add 61 miles of range in about 10 minutes at an Electrify America DC fast charging station with the extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive. This is an improvement of about 14 miles, or 30 percent, over previous estimates.
“Mustang customers love the open road, and less time recharging means more time enjoying the drive,” says Mark Kaufman, global director of electrification at Ford. “We’ve made it a priority to make it faster to recharge their Mustang Mach-E, and we’re continuing to work with providers to ensure even more charge points are available through FordPass to make it easier to recharge.”
The all-wheel-drive version with extended-range battery is estimated to add an average of 52 miles of range in about 10 minutes of the same charging. Both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive configurations are estimated to achieve a 10-80 percent charge in about 45 minutes while charging on a DC fast charging station.
The Mach-E’s standard-range battery is estimated to add an average of 46 miles of range in 10 minutes for rear-wheel drive models and 42 miles for all-wheel-drive models, with a 10-80 percent charge in about 38 minutes while charging on a DC fast charging station.
Ford and its network providers have expanded the FordPass Charging Network to include an additional 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations and 5,000 charge plugs across the country. This brings the total number of charging stations and individual charge plugs in the FordPass Charging Network, which can be viewed through the FordPass app, to more than 13,500 and almost 40,000, respectively.
“We’re pleased with the continued expansion of the FordPass Charging Network and progress on DC fast charging for Mustang Mach-E ahead of its launch,” says Matt Stover, director of charging, energy services, and business development at Ford. “We’re continually looking at ways to improve the customer experience for all aspects of charging for future Ford all-electric vehicles, so expect more updates to come.”
The available 48-amp Ford Connected Charge Station will be able to charge a Mustang Mach-E in 10.1 hours, or 30 miles per charging hour. Every Ford all-electric vehicle will come standard with a Ford mobile charger, which is capable of charging on a higher-voltage 240-volt electrical outlet and can add an average range of 21 miles per charging hour.
With the higher-power outlet, Mustang Mach-E with extended range battery and rear-wheel drive can go from 0-100 percent charge in about 14.1 hours, while a standard 120-volt electrical outlet will result in an average range of 3 miles per charging hour.