Published on June 21st, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Ford Leads 111 Years of Automotive Innovation
Back in 1903 Henry Ford and 11 original investors signed papers to form Ford Motor Company. All they had was a dream, $28,000 in cash and a few tools. Since their first Model T – which “put the world on wheels” – Ford has always been a pioneer in many aspects of the automotive industry. This heritage of innovation has led to great advancements in the automobile and most recently, are culminating in new, groundbreaking powertrain technologies such as the powerful EcoBoost engine.
Key Innovations Throughout the Years
In 1913, to help meet the growing demand for the Model T, Henry Ford turned his attention to improving the manufacturing process. The moving assembly line was perhaps Ford Motor Company’s single greatest contribution to the automotive manufacturing process. It allowed individual workers to stay in one place and perform the same task repeatedly on multiple vehicles that passed by them. This process helped Ford surpass its competitors and made the vehicles “so affordable that any man with a good salary could afford to own one.”
Ford’s track record of introducing advanced safety features started all the way in 1927, when the company started producing the first laminated glass window shield. A major leap also came in 1956 with the addition of factory-installed safety belts in 1956 and in 1999, Ford was the first company to introduce head and chest driver safety bags to its cars. The same year, Ford developed BeltMinder™, safety belt reminder technology that most drivers take for granted today and was highly praised by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for increasing the use of safety belts among drivers.
Some of the most recent safety innovations include Active City Stop, which helps reduce the risk of low-speed collisions by monitoring the road in front for stationary traffic and then braking automatically if collision is imminent. Additionally, Ford’s Blind Spot Information System or BLIS, improves driver awareness by alerting them when a passing vehicle is hidden in their blind spot via an LED indicator light on the side view mirror. Both of these technologies are currently available on the all-new Ford Focus in the Asia Pacific region.
One of the latest Ford achievements is the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, the baby in Ford’s growing global family of EcoBoost engines which includes 1.6- and 2.0-litre four-cylinders, and two 3.5-litre V6 variants. Small as it is, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine generates a surprisingly 125 PS to rival a traditional 1.6-litre engine while sipping significantly less fuel. Ford engineers have introduced a host of features in this three-cylinder, direct injection engine that enable drivers to play an active part in going green.
Proving that size doesn’t matter, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost achieved the incredible feat of winning the “International Engine of the Year” for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. Drivers in Asia Pacific can feel the power of this engine themselves in vehicles such as the new Fiesta.
As Ford celebrates its 111 years of history this June, the company’s unflagging commitment to innovation continues to put the brand in a strong position in Malaysia and around the globe, as it advances the automotive industry as a whole.