Dads Are Talking About Ford

It may be a broad generalization or even a stereotype for me to suggest that guys like cars. I’ll speak for myself when I say that I love cars! I suppose it was in my genes as I can recall as a young boy loving cars. In fact, I remember sitting in first grade and moving my feet as if to be exchanging the synchronized passing of the gas and clutch pedals. Of course my right hand was off to the side moving in an h-pattern common in today’s stick-shift (manual) cars. Sure, I had all the posters, the magazine, the model cars…I was hooked.

Growing up my family drove foreign cars and only twice did my parents ever buy an American car. Truth be told as a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s most of the American made cars had horrible reputations for quality build. Sure, I had eyes for the Mustang Cobra and the Corvette but that was about it. As time went on and I got older I still held that negative feeling towards the American car companies. However, I did buy a 1995 Mustang GT, which I actually drove across country and totally loved. Things changed for me slightly as the years and decades went by. American car companies like Ford started standing out with great build quality vehicles such as the F-150. Then in just recent years there was mass bail out by the taxpayer. Ford was the only major American car company to not get assistance in the bail out. I had a lot of respect for them as a result.

In a recent trip sponsored by Ford and Clever Girls Collective I was able to see first hand what kind of company Ford really is. It became clear very quickly a few key factors:

  1. They’re living in the future, not the present.
  2. They’re not the cars of the past.
  3. They’re doing a lot more listening than talking.

Ford is thinking about tomorrow. Just visiting their plant in Michigan anyone can see the forward thinking philosophy at work. They have the largest “Living Roof” on record which actually reduces the inside temperature of the plant by 10 degrees in the summer and increases it by 10 degrees in the winter. They’ve even invested in repurposing rain water in an effort to maintain efficiencies in operations as well as being a conscious supporter of our environment. Their forward thinking philosophy doesn’t stop in the infrastructure of their building and land, however. They use soy to manufacturer their car seats and “green practices” are incorporated throughout their operations.

The Fords of today and the Fords of the future are not the 1986 Ford Escort I remember. Cars like the C-Max which allow a driver to walk up to the rear of the car with groceries in hand and pop the trunk just by waving your foot underneath the car are just one of the features they’re incorporating. It’s more than just features though as well. The cars are built better today than they used to be. It’s not just the car magazines reporting this either. Time and time again I hear regular people (you know? The people who actually buy cars) react with positive impressions to the new Fords being produced. The reliability concerns of yesteryear are not here today.

Most companies talk about what people want. They talk about what their cars can do. Ford has taken a different approach. They’re listening to what consumers want. That’s obvious by virtue of their green practices. It’s obvious by virtue of the features and functionality they’re placing in their vehicles. Not once during my entire trip to Detroit did I hear any “selling” going on. Never once did I feel like I was being “spoken to”. In fact, quite the opposite. Ford wanted feedback, they wanted to listen. I had a unique opportunity to speak with the great grandson of Henry Ford. Edsel Ford could have been an arrogant, egotistical man, with little need or use for people like me. That was not the case. I spoke with him (video to follow) and it was clear that he was a Community minded person. He is a Father and a Husband. He’s like you and me and he cares about what you think. He didn’t care if I owned a Ford. He didn’t care if a Ford was my next car purchase. He cared about sharing his passion and his love for his family business. He cared about blending his business with all of our communities.

While most businesses in general are focusing on the end, Ford is also focusing on the means to the end. They’re trying to build vehicles that leave a smaller footprint. They’re building cars that have features that we actually want! They’re reaching out to us in ways that many car manufactures haven’t figured out.

As a businessman, a father, and a consumer I’m very impressed with Ford and where they’re going. I really think they’re the American car company to watch. It’s clear to me that they’ve not just taken over the lead in the American Motor Industry but that they’re riding right alongside their foreign counterparts. If you’re looking for another family vehicle I highly encourage you to check them out.

I was invited to participate in this program by Clever Girls Collective, Inc. in partnership with Ford and Ogilvy PR. Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the 2-day Driving Green Technology event, I was not compensated in any other manner for my time.  My opinions posted here are my own.

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