When I attended the #FordNAIAS event in Detroit last week, the first day or so gave me a chance to experience some of the Ford Motor Company’s rich history. But Ford is a company that is always going forward and the rest of the time in Detroit, for me, was about moving into the future.
There’s no better place to discuss moving forward than at TechShop Detroit. This membership-based workshop and prototyping studio is designed for creating and contains any type of machine or tool that a person might need to bring their ideas to life. We headed to TechShop for dinner and while there we were treated to a presentation by Scott Burnell, Ford’s Global Lead for Business Development and Project Management, who introduced us to the new Ford Developer Program. Basically, this software will allow third-party programmers to create apps that can be integrated into the Ford SYNC AppLink system in vehicles. While the system isn’t available in Canada quite yet, I loved the concept and I can’t wait to see how it enhances the driving experience for the average family.
The next day we headed to the Joe Louis Arena for the Ford press conference and reveal of Ford’s new concept vehicle. It was fascinating learning about the visions that motivate Ford and the focus at this conference was on the concept of vehicles for business and transport. The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling pickup in America for thirty-six years and the company is motivated to maintain that record of providing versatile and hard-working trucks to consumers. After the introduction of the new transport vehicles, the Transit and the Transit Connect, it was time for the reveal of the new concept truck, the Ford Atlas.
The reaction to this truck was immediate; it’s absolutely gorgeous. And after a dramatic introduction of the truck, we had the chance to head down to the floor and check out the Atlas up close.
With an electronically controlled fuel-saving transmission, a next-generation EcoBoost powertrain and Dynamic Hitch Assist, this truck is designed to work long and hard without costing a fortune in fuel. Power deployable running boards, a lane keeping system, hidden cargo ramps and Trailer Backup Assist ensure that driving the Atlas is a comfortable experience too. It’s a truck that I can see moving from gravel roads to city streets with ease and in Saskatchewan, that’s important. While contractors and farmers want a work vehicle that can get the job done, they want those vehicles to be equally able to transition to general family use in the evenings or on weekends.
The reveal of the Ford Atlas was the biggest news for Ford at the North American International Auto Show, but the company did have tons of other fabulous vehicles there as well. From the sleek and sporty Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible to the functional and fun-to-drive Ford Escape, the company has introduced vehicles for 2013 that will satisfy everyone from the speed-loving hipster to the carpooling mom. And I even got to go for a crash-filled cruise with Jen from Mom vs. the Boys thanks to the Ford Focus ST Simulator!
Of course, there were plenty of other amazing vehicles at the car show as well, and I couldn’t help drooling over the new BMW 4 series, the stunning Cadillac ELR and the picture-pretty new Jaguar. But as a mom with two little boys to think about, those vehicles aren’t really the best choice for my lifestyle, as much as I sometimes wish they were!
I loved having the opportunity to see what drives the Ford Motor Company and it just reinforces what I’ve learned about Ford’s commitment to safety and customer satisfaction while test-driving Ford vehicles over the last year. I can’t wait to see what Ford has in store for next year but I have no doubt that whatever the company does come up with will blow me away.
A huge thank you to Ford Canada and the team at Ford NAIAS for inviting me on this event!
Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the three day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. Opinions expressed belong to Mommy Kat and Kids and are not altered in any way. Please view full Terms and Policies.