Speculation

Leaked photos show what is probably the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport

The SUV features a boxy body and plenty of cladding.

Photo courtesy of BroncoSportForum.com

Ford BroncoLeaked photos, first shown on BroncoSportForum.com, show what is likely the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, commonly referred to as the Baby Bronco. Based on previous spy shots of the model, the SUV shown in the photos appears to be legit.

It's expected that the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport will be shown to the masses soon so it's not too much of a surprise that a near-production-ready model out would be able to be spied by a sneaky smartphone.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport The photos don't give a good enough peek under the hood to determine what the engine in the model is.Photo courtesy of BroncoSportForum.com

Earlier this year, Ford confirmed that the Bronco would first be seen in March with the Bronco Sport debuting shortly thereafter.

Here's what we know from the photos. The styling matches up pretty nicely with photos of the model that were first shown to dealers at a private event in 2018. The exterior shows design that projects strength and ruggedness. We already know that the Baby Bronco will be about the same size as the Ford Escape.

There's Bronco and Bronco Sport badging on the front and rear, body-colored door handles, a two-tone paint job that includes a black roof, functional roof rails (these aren't the aero-friendly rails on the Escape), significant cladding on the undercarriage and fenders, and a gaping hole that houses a rearview camera and likely serves as the hatch release point.

Stylistically, the SUV appears to go toe-to-toe with the Jeep Renegade.

This reported first glimpse at the Baby Bronco points out what to expect from its big brother, the Bronco. We already knew to that it would have a boxy design but the exterior choices, specifically on the grille, C-pillar, and roof, give a better idea of what to expect from the SUV.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badging on the back fo the SUV shows the Bronco logo front and center.Photo courtesy of BroncoSportForum.com

Though Ford hasn't confirmed that the SUV in the photos is the Baby Bronco, all signs point to "yes". We'll officially know soon enough.

Ford has announced new employee-centric initiatives.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

There's a certain helplessness that comes from being told you must stay indoors while others are out risking their lives. The Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund) has announced two new opportunities for Ford employees around the world looking to reach out to their community from inside their homes.

This news follows the Ford Fund's previously announced commitment to allocating $1.6 million in resources to help communities and local nonprofits throughout Southeast Michigan and across the United States address hunger, shelter and mobility needs related to COVID-19.

Donation Match

The COVID-19 Donation Match program is a combined effort between Ford Fund and Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford that will match $500,000 in donations to designated community organizations, raising a potential $1 million for groups battling the pandemic across the globe. Mr. Ford, who started the Ford Volunteer Corps 15 years ago, has committed funds to the program.

In initiative is managed by GlobalGiving, Ford's longtime disaster relief and global grant-making partner, and aims to support community projects in locations that have both a significant level of emergency need and a substantial Ford employee presence. Projects focus on addressing hunger, shelter and mobility needs, providing educational resources, or delivering critical medical supplies and services to communities in need.

Employees and others interested in donating can visit www.globalgiving.org/ford-covid-response to view a full list of participating countries as well as cities across the United States, and to learn more about community projects they can support. GlobalGiving will add new projects and additional details over the coming weeks, so employees are encouraged to check back often for updates.

Virtual volunteering

Ford Fund's new "Read and Record" virtual volunteering project invites Ford employees from around the world to record and submit videos reading a children's book in their own language. The effort is designed to provide Ford employees a way to give back from the safety and comfort of their own homes, and builds on Ford Fund's ongoing efforts to increase literacy and promote a love of reading.

The online library will be catalogued by language, and multilingual employees are encouraged to read in languages other than English. Ford Fund plans to share the library with philanthropic groups that serve children and families.

A library of free online resources to help occupy your family is available at www.fordfund.org/covid19. Activities include virtual tours, downloadable worksheets, online tutorials, videos and more – all designed to help entertain, educate or inspire people of all ages. The site's "How You Can Help" page also outlines ways employees can contribute to specific nonprofit needs for volunteers or donations of goods and supplies.

The automaker is using new 3D printing technology to create face shields.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has announced that it has reached an agreement to partner with 3M and GE Healthcare to aid in the production of medical equipment needed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, colloquially known as coronavirus. Additionally, Ford will leverage its in-house 3D printing ability to produce 100,000 face shields per week. The move has the full support of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

"This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis," said Bill Ford, Ford's executive chairman. "At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company."

Ford 3M GE Healthcare The automaker is leveraging its manufacturing facilities to help with the crisis.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford, 3M partner on respirators

Ford and 3M will increase the manufacturing capacity of the St. Paul, Minnesota-based company's powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) utilizing a new design that could be procured in a Ford facility in Michigan by UAW workers.

According to Ford, the teams have been locating "off-the-shelf parts like fans from the Ford F-150's cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles and portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours."

"Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment," said Jim Hackett, Ford's president and CEO. "We've been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs. We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus."

"We're exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M's capacity and get healthcare supplies as quickly as possible to where they're needed most – which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford," said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "It's crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I'm incredibly grateful to Ford and their employees for this partnership."

Ford 3M GE Healthcare Ford's team is already at work on perfecting techniques.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford, GE Healthcare team up to produce ventilators

In addition to the 3M partnership, Ford and GE Healthcare are working together to expand production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare's existing ventilator. These ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location.

"We are encouraged by how quickly companies from across industries have mobilized to address the growing challenge we collectively face from COVID-19," said GE Healthcare President & CEO Kieran Murphy. "We are proud to bring our clinical and technical expertise to this collaboration with Ford, working together to serve unprecedented demand for this life-saving technology and urgently support customers as they meet patient needs."

Work on this initiative ties to a request for help from U.S. government officials.

Ford 3M GE Healthcare Ford's engineering team has come up with a design for a filtration system.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

3D printing respirators and face shields

Ford's design team is working to create and test transparent full-face shield for medical workers and first responders. The face shields fully block the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids and when paired with N95 respirators can be a more effective way to limit potential exposure to coronavirus than N95 respirators alone.

The first 1,000 face shields will be tested this week at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems, and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospitals. Roughly 75,000 of these shields are expected to be finished this week and more than 100,000 face shields per week will be produced at Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing's facilities in Plymouth, Mich.

Ford 3M GE Healthcare Ford's engineering team has shown off a sketch of a disposable hood design.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

According to a release, Ford is leveraging its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Michigan, and in-house 3D printing capabilities to manufacture disposable respirators, which are needed to help filter the air healthcare workers and first responders breathe. Once approved by the proper health agency, Ford will initially start at a pace equal to 1,000 per month but that production can grow quickly.