High-Tech Problem Solvers

Ford added 3,000 new high-tech team members to create mobility solutions for the future

Ford's new tech team hires include a large number of women, something the company takes pride in.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

With specialties ranging from advanced computing to analytical and technical skills, Ford's 3,000 new employees are showing just how far Ford has come from the days of the relative simplicity of the Model T. The mobility solutions the team is working on include everything from the new 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E to e-scooters, app development, city planning tools, and the forthcoming Bronco.

The modernization of the company's workforce is paired with the automaker's redesign of its office space. That starts at home, in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford's 66-year-old Product Development Center is the future home of the product development side of the business. Employees stationed there will work closely with the team located at the Michigan Central Station on mobility solutions. Ford predicts that Product Development Center development will be complete by 2025 and co-locate more than 6,000 employees.

Ford Motor Company - Product Development Center Redesign

Renderings courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford's Dearborn campus is undergoing a long-awaited upgrade.

The company's master plan calls for the Research & Engineering campus in Dearborn to house more than 20,000 employees in the future.

Currently, Ford has launched a dogs-at-work pilot program and is giving employees free coffee. Ford's employee retention rate is already better than the tech industry's average. According to Information Week, the tech industry has the highest employee turnover of any business sector at 13.2 percent.

Ford is making worker diversity a focus as the company makes hiring moves, especially focusing on women. Tracie Conn has worked for Ford's advanced engineering group that deals with vehicle sensors and algorithms for the last two years. Before that she was an engineer with NASA for five years. "This team has the highest percentage of women of any team I've worked on," said Conn. "For me, seeing other women in senior roles helps us envision ourselves in those spots one day. I hope we can serve as role models for even more young women."

The 3,000 isn't where they're stopping. Ford is currently looking to fill hundreds more openings for software developers, data scientists, digital media specialists, app developers and more.

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A new ad puts DJ D-Nice in the driver's seat of a 2021 Ford F-150.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A new ad campaign from Ford Motor Company taps into a bit of hip hop history for its latest TV spot promoting the 2021 Ford F-150. The commercial features Derrick Jones, better known by his stage name D-Nice, a legendary music artist, producer and DJ in its main role.

Jones's history doesn't go as far back as Ford's, but there's some notable entries that fans of pre-Diddy hip hop will look fondly on. The Harlem and Bronx native formed Boogie Down Productions in 1986. He soon signed a deal with Jive Records and his debut record featured collaborations by KRS-One, Naughty by Nature, and Too Short.

In the late 90s and early 2000s Jones transferring out of the music world, forming a creative services company. In March 2020, Jones began hosting "Homeschool at Club Quarantine" on Instagram Live. He won a Webby Award for the effort.

The All-New 2021 F-150: Work It Out | Ford (:30) www.youtube.com

"The 'More Than Tough' campaign recognizes and celebrates the spirit of American ingenuity," said Dibrie Guerrero, multicultural marketing manager, Ford Motor Company. "By developing many innovative features to accommodate the diverse needs of its F-150 owners, Ford elevates what's possible with a little creativity and the right pickup truck."

The "Work It Out" 3-second television spot airs today on OWN, BET and TV One. It features Jones driving to a gig in a 2021 F-150 filled with DJ equipment. Respecting social distancing rules and his responsibilities toward masking up, D-Nice brings the party to the partygoers, utilizing the F-150's available Pro Power Onboard generator to run his equipment.

The ad runs with the hip-hop classic "Call Me D-Nice" serving as the soundtrack.

"Being tough has new meaning to me after partying in Club Quarantine with some of the strongest people I have ever met," said D-Nice. "I'm proud to help introduce the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 that they built tougher to take your hustle to the next level."

The new F-150 has unique features including a fold-out work self, fold-down shifter, tailgate with designated clamp-down areas, and the on-board generator.

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The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E came up with a trophy at the annual NACTOY awards.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

While it's an honor just to be nominated as a finalist, three vehicles stood out to the jurors of the North American Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) awards. All NACTOY nominees are vehicles that have either been introduced for the 2021 model year or undergone a significant redesign.

Ford and Hyundai earned top honors with the Ford F-150 earning the North American Truck of the Year award, Ford Mustang Mach-E taking the North American SUV of the Year trophy, and the Hyundai Elantra getting the North American Car of the Year nod.

2021 North American Car of the Year: Hyundai Elantra

2021 Hyundai Elantra

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai has redesigned the Hyundai Elantra for the 2021 model year taking it from a passive daily driver to an engaging small car with a lot of zip, especially in the Elantra N model where it gets a standard manual transmission and tuning to make it a sleeper. It also has a boatload of high-tech features that make it punch far above its price tag, which starts under $20,000.

2021 North American Truck of the Year: Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 Tremor Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford didn't just redesign its F-150, it listened to its customers and made it better for them. Sure, that seems simple enough but while they may get accused of not going far enough, NACTOY jurors appear to have recognized how innovative the redesign is for the average F-150 customer. On-board generator? Check. Collapsable shifter? Check. Fold out work station for the driver? Check. Clamp zones in the tailgate? Check.

Ford recently made news saying that the F-150 will be the latest model that is available with the Tremor off-roading package.

2021 North American SUV of the Year: Ford Mustang Mach-E

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the first all-electric crossover the company has offered and Ford is aiming to do it 100 percent right the first time. Like other electric SUVs, the Mustang Mach-E comes in a variety of battery range levels. Ford is pairing those with options for all-wheel drive and premium appointments, treating the Mustang Mach-E more as a traditional vehicle than an electric outlier.

Ford recently announced a new Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition will be added for the 2022 model year.

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