New Package

2WD Ford Rangers get off-road capability, sport styling in new FX2 Package

Ford is giving its Range midsize truck new off-road capability with the FX2 Package.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is using its new FX2 package to prove that two-wheel drive trucks can look just as good and perform just as well off-road as four-wheel drive trucks.

The offering comes at a time when two out of three Ranger buyers is adding an appearance package to their truck upon purchase with one in three buying Ford's FX4 Off-Road Package.

"FX2 expands Ranger's options for customers who want tough, off-road style with the functionality of a locking differential but don't need four-wheel drive," said Brian Bell, Ford Ranger marketing manager. "This is another way our customers can personalize Ranger to match their lifestyle while getting a great value."

Despite its off-road abilities, the new package is aimed at the urban market, where two-wheel drive trucks are more commonly found. It includes:

  • Standard 17-inch or available 18-inch off-road tires
  • Front underbody guard
  • Air dam-delete
  • Electronic-locking rear differential
  • Off-road tuned suspension
  • Off-road instrument cluster screen

The FX2 Package is available for $595 (excluding taxes) and can be ordered at dealers now. Deliveries of trucks with the package are expected in late 2019.

Ford's new package fits in perfectly with the automaker's recent marketing campaign for the Ranger, publicizing the truck as adventure-ready no matter where nature takes you. Take a peek.

2019 Ford Ranger: Strange Creatures | Ranger | Ford www.youtube.com

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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