Production

Ford reveals Bronco, F-150, Transit product plans through 2022

Ford showed off a test of an electrified version of the F-150 last summer.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Earnings calls are always a careful balance between revealing too much and revealing not enough. As part of that tightrope they walk, company representatives often give out bits of information concerning future product in a move to whet the appetites of investors. This was true of a call by Ford Motor Company today that included CEO Jim Hackett and COO Jim Farley.

Here's what we learned.

Ford F-150 EV and Transit EV will be available in the next 24 months.

2022 Ford Transit EV

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

With GMC, Tesla, and Rivian hot on their heels, Ford is preparing to launch its long-anticipated electrified F-150. An all-electric version of the pickup truck is slated to rival those of its competition and have the capability to serve as a generator.

The Transit EV has long been promised. Earlier this year, Ford teased the model saying that it's coming in 2022.

Ford will not sell the Bronco or Bronco Sport in Europe.

No reasons have officially been given yet, but this isn't new news, per say. It's a confirmation that nothing has changed since the second quarter of 2019 when the models first officially showed up on the company's public product plans. The two models are, however, slated to be sold in the Middle East and Asia (but not China).

The partnership between Volkswagen and Ford will include a midsize pickup truck.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Though this news was already public, the comment is a confirmation that neither Volkswagen nor Ford is changing course due to the economic impact of COVID-19. A medium sized pickup truck, called the Volkswagen Amarok, will be built-in the Ford Ranger platform from 2022.

VW and Ford's alliance will produce 8 million vehicles.

This is new news. During the lifecycle of the commercial vehicle products the companies produce, they expect to create a combined 8 million vehicles.

The agreement also includes a collaboration on commercial vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Up first for development is a city van based on the latest Volkswagen Caddy model, created and built by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Then, a one-ton cargo van engineered by Ford will enter the market. Expect to see these vehicles rollout from 2022.

Ford will build a new electric vehicle for Europe only.

Ford plans to build a new electric vehicle for Europe based on Volkswagen's MEB architecture. The vehicle, which will be designed and engineered by Ford in Cologne-Merkenich, Germany and will be introduced in 2021.

The partnership may result in 600,000 new electric vehicle sales.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

They will take a multi-year approach to the development of future electric vehicles on the MEB platform, which is slated to produce over 600,000 units in a flourishing sales environment.

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OTA software updates

Tesla rolls back FSD beta before issuing fix

Tesla issued a beta update but quickly pulled it back.

Tesla

Tesla's Full Self-Driving tech is currently in public beta testing, which means that the automaker allows a subset of its owners to download the software to their cars. Over the weekend, Tesla released FSD beta 10.3 and users started reporting issues almost immediately. Since Tesla's PR department is essentially CEO Elon Musk's Twitter account, he took to social media to outline the process to fix problems with the beta.

Tesla FSD Drivers reported issues with vehicle safety systems after updating.Tesla

Musk tweeted that public beta version 10.3 was rolled back to 10.2. "Please note, this is to be expected with beta software," he said. Issues began popping up with Tesla owners on various forums and on social media. Drivers reported that cars shut off active safety features without their input and some noted that their forward collision warnings and automatic emergency braking systems malfunctioned, causing the cars to apply the brakes without any apparent danger in the road ahead.

Tesla FSD A new beta was released this morning with fixes for the problems.Tesla

Early this morning, Musk tweeted again to note that beta version 10.3.1 is rolling out now, which would re-update users to the latest version with fixes. All of this illustrates how FSD is not final and has a way to go before it's ready for showtime. Developing software of any type is difficult work, made even harder by the fact that public roads are so unpredictable at times. So, while Tesla's public beta approach, which puts unproven functions into the hands of everyday drivers, may not be the most palatable for many of us on the roads at the same time, it's certainly netting the company plenty of data to work with.

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Custom SUVs

Ford Bronco to rule SEMA this year

The Bronco RTR features a fun livery and several off-road upgrades.

Ford

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is an opportunity for the aftermarket and manufacturers to come together on wildly customized vehicles and to show off the latest parts and tech in the space. Now that the Ford Bronco has finally made its way to the public, it's not surprising to see several wild SEMA takes on the hottest SUV to hit the market in some time.

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods The tracks are said to improve the Bronco's abilities in deep snow and ice.Ford

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods

The new Bronco is capable and rugged on its own, but Tucci Hot Rods felt it needed more. The shop gave it that boost with a set of tracks in place of wheels, which are said to be great for deep snow and ice. This Bronco features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed manual transmission to go with its Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.

2021 Bronco RTR Fun-Runner by RTR Vehicles

Vaghn Gittin Jr's RTR Vehicles imagined a Bronco package that could be installed at the dealer. The result is the Fun-Runner, which features several Ford Performance and Ford Licensed Accessories parts. It's based on a 2021 two-door Bronco Badlands, and comes with an eye-catching wrap, an Ultimate Dana 44 front axle, Ultimate Dana 60 semi-float rear axle, RCV Performance CV axles, and a performance intake for its four-cylinder engine.

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions SEMA presents an excellent opportunity for shops to show off their skill and imagination.Ford

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions

BDS is a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and has worked with Ford for quite some time. The results of that long-running relationship are on display with the BDS Bronco, which features Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, BDS rear adjustable control arms and track bar, swaybar disconnect, and 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires. The Bronco's bumpers have been replaced with CrawlTek Revolution units that feature a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and more.

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