DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford Motor Co. is collaborating with its top-tier suppliers like never before as the automaker launches redesigns of two of its marquee models.
“As part of our One Ford plan, our suppliers are critical to creating profitable growth for all,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s group vice-president of global purchasing, said in a statement.
“With the industry’s highest product refresh rates, commitment to product excellence and innovation, and clear brand positioning, Ford is a preferred customer with the supply base.”
As the automaker launches the all-new 2015 Mustang and F-150, it turned to a number of its more than 1,100 suppliers—including a Canadian firm—for industry-first solutions in two of its most popular models.
Paying homage to the storied history of the Mustang, Ford worked with Aurora, Ont.-based Magna International Inc. to develop unique quarter windows for a special edition of the latest rendition of its famed pony car.
Rather than sticking with a traditional plastic or metal louver that sits atop the glass, Ford and Magna collaborated to
create an industry-first louvered glass
for the 2015 Mustang 50 Years Limited Edition.
The redesigned Mustang will also feature a hydroformed A-pillar when it hits dealerships this fall thanks to the folks at Schuler AG and Midway Products Group, Inc.
Schuler and Midway helped Ford engineer the heavy gauge steel hydroformed A-pillar and roof rails that help boost torsional stiffness—the body’s resistance to twisting—by 28 per cent.
For the redesigned F-150, Ford collaborated with Mexico-based Metalsa, S.A. de C.V. to reduce the amount of material used in the pickup’s frame.
To do so, the two company’s used tailor-rolled blanks with variable material thickness, patented structures, increased use of high-strength steel—from 22 per cent to 77 per cent—and improved joining to take more than 60 lbs. out of the frame while improving rigidity.
Also for the F-150, Ford worked with with OSRAM Licht AG and Flex-n-Gate Corp. to develop a full-solid-state headlamp design that saves energy and casts a much brighter and clearer light down the road than traditional halogen or incandescent lamps.
A jewel-like optical cube channels light energy from a single LED chip to provide optimal lighting and visibility, according to Ford.
“Considering the impact suppliers have on our business, with 70 per cent of the value of the vehicle being purchased from our supplier partners, our suppliers are critical to our ability to offer attractive solutions to our customers,” said Thai-Tang.