Planet Ford Reopens After Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey was devastating to our communities, but we are united and we are strong. As we turn our attention to recovering and assisting one another to rebuild, our Planet Ford family is working in and around Houston, Spring, Aldine, Cypress, The Woodlands, Conroe and beyond to assist our co-workers and neighbors in need and provide support to our first responders.

On Thursday, August 31st, Planet Ford in Spring on I-45 will re-open its doors and return to full operations. We will serve as an area Flood Recovery Assistance Drop Point accepting non-perishable donations. We will be distributing all donations to our community area shelters.

We want you to know that we are here for you. Planet Ford is available to fully assist with any of your automotive needs.

Free Post-Storm Safety Inspections
If you’re concerned about any potential storm-related issues or damage, our team will provide a full, complimentary multi-point inspection to ensure your vehicle’s safety.


Severe Weather Vehicle Replacement
With so many vehicles lost, Planet Ford, in connection with Ford Motor Co., has designated additional incentives to assist our neighbors obtain a replacement vehicle. Our on-site experts will walk you through every step of the process.

Vehicle Trade-In Assistance
Even if your vehicle has storm-related damage, you do not need to worry. Planet Ford will accept it as is, assist with having it transported to the dealership and work with you and your insurance company to complete all necessary paperwork.

Automotive Repair & Parts Assistance
Our service, collision and parts centers’ certified staff is here to address your questions and schedule any needed repairs. Our collision center is a certified authorized repair facilities with most insurance carriers to ensure quick claims processing for a rental vehicle and repairs.

Planet Ford is dedicated to doing all we can to ensure our all neighbors, employees, partners and community members receive as much assistance as possible and as quickly as possible.

Visit to schedule an appointment, see our damage-free inventory or get any additional details you may need. We’re here to make sure you get back on the road to your life as fast as possible.


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Planet Ford Closed Temporarily After Hurricane Harvey

Due to Hurricane Harvey and flood danger, Planet Ford in Spring will be closing for the remainder of the day. We will open as soon as it is deemed safe to do so for both  our employees and our customers.

Please follow all suggested precautions to stay safe.  Planet Ford will post updates on our website, blog and social media in an effort to keep all informed. For those with vehicles at our facility, at this time, we are not experiencing flooding, but will continue to keep all updated.

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Planet Ford to Debut 2018 Tougher Ford F-150 this Fall

At Planet Ford in Spring on I-45, we are excited about the debut of the 2018 Ford F-150. It is said to be even tougher, even smarter, and even more capable than ever – with the most advanced F-150 powertrain lineup ever that delivers best-in-class towing, payload and efficiency for America’s pickup drivers. As much as our team and customers love the 2017 Ford F-150, it’s hard to imagine anything could be better, but take a look at what will be in our showroom very soon!

The 2018 F-150 is going to have an EPA estimated rating of 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Yes, you read that right. That means, it will be best-in-class from the second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, plus best-in-class towing (13,200 lbs.) and payload capacity (3,270 lbs.) from the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and enhanced 5.0-liter V8, respectively.

“The Ford F-150 lineup again delivers on its promise to give full-size truck customers even more value, functionality and smart technology innovations, with engines with best-in-class towing, payload and fuel economy,” stated Todd Eckert, the Ford truck group marketing manager. “Our new F-150 highlights Ford’s commitment to its hardworking truck customers and how we listen to their demands for their new F-150 to be even tougher, even smarter and even more capable for work and play.”

It has been three years since Ford introduced a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy-bodied F-150. In 2018, a new truck will arrive with bold new styling, advanced technologies, a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission and F-150’s most advanced engine lineup yet, which includes the first available diesel ever for F-150. F-150 is part of Ford’s F-Series truck lineup – America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years and its best-selling vehicle for 35 years.

New powertrain lineup for available best-in-class payload, towing & MPG

The new F-150 offers the F-150’s most advanced engine offerings ever – all to offer the right engine for every hardworking truck customer.

An second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 with segment-exclusive SelectShift® 10-speed automatic transmission has an EPA-estimated rating of 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined which is best-in-class. With advanced dual port and direct-injection technology, the second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine delivers a 25 lb.-ft. increase in torque – and at lower engine speeds compared to a traditional V8. Like the second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost, this 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be paired with Ford’s segment-exclusive 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.

An enhanced 5.0-liter V8 boasts a best-in-class payload capacity of 3,270 pounds. This normally aspirated engine features significant upgrades for 2018 including advanced dual port and direct-injection technology for 10 more horsepower and an additional 13 lb.-ft. of torque. Spray-on bore liner technology also featured in the Shelby GT350® Mustang has been added to squeeze out even more weight from the aluminum block. For the first time, the V8 is paired with the 10-speed SelectShift automatic.

For best-in-class towing, the second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 delivers 13,200 pounds of towing capacity, thanks to its 470 lb.-ft. of torque that beats all diesel- and gasoline-powered competitors, including V8 engines with nearly twice its displacement. With dual port and direct-injection technology, the 375-horsepower twin-turbo engine provides ideal low-end and peak engine performance for hauling heavy payloads and towing heavy trailers.

Even the all-new 3.3-liter V6 engine is more efficient, more powerful and delivers more torque to get the job done, compared to the previously standard 3.5-liter V6. Plus, the now standard 3.3-liter provides a 5 percent power-to-weight ratio improvement versus the 2014 F-150 featuring steel body and 3.7-liter V6 – with better fuel economy and performance based on EPA-estimated ratings.

Designed, engineered and tested in-house, an all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke® turbo diesel V6 paired with 10-speed SelectShift automatic joins the F-150 engine lineup for 2018. The first diesel engine offered for F-150 will be available next spring.

F-150’s new powertrain lineup

New F-150 offers the most advanced engine offerings ever, including standard Auto Start-Stop. Specifically:

Raising the bar through segment-exclusive materials and technologies

More than just styling that creates visually bolder and more planted stance, the new F-150 continues to offer a segment-exclusive combination of advanced materials that have proven durability through extensive real-world performance and inhibit corrosion. A high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body and box that saves weight and adds capability coupled with a high-strength steel fully boxed ladder frame.

The new Ford F-150 further advances the light-duty pickup truck market with segment-first and class-exclusive technologies that improve productivity, efficiency and driver confidence, while keeping occupants connected to the world around them. Technologies include:

  • New segment-first enhanced adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality is available to allow drivers to set a cruising speed. The system then uses radar and camera technology to monitor traffic ahead to maintain a set distance between vehicles – even following a vehicle down to a complete stop
  • New segment-first Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is available to help drivers avoid or mitigate collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians
  • An available new embedded 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi hotspot enables customers to connect up to 10 mobile devices at one time, virtually anywhere
  • New B&O PLAY audio system is available, offering high-end speakers, sound and tuning for a richer, more engaging listening experience

Existing segment-exclusive driver-assist and convenience features include:

  • Available Pro Trailer Backup Assist allows F-150 drivers of various skill levels to steer a trailer instinctively using a center console-mounted dial to back-up a boat launch or park in a driveway
  • Available Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage technology is optimized for F-150 to include up to 33 feet of trailer length; BLIS® uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver around the truck and trailer
  • Available 360-degree camera technology helps improve driver confidence when parking and can help reduce stress when connecting a trailer – allowing customers to see more so they can focus on specific tasks such as lining up a hitch
    Available lane-keeping system is designed to help reduce drifting of the truck outside its intended lane

Watch for the 2018 Ford F-150 to be on sale this fall at Planet Ford in Spring (serving The Woodlands, Atascocita, Cypress, Aldine, Conroe, greater Houston area). Ready to get your new Ford now? Take a look at our huge selection, great savings and get award-winning service at!

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Planet Ford in Spring Honors Ford Truck for 100 Year Celebration

Planet Ford in Spring is proud to be part of a very special 100 year celebration for the Ford truck.  One hundred years ago today, Ford introduced its first purpose-built truck, the 1917 Ford Model TT. It forever changed the auto industry – and the very nature of work itself.
A century later, Ford trucks remain among the most iconic vehicles in the world. F-Series is America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years and best-selling vehicle for 35 straight years. In Canada, Ford F-Series has enjoyed 51 consecutive years as best-selling pickup and now marks seven straight years as best-selling vehicle.

Over the past 100 years, Ford continuously has worked to improve its trucks by listening to truck owners and developing new innovations that improve their ability to get the job done. These innovations give today’s Ford truck owners greater towing and hauling capability, advanced engines for improved efficiency, and driver-assist technologies that make it easier and more convenient to operate.

Birth of a legend

Nine years after the first Model T saw Ford customers asking for a vehicle that could haul heavier loads and provide greater utility for work and deliveries. On July 27, 1917, Ford responded with the Model TT, which retained the Model T cab and engine. The Model TT came with a heavier-duty frame capable of carrying one ton of payload. The factory price was $600; 209 were sold that year.

Similar to the Fordson tractor introduced in 1917, Henry Ford envisioned a chassis that could accommodate third-party beds, cargo areas and other add-ons to deliver the increased functionality needed to get work done. It was a formula for success. By 1928, Ford had sold 1.3 million Model TTs before replacing the truck with the more capable Model AA with a 1.5-ton chassis.

Henry Ford marketed his early trucks heavily in rural areas, according to Bob Kreipke, Ford historian. “Model AA trucks in particular had a certain class to them,” he said. “Customers could use them on the farm, yet still take them to church on Sunday.”

Like the Model TT, the Model AA was available exclusively as a chassis cab offered in two lengths, with new powertrain and axle options for greater capacity. To stay ahead in what had become a hotly competitive business, Ford replaced the Model AA with the even more capable Model BB in 1933. Many were outfitted as mail and freight vehicles, ambulances and stake trucks. Two years later, Ford introduced the 1935 Model 50 pickup, powered exclusively by its famous Ford Flathead V8 engine.

By 1941, Ford had sold more than 4 million trucks. Changing over to war production resulted in the loss of consumer sales but a gain in experience building heavy-duty military truck chassis and four-wheel-drive personnel carriers. A year after consumer production resumed in 1947, Ford leveraged that knowledge to provide even more innovations for its customers.

“After the war, a lot of rural Americans moved to urban and suburban centers looking for work, and many took their Ford pickups with them,” said Kreipke. “Ford saw this as an opportunity, and began work on the next generation of trucks for 1948, what came to be known as F-Series Bonus Built trucks.”

This first-generation F-Series covered Classes 2 through 7 capacities – from the half-ton F-1 to the much larger F-8 cab-over truck. With the arrival of the second-generation F-Series for 1953, Ford increased engine power and capacity, and rebranded the series. The F-1 became the
F-100, while F-2 and F-3 trucks were integrated into the new F-250 line. F-4 became F-350. Class 8 trucks were spun off into a new C-Series commercial truck unit that produced iconic C-, H-, L-, N-, T- and W-Series Ford trucks.

Throughout this period, Ford trucks started looking less utilitarian, sporting two-tone paint, automatic transmissions, and improved heater and radio offerings. New standard features debuted with the 1953 F-100, including armrests, dome lights and sun visors. Lower and with a wider cab, the new truck featured integrated front fenders and a more aerodynamic design.

Then, in 1957, Ford tested out a car-based truck – the Falcon Ranchero. Marketed as “More Than a Car! More Than a Truck!,” this light-duty truck brought car-like amenities to consumers.

Creating the Built Ford Tough brand

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In 1961 – 44 years after the Model TT – Ford introduced its fourth-generation F-Series. Lower and sleeker, it debuted the company’s revolutionary twin I-beam front suspension. An upscale Ranger package appeared in 1967. Ads emphasized improved comfort, value and durability, as Ford trucks now offered power steering and brakes, and a lower chassis profile. A larger SuperCab option introduced in 1974 featured more comfortable seating to attract dual-purpose work and family buyers.

With the arrival of the sixth-generation F-Series in 1975, Ford dropped the popular F-100, replacing it with a higher-capacity F-150 pickup to combat the C/K trucks from General Motors. By 1977, F-Series pulled ahead in the sales race, and 26 million trucks later, Ford hasn’t looked back.

That same year, a copywriter for a Ford truck magazine is said to have written three simple words that would come to define the brand – Built Ford Tough. It is more than a slogan – it’s the F-Series brand promise to its owners and the mantra for Ford’s entire truck team.

Trucks were fast becoming universal family vehicles, in addition to being work trucks, according to Kreipke. Instead of renting a truck for a big job or for towing, people now had ones they could use for work during the week, then hitch a trailer to and haul the family in for weekend getaways. Ford trucks were adapting to the changing, more active American lifestyle.

Premium edition trucks, such as the Lariat package introduced in 1978, offered more comfort features including air conditioning, leather trim, and power windows and locks. In 1982, Ford charted a different course with an all-new compact truck – Ranger. Versatile and efficient, Ranger quickly built a reputation for being tough and capable, leading it to thrive in diverse markets around the world. Now, after a seven-year hiatus, Ford is reintroducing an all-new Ranger in North America in 2019.

Expanding the Ford Tough Lineup

Ford reset the benchmark again in 1998 with the introduction of F-Series Super Duty. Engineered for fleet and heavy-duty work use, Super Duty – from the F-250 all the way up to the F-750 – more clearly defined Ford trucks for a growing base of commercial applications.

With an expanding lineup of F-Series trucks, the company added high-end trim and technology packages to meet customers’ diverse needs. The addition of King Ranch, Platinum and Limited model trucks provided more luxury content along with improved functionality and capability. Features such as premium leather-trimmed seating, SYNC® with navigation, sunroofs and heated seats, along with gross vehicle weight and tow ratings in the 15,000-pound range combined to deliver on the Built Ford Tough brand promise.

While Ford worked to continuously increase truck capabilities, the company made bold investments in efficiency, too. Powerful, yet efficient EcoBoost® V6 engine technology debuted for 2011, providing customers with better fuel economy and power. This was followed by the industry’s first high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body for the 2015 F-150, providing customers the “and” solution of greater efficiency and more capability. Two years later, 2017 Super Duty trucks also got lighter-weight high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy bodies – a savings Ford reinvested in providing best-in-class towing and hauling capability.

Innovation on the performance front continued, too, with Ford leading the way in the specialty truck segment. Early examples include Harley-Davidson F-150 and F-150 SVT Lightning. Then came Raptor – the first off-road trophy truck from a major manufacturer.

Inspired by desert racing and designed specifically to meet the needs of off-road truck enthusiasts, the purpose-built F-150 Raptor set the bar high for off-road performance. Today’s second-generation 2017 F-150 Raptor features a 450-horsepower EcoBoost V6, 10-speed transmission, and segment-exclusive Terrain Management System with electronic-controlled transfer case and differentials.

When you’re ready for a truck to get the job done, Planet Ford in Spring (serving the Woodlands, Cypress, Alpine, Conroe and greater Houston) is your award-winning location for  selection, service and saving. Take the short drive on I-45 to the Loretta exit to see and save for yourself. Log on anytime to

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Planet Ford Offers $500 Texas Farm Bureau Bonus Cash*



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Planet Ford Presents Annual Spring ISD $5,000 Scholarship

Shawn Burns, GM/OP; Alexa Horack, Community Liaison; Brad Stapp, Ops. Dir.; and Planet Ford in Spring team present Chriana Stevenson with Randall Reed’s Planet Ford Spring ISD $5,000 Student Scholarship Award

Congratulations Chriana Stevenson of Delaney High School.  Today, Shawn Burns, General Manager/Operating Partner of Planet Ford in Spring, Texas, surprised the senior with the Randall Reed’s Planet Ford Spring ISD $5,000 Student Scholarship Award.

The scholarship was award on behalf of the Houston-area Ford dealership and Randall Reed family.  Ms. Stevenson was one of many students who applied from Spring ISD area schools, including: Dekaney, Spring, Westfield, and Wunsche.

Both her family, a large number of the school staff and Planet Ford managers were on hand to celebrate her hard-earned success.

Congratulations Chriana Stevenson! We know you are going to do great things as you set your site on achieving even more goals in the years to come.

To learn more about Planet Ford in Spring on I-45 (serving The Woodlands, Aldine, Cypress, Conroe, greater Houston, visit!


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Ford Boosts Entertainment with Live Streaming, Music, Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Everyone at Planet Ford in Spring on I-45 (serving greater Houston, The Woodlands, Cypress, Aldine, Conroe) is always on the leading-edge of innovation.  So, it’s no surprise that Ford Motor Co. is reinventing how drivers and passengers will be consuming entertainment on the road. The American auto maker is offering new ways to wirelessly stream live TV and listen to music in its newest SUVs.

These new features are a result of shifting trends toward streaming services, whether for television shows, movies, music, podcasts and more. For example, one in three U.S. consumers currently listen to streaming music, according to trade association IFPI, with Generation Z and Millennials streaming at a more frequent rate.

“Increasingly, our on-the-go customers are streaming music and television to their personal devices,” said Michael O’Brien, Ford SUV Group Marketing manager. “We’re meeting this demand in our biggest and smallest SUVs.”

The all-new Expedition, available this fall, will offer an available Wi-Fi hotspot supports as many as 10 devices at once – up to 50 feet from the vehicle – while an available dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system provides a next-generation video experience that allows passengers to watch live TV via SlingPlayer on either of two video screens. The system represents the first time SlingPlayer – which connects to a user’s home Slingboxaccount – is offered in an automobile.

In the all-new EcoSport, available in early 2018, as well as in the new Expedition, Ford offers stream-friendly technology including Apple CarPlayand Android Auto capability, SiriusXM radio, an 8-inch touchscreen, and USB ports and power outlets that allow customers to connect and charge their many devices and listen to or watch content on-demand.

These media experiences are bolstered in both Expedition and EcoSport by the high-quality audio of the available Ford-exclusive B&O PLAY Premium Audio System.

Live TV viewing experience coming to all-new Expedition
When the 2018 Ford Expedition rolls into the showroom later this year, your passengers will be able to use the available dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system monitors to watch movies and video – even TV shows and live sporting events – streamed from a home cable or satellite system.*

The system, called EVO by developer VOXXHirschmann Corp., includes two 8-inch monitors integrated into the back of the front-seat headrests, a secure, in-vehicle wireless network hub that enables passengers to connect using a mobile device, and a host of sources by which to view content – including an industry-first SlingPlayer that lets them connect to a home cable or satellite system and watch live TV on the road.

SlingPlayer is software embedded into the entertainment system that lets passengers connect to a home-based Slingbox system to watch and control the TV signal.

Passengers will be able to use additional sources to view content, including a DVD player, HDMI, USB and SD card. Passengers can watch content from their Android®-based smartphone equipped with Miracast streaming. They can also stream video to the displays using the entertainment system app’s SmartStream function on compatible iOS® or Android devices.

Using a downloaded app on their smartphone or tablet, third-row passengers can connect to the network and watch non-restricted content. The system enables video playing on either headrest monitor to be viewed on up to three mobile devices simultaneously.

This connectivity isn’t limited to time in the vehicle. The wireless signal – when using the available Wi-Fi hotspot in Expedition – has a range of about 50 feet.

In addition to watching TV shows and movies, the system allows gamers to plug in to the HDMI port and play. And the USB plug doubles as a charge port – the seventh port available in the all-new Expedition – for mobile phones.

The system includes two wireless headsets, either of which can be paired with either monitor. Each monitor is equipped with a standard headphone jack for additional viewers. When everybody is watching the same program, the sound can be channeled through the vehicle’s audio system – including the available 12-speaker B&O PLAY premium system.

There are three ways to control each of the monitors:

  • Touch buttons, located along the bottom of each screen
  • Two remote control devices
  • Remote control via mobile app – available on any iOS or Android device

Front-row occupants can stay in command of what is playing using the touch screen mounted on the center stack when their mobile device is connected with the entertainment system app through Ford SYNC® AppLink. A parental block function gives them power to disable all second-row and mobile remote commands.

Music streaming the norm in all-new EcoSport
In a compact SUV like EcoSport, drivers can go small while living big as every inch of interior real estate is treated as a valuable and utilized resource.

With Millennials preferring streaming and subscription music services over CDs, Ford is replacing the CD player in the EcoSport with available technology that allows more on-demand choices while freeing up interior space to hold mobile devices or other personal items.

According to the 2016 Nielsen Mid-Year U.S. Music Report, overall consumption of digital music – downloaded and streamed combined – is up 15 percent. Meanwhile, physical album sales, including CDs, are down 10 percent, against a sustained surge in vinyl.

By 2021, IHS Automotive projects 46 percent of vehicles sold in North America will not have a CD player.

Instead of a CD player, EcoSport will now feature a unique horizontal storage bin over the glove box for storing smartphones within reach, while also allowing for a more upright touch screen. EcoSport also offers an available Wi-Fi hotspot and SYNC Connect® with FordPass®.

To learn more about Ford’s current and forth-coming technology, visit Planet Ford on I-45 at the Louetta exit in Spring, TX. Shop online anytime at

*Additional Slingbox hardware connected to home cable or satellite system and a home internet connection are required.

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Planet Ford in Spring Honored with Triple Crown Award

Planet Ford in Spring, the No. 1 Ford Dealer in the Houston area for 15 years,* is pleased to announce the dealership has again been awarded Ford’s Triple Crown Award.

The Triple Crown is bestowed upon only the best of the best. Out of thousands of Ford and Lincoln dealers in the country, only a select few are recognized. “We are absolutely honored to receive this award,” said Randall Reed, owner of Planet Ford in Spring, which is part of World Class Automotive Group. “As a family-owned dealership, we take great pride in taking care of our customers like one of our own.”

To be recognized, a dealership must receive all of Ford’s top awards, which includes the President’s Award for customer service; be selected for the Ford One Hundred Club, based on vehicle sales and make the Ford Customer Service Premiere Club.

“We’re thrilled to receive the Triple Crown once again,” said Shawn Burns, General Manager and Managing Partner at Planet Ford in Spring. “We have an amazing staff that works hard every day to ensure our customers receive top-notch service every step of the way.” That hard work and customer dedication shines through in all the family-owned dealership does and in the ongoing referrals and customers that return to Houston area Ford dealership.

“It’s wonderful to receive awards like the Triple Crown to confirm all of our hard work is translating to true customer satisfaction,” Mr. Burns said. “After all, our customers and their happiness are what really matters most.”

About Planet Ford in Spring
Planet Ford is located at 20403 I-45 in Spring, Texas. The dealership has earned the No. 1 Ford dealer ranking in the greater Houston area for 15 Years*. Planet offers new Fords, Certified Pre-Owned Fords and quality pre-owned cars, trucks and SUVs. In addition, Planet Ford also provides a full Service, Parts and Collision Department.
About World Class Automotive Group
World Class Automotive is owned by Randall and Sherry Reed. The family-owned business is comprised of several dealerships throughout Texas, including: Planet Ford in Spring, Planet Lincoln in Spring, Planet Ford in Humble, Prestige Ford in Garland and Park Cities Ford and Park Cities Lincoln in Dallas.
*Based on retail ford sales reported by Ford annually since 1998.
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Ford Listed Among World Most Ethical Companies for Multiple Years

Planet Ford is pleased to share that 2017 marks the eighth year in a row that the Ford Motor Company has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. With its focus on being a good corporate citizen, Ford garnering the honor for the 8th year makes it the longest streak for any auto manufacturer.

Ford’s commitment to ethics is evident in programs aimed at monitoring human rights and safe working conditions, sourcing conflict-free minerals, to programs such as the Partnership for a Cleaner Environment, which is aimed at encouraging sustainability through Ford’s supply chain.

Ford also seeks to foster long-term relationships with its suppliers through active engagement, which includes sharing best practices, as well as providing training and evaluations to ensure suppliers meet both legal requirements and Ford standards.

“Strong ethics and corporate citizenship are the foundation of our business philosophy, which demonstrates to our customers what we stand for as a company,” said Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman. “This honor is a reflection of Ford’s core values, and it shows that our employees are continuing to make the right decisions every day for all of our stakeholders.”

Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies acknowledges and honors companies that recognize they have a role in society to influence or drive a positive change. These companies consider their employees, investors, customers and other key stakeholders when taking action, while their values and culture align with the decisions they make every day.

For its efforts, Ford has been recognized by several third-party organizations, including:

  • 2017 World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune
  • 2016 The Just 100: America’s Best Corporate Citizens by Forbes
  • 2016 America’s Best Employer by Forbes
  • 2016 Top Green Company by Newsweek
  • 2016 World’s Most Attractive Employer for Engineering and IT by Universum
  • 2016 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

For more information about Ethisphere Institute’s methodology and to view the complete list of 2017 World’s Most Ethical Companies, visit

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Your Ford Could Be Your Very Own Personal Assistant

Every wish your Ford could tell how you were feeling and find ways to make your commute more enjoyable without you saying a word? At Planet Ford in Spring, we thought it sounded like a great idea too.

With nearly all new cars expected to offer voice recognition by 2022, future systems may evolve to interpret tone of voice, facial expressions. Ford’s in-car connectivity system SYNC 3 already enables voice control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and will soon enable drivers to use Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa. Ford with RWTH Aachen University is researching using multiple microphones to improve speech processing and reduce the effect of external noise and potential disruptions.

It all sounds great, right? After all, many of us are already used to cars that understand what we say. Experts predict that in future they may also know how we feel – sometimes without us having to say a word.

Nearly 90 percent of all new cars are expected to offer voice recognition capability by 2022. * The next step for the cars of tomorrow could be to pick up on tiny changes in our facial expression as well as modulations and inflections in our speaking voice, easing the driving experience for consumers.

Advanced systems – equipped with sophisticated microphones and in-car cameras – could learn which songs we like to hear when we are stressed and those occasions we prefer to simply enjoy silence. Interior lighting could also complement our mood.

“We’re well on the road to developing the empathetic car which might tell you a joke to cheer you up, offer advice when you need it, remind you of birthdays and keep you alert on a long drive,” said Fatima Vital, senior director, Marketing Automotive, Nuance Communications, which helped Ford develop voice recognition of the SYNC in-car connectivity system.

Cloud-based voice control is anticipated to be available on 75 per cent of new cars by 2022, * and it is predicted future systems would evolve into personal assistants that shuffle appointments and order takeaways when drivers are held up in traffic jams.

Movie fans will recall in the film “Her,” Scarlett Johansson’s character Samantha catered to Theodore Twombly’s every command, as a voice recognition system, which with uncanny accuracy, learned his mood, needs and wants – just from the sound of his voice. Someday soon, your car could do something similar.

This summer, Ford’s in-car connectivity system SYNC 3 will enable drivers to connect to Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and offers 23 different languages and many local accents. By accessing cloud-based resources, cars of the future could enable even more drivers to speak their native language, good news for those celebrating International Mother Language Day.

“Voice commands like ‘I’m hungry’ to find a restaurant and ‘I need coffee’ have already brought SYNC 3 into personal assistant territory,” said Mareike Sauer, voice control engineer, Connectivity Application Team, Ford of Europe. “For the next step, drivers will not only be able to use their native tongue, spoken in their own accent, but also use their own wording, for more natural speech.”

Apple CarPlay™ provides a simplified way to use the iPhone interface on a car’s touch screen, giving users access to Siri Eyes-Free voice controls, as well as Apple Maps, Apple Music, Phone, Messages, and a variety of third party apps. Android Auto™ delivers Google Maps and music to a car’s screen while enabling voice controls for phone calls and messaging. *

A research project Ford is currently running with RWTH Aachen University includes using multiple microphones to improve speech processing and reduce the effect of external noise and potential disruptions. Nuance says that within the next two years, voice control systems could prompt us with: “Would you like to order flowers for your mum for Mothers’ Day?” “Shall I choose a less congested but slower route home?” and “You’re running low on your favourite chocolate and your favourite store has some in stock. Want to stop by and pick some up?”

Future gesture and eye control would enable drivers to answer calls by nodding their head, adjust the volume with short twisting motions, and set the navigation with a quick glance at their destination on a map.

So is there a danger that, as in the movie “Her,” we might fall for our advanced voice recognition systems?

“Lots of people already love their cars, but with new in-car systems that learn and adapt, we can expect some seriously strong relationships to form,” said Dominic Watt, senior lecturer, Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York. “The car will soon be our assistant, travel companion and sympathetic ear, and you’ll be able to discuss everything and ask anything, to the point many of us might forget we’re even talking to a machine.”

Ready to shop for your future Ford today, visit Planet Ford in Spring (serving The Woodlands, Houston, Aldine, Cypress, Conroe) on I-45 at Loretta or visit!

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