Monday, January 10, 2011

Ford's Driving Green Technology Event - Day 2

Wow!  Day 2 of the Ford Driving Green Technology was a whirlwind.  Let me do my best to encapsulate it (despite my dead-tired, ready to fall into bed state.)

After an early 7:00 breakfast, we were shuttled over to the 2011 North American International Auto Show.  Today was the first Press Preview day and the show schedule was filled with press conferences and  announcements from all the major brands throughout the day.  Ford's press conference this morning was quite spectacular.  Held in Cobo Arena, it featured a multi-media presentation complete with the new Ford electric vehicles delivering executives to the stage.

The video presentation starting the conference introduced Ford employees from around the world who were also present in person and joined together onstage, each standing on the area of a world map representing their home location, which helped put faces to the company and show the global diversity of Ford.  (Pardon the poor quality iPhone picture.)

Central to the press conference was the announcement of Ford’s electrification strategy plans to deliver a family of electrified vehicles to North America by 2012 and to Europe by 2013. They include the already debuted Ford Transit Connect Electric small commercial, the Ford Focus Electric passenger car in 2011, and two next-generation hybrids in 2012 including the C-MAX hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in. Also introduced was a new C-MAX 7-passenger vehicle, which I personally think will be a great family vehicle. 

The presentation included a pre-recorded segment by celebrity environmentalist, Ed Begley, Jr. :

I have to say I loved the "special effect" at the press conference of little blue butterflies fluttering down from the ceiling at the end of Begley's segment. (Hopefully they will recycle them!)

Ford also introduced the new Vertrek concept vehicle, a sleek, sporty and stylish compact SUV.

After the press conference, we went to the floor of the NAIAS itself.  Ford accommodated the assembly of 100 tech, green and lifestyle bloggers in a Bloggers' Lounge, complete with power outlets, Wi-Fi access, and food and beverage to keep us energized.  In the afternoon Ford arranged a discussion with Stewart Brand, author of The Whole Earth Catalog.  Brand discussed the need to embrace urbanization, nuclear power and biotechnology to secure a safe and sustainable future for us and for the planet.

Throughout the rest of the day we had the opportunity to tour the rest of the show and see the offerings from other major brands.  It's heartening to see the industry as a whole taking the need to move to higher fuel efficiency and green manufacturing seriously.  The majority of brands had hybrid or electric vehicles on display and had dedicated efforts toward green technology. 

A fun moment of the show was meeting the Michelin man and getting a quick photo.  I don't know what it is about mascots, but I just can't pass them by without grabbing a snapshot!

The day wrapped up with dinner at the Iridescence Restaurant here at the Motor City Casino Hotel.  It was a fantastic dinner, made more so by the company of a great group of bloggers.

Disclosure: I was invited to participate in this program by Clever Girls Collective, Inc. in partnership with Ford and Ogilvy PR. Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the 2-day Driving Green Technology event, I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own.  


  1. So glad you could join us! For the record, those paper butterflies were made from recycled paper (as are all of our paper products at Ford) and will be recycled. :-)

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  2. I should have figured as much! Thanks Scott, both for your comment and the fantastic experience.


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