Ford reinforces commitment to aftermarket in largest presence ever at 2003 SEMA Show
Ford is unveiling 19 customized concept vehicles – most of them based on the top-selling F-150 pickup – and reaffirming in a major way its industry-leading relationship with the growing aftermarket at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show.
As the official "manufacturer of show" this year, Ford unveiled the largest ever exhibit from an auto manufacturer – a 65,000-foot display space highlighted by 14 customized versions of its all-new 2004 Ford F-150 – and teased visitors with a preview of the next-generation 2005 Ford Mustang.
Ford also announced the continuation of its Ford/SEMA Technology Initiative, which provides SEMA members with advanced access to future-product information. The relationship includes giving computer-aided design (CAD) data to aid aftermarket companies in the design and engineering of customized parts well in advance of a new vehicle’s introduction.
This successful information sharing already has allowed aftermarket companies to market and sell more than 100 items available on the 2004 F-150, as well as begin the engineering work necessary to prepare for the launch of customized parts for the next-generation 2005 Mustang next year.
"U.S. consumers spend $27 billion annually in aftermarket parts and service, and more than a third of that is on light trucks," says Phil Martens, Ford’s group vice president of Product Creation. "Ford has been on the ground floor in helping to fuel the aftermarket’s growth, and we intend to remain a leader in the future with hot aftermarket products like the all-new F-150 and the next-generation Mustang coming next year.
"At Ford, we’re introducing the largest wave of new products in our history – from the new F-150 and next year’s Mustang to several all-new products in new segments," Martens continues. "We intend to have hot product news every year that SEMA members will love."
In addition to news about these vehicles, Ford announced several product and marketing ventures to further strengthen the company’s leadership in performance, racing and specialty vehicles:
- Three concepts powered by Ford’s all-new 5.0-liter "Cammer" V-8 engine, which will be available through Ford Racing Performance Parts dealers or warehouse distributors beginning in 2004.
- All-new Focus and Ranger concepts that foretell soon-to-be-available custom body kits, interior enhancements and powertrain upgrades for the aftermarket.
- An innovative marketing relationship between Ford Motor Company and Revolution Studios to bring more hot Ford vehicles to a movie theater near you.
2004 Ford F-150: America’s Truck Leader Takes Over SEMA
Visitors to the Ford display will find an overwhelming presence of 2004 F-150s customized by SEMA members. Each truck features the aftermarket company’s personalization specialties and showcases the 100 aftermarket parts already available for the new F-150.
"The CAD files that Ford provided in advance saved time by allowing us to start our project before we even had a truck in our possession," says Ryan Strathearn with Tenneco Automotive, who developed the Rancho Suspension F-150.
"We ended up with more accurate designs because we could try many iterations before we even cut a piece of metal. Having the data greatly reduced our need to reverse engineer and also saved us money because we didn’t have to buy as many spare parts."
The customized 2004 F-150’s on display at SEMA include:
Roush F-150: How do you style a 2004 Ford F-150 to look like a Mustang GT-350? Roush did it by restyling the bumper, roll pan and hood, modifying the engine air intake adding nitrous oxide injection, lowering the suspension and adding aftermarket wheels and tires.
Fast and Ferocious by Wings West: Featuring a 5.4-liter 3-valve Triton V-8 engine with custom engine, paint and detail, this F-150 is fast and ferocious.
Big Sky by Performance West: The Performance West Group has created a loaded four-by-four sport truck that merges an active lifestyle’s needs with show-stopping appearance.
American Muscle by Street Scene: This F-150 is a sport "tuner" truck that handles, has power and offers good looks. Designed for a road racer, this truck offers a Whipple Super Charger, a lowered suspension, custom steering wheel and dash, a Street Scene urethane front spoiler and a fiberglass wiper cowl and hood.
Next Generation 2005 Mustang: Head-Turner Inside and Out
Ford is stoking the muscle car fire by giving SEMA members a sneak peek of part of the next-generation 2005 Mustang. The company is showcasing just one of many innovative new features coming on the car: a customizable instrument cluster.
"Cammer" Engines Showcase Power, Versatility and Personality
In addition to hot new F-150’s and a tease of the next-generation Mustang, Ford is taking the wraps off three extreme performance project vehicles powered by Ford Racing Performance Parts’ (FRPP) all-new 5.0-liter "Cammer" V-8 crate engine. The new power plant will be available through dealers or warehouse distributors beginning in 2004.
Focus RS8: Using the European Focus RS as a starting point, Ford Racing engineers worked to mate the new, all-alloy, 5.0-liter four-valve "Cammer" crate engine – cranking out a pavement-pounding 420 naturally aspirated horsepower – into the engine bay of a modified rear-wheel drive Ford Focus.
Focus Performance Concept
Ford also unveiled two new Focus and Ranger performance concepts that showcase affordable parts available from Ford Vehicle Personalization, the company’s in-house aftermarket unit. The concepts also foretell soon-to-be-available custom body kits for the aftermarket.
"SEMA reports that the compact performance market totaled $2.3 billion in sales for 2002 and is growing at a rate of almost 50 percent year over year," says Bob Masone, director of the Ford Vehicle Personalization group.
"Our Focus and Ranger concepts are designed to help these vehicles’ owners see what might be possible to achieve on their own route to personalization. All the modifications you see in these two vehicles will be available soon."
The Focus concept is powered by a Ford SVT 2.0-liter Zetec engine upfitted with a supercharger, suspension lowering kit, new anti-roll bar and tuner 17x7-inch 10-spoke wheels. All of these components are all available from Ford Racing Performance Parts.
On the outside, the Focus concept features a Ford Vehicle Personalization body kit sporting new front fascia, rear diffuser, unique grille, rocker panels, upper spoiler, mid-gate spoiler and hood scoop. An upgraded interior adds black leather seats and steering wheel with Impulse inserts in seats and door trim, custom instrument cluster mask and a Clarion audio/DVD/MP3 system.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....