When my Ford rep e-mailed me and asked, “Would you like to go to Detroit and attend the Detroit Auto Show?”, I assumed it was a rhetorical question. He had to be kidding, why would I not want to attend one of the largest auto shows in North America, on its 25th Anniversary, as a guest of Ford? I responded with a yes, just in case he needed a formal response, then I waited.
I waited and I wondered. Why would Ford invite me to join 119 other bloggers to watch as they debut the 2015 Ford F-150 truck? What do they have in store for me and my fellow social media junkies? And…how will this Texas girl survive the sub-zero temperatures Detroit is known for in January? Luck was on my side, both in being invited, as well as missing the polar vortex, temps were in the 30s for most of my visit.
Scott Monty Says Ford is HIP
Sunday evening #FordNAIAS kicked off with dinner and a presentation by The Moth. Scott Monty, Ford Motor Company’s head of social media, started the evening by telling us why Ford is hip, with a story of his own. Turns out, when he said hip, he was referring to an acronym. For a minute there, I thought he was bragging about how hip and cool Ford is, and so by default, everyone in the room was part of the cool, hip crowd! (As a side note, everyone I met was cool and hip, and super excited to see the future of Ford)
H is for heritage and Scott shared his personal history with Ford that began in his childhood. While I knew Ford is a family owned business founded by Henry Ford,I was surprised to learn his first two attempts failed.The third time was the charm, and today, Ford is America’s last great industrial dynasty still run by Henry’s great grandson Bill Ford.
I is for innovation, which Ford is making big strides in with their EcoBoost engine, the new aluminum F-150, etc. Nothing says innovation like introducing a truck with military grade aluminum, with so much new technology Ford has filed for 100 patents. Also, they are one of the first automotive brands to embrace bloggers and social media. The result, according to Business Week, Ford produced nearly three times as many tweets during NAIAS as their competitors.
P is for people. Ford prides itself on listening to its customers, and incorporating their feedback across the board. We heard Ford talk about the importance of people over the course of two days, but not only do they talk the talk, they also walk the walk. From the individuals that handled our logistics, employees at the truck plant in Dearborn, all the way up to the CEO Alan Mulally, everyone treated us like members of the Ford family.
They are also some of the most passionate and enthusiastic corporate employees I have ever encountered. As I was describing my experience to my husband, he responded, “Do you think I should apply for a job with Ford?” Well….I wasn’t really planning on a move to Michigan.
A week after Detroit, I had the pleasure of meeting two more passionate Ford employees, Mitchell Dale owner of McRee Ford and Doug Scott, Ford Truck Marketing Manager. Both gentlemen were extremely personable, and not only do they work for Ford, but members of their family also work with Ford Motor Company. Their excitement is contagious, and I’m looking forward to test driving more Fords in 2014.
So, is Ford hip? I think so. Just take a look at the Ford Raptor, the 2015 Ford Mustang, or give the Fusion ST a spin, and within minutes you’ll know this is not your father’s Ford. When friends and strangers jokingly say I drank the Kool-Aid, I ask, have you driven a Ford lately?
“Like” Ford Motor Company on Facebook and follow @Ford on Twitter to stay in the loop. You can also check out #FordNAIAS and #FordTX to learn more about my adventures and the other bloggers while in Detroit!
Ford Motor Company paid for my travel, accommodations, and provided me with media credentials to attend the North American International Auto Show. All opinions expressed are based on my personal experiences.