The last few weeks have brought a whirlwind of changes and fast-acting responses from Ziems Four Corners. As a community and a nation, we have made rapid adjustments to a new normal almost overnight. We couldn’t have done it with such aplomb without the backing of an incredible community and an amazing brand.
Today we stand Ford Proud at what our brand can do. Building on practices developed through years of assisting communities during times of need, Ford is partnering with prominent names across multiple industries to help a nation affected by the developing coronavirus outbreak.
At a Stand Still
On March 18, Ford along with all other North American car factories, suspended vehicle manufacturing and production. In the century-plus history of the auto industry, this has never happened. Factories were silenced. Workers were sent home. Our nation is gripped by uncertainty.
A Call for Help
On March 19, a plea came in from the Mayo Clinic and Ford Motor Company executives issued a call to action. In mere hours, Ford made the decision to shift gears from manufacturing cars to manufacturing medical devices. It assembled a task force to determine what could be made quickly. The first to act was a team from the “human-centered” design shop within Ford called D-Ford. Within a week, a small team of designers was in the midst of collaboration, reviewing plans, designing and testing prototypes and meeting with doctors. After seven days, start to finish, the team at D-Ford was able to switch from creating high-tech cars with robots and artificial intelligence, guiding the way to old-fashioned hand assembly of medical equipment. In the Detroit factory today, workers are producing medical face shields at a rate of one million units per week – each and every one of them by hand.
More to Do
On March 24, Ford detailed the additional measures it is undertaking to support a nation under stress and announced plans to partner with GE Healthcare, UAW and 3M to create a simplified respirator mask, ventilator designs (shown above) and additional PPE components. With face shields already under production in a collaboration with UAW and plans in place to increase the volume, Ford turned its efforts to other projects.
Partnering with 3M, the Blue Oval is manufacturing at scale Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs). The two are collaborating on a new design and leveraging parts from both companies to meet the urgent demand for first responders and health care workers; Ford is exploring the production of the new PAPR in one of Ford’s Michigan manufacturing facilities, helping 3M boost production potentially tenfold.
In its partnership with General Electric Health, the two companies are working together to expand the production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design, as well as providing components from their parts bin to build other respirators. The design released by Ford (top) will use 3M filters that draw air into a blower motor sourced from an F-150 and then pushed through a tube up to a mask that is sealed to the user’s face. Highlighting once again, the value of the F-150 product line.
Other Acts of Kindness
However, Ford Manufacturing isn’t the only branch of the automaker’s company that is getting involved. Its finance branch, Ford Credit, is encouraging customers in the U.S. impacted by COVID-19 to contact them to discuss optional delayed payments. It is offering a program giving customers who buy new vehicles at this time the option to delay their first payment for 90 days. Customers are encouraged to access their Account Manager profile either online at www.accountmanager.ford.com or through the FordPass app; visit www.fordcreditsupport.com or call the hotline to discuss options at 1-800-723-4016.
Ford’s philanthropic arm, The Ford Motor Company Fund, is directing more than $500,000 to nonprofit groups in southeast Michigan to support the delivery of food to both senior citizens as well as children who no longer have access to school meals. Another way Ford is helping is by converting two of its Ford Resource and Engagement Centers in Detroit into drive-up food pantry distribution centers. Ford Fund is also supporting Detroit-area nonprofits that provide shelter to families and other at-risk people. In addition, they are exploring how employee volunteers can assist other nonprofits that are short-staffed.
“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”
Here at Ziem’s Ford Corners in Farmington, the Ford brand has once again shown us what it means to be Ford Proud. We are eager for the day that we can see you all in person again, but until that time arrives, online shopping is always open, as is our service center. Stay strong New Mexico.