Ford offers glimpse of new Ford Escape components

Steve Ivey

Ford Motor Co.    Ford Motor Co. Latest from The Business Journals Rising auto sales spark manufacturing optimismJacksonville has 3 electric car charging stations, more to come soonTexans: ‘Winning can only propel us upward’ Follow this company released a couple of details on Thursday about the next-generation Ford Escape.

The sport-utility vehicle, which is set to begin production at Louisville Assembly Plant during the next few weeks, will have slimmer, lighter seats aimed at making drivers more comfortable and reducing the vehicle’s weight.

According to a Ford (NYSE: F) news release, drivers spend an average of 101 minutes per day on the road.

“People are spending more time in their vehicles and continually touch the seats, which is why it has become increasingly important to ensure their seat is both comfortable and supportive,” Mike Kolich, a seat comfort engineer who is known inside the company as “Dr. Derriere,” said in the release. “We are designing our seats so when drivers and passengers arrive at their destinations, they are relaxed and ready to go.”

The seats also are lighter, helping Ford produce a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

In a separate news release, the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said that technology used to reduce the weight of its instrument panel has won an engineering award.

The company is using a process known as MuCell, which uses carbon dioxide or nitrogen to create millions of bubbles, lower the weight of plastic parts.

Ford was named the Grand Award Winner at the 2011 Society of Plastic Engineers “Most Innovative Use of Plastics Awards” competition.

Ford plans to unveil the all new Escape next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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