As Ford readies its U.S. plants to start producing vehicles again Monday, the company highlights the importance of American manufacturing and celebrates the flexibility and resolve of its workers with a television and social media campaign beginning today.
“The auto industry is the backbone of America’s economy, and we’re proud of our workers’ resolve and dedication to quickly pivot and produce life-saving personal protective equipment during the coronavirus, making a real difference when the country needed us,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, Americas and International Markets Group. “Now Ford is ready to lead the way in safely restarting our U.S. factories, reopening other facilities essential to delivering the vehicles our customers need and doing our part to help restart the country.”
The new campaign, featuring three new ads and social media content, underscores how Ford’s workforce quickly shifted gears to develop urgently needed medical supplies during the pandemic. The content – produced by Wieden + Kennedy with voiceover by Bryan Cranston – highlights Ford workers’ strong values and solid work ethic while honoring the resilience of a nation ready to face the challenges of returning to work.
Ford is gearing up for a phased restart to its North America operations beginning next week, including restarting vehicle production at key plants and bringing back approximately 12,000 employees who are not able to do their jobs off-site. Ford parts distribution centers resumed full operations in North America this week, supporting Ford dealers in providing service to keep cars and trucks – including first responders’ vehicles – on the road.
“Ford chooses to invest more in America than any other automaker in part because of its rich history here. There are a lot of parallels between how the company and the country face and ultimately overcome challenges,” Galhotra said. “It’s not easy, and it’s not always comfortable, but we don’t back down. We will work hard to come back – aiming to be even stronger than before.”
Ford employs more hourly workers in the United States than any other automaker and assembles more vehicles in America than any other automaker. Last year, Ford assembled approximately 492,000 more vehicles in the U.S. than the next highest-producing automaker. The Dearborn-based automaker also exports more vehicles from the U.S. than any other automaker, which helps it stay globally competitive. A strong U.S. manufacturing base helps Ford support its markets across the world.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ford has focused on the safety and health of its workforce, implementing robust safety and care protocols, including health assessment measures, personal protective equipment provisions and facility modifications to increase social distancing at all its facilities.
Initially, the company’s communications focused on being “Built to Lend a Hand,” offering payment relief for existing customers. Ford then shifted to an initiative for new customers that allowed up to six months of payment relief with the purchase of a new vehicle – all while working with volunteer autoworkers to produce and deliver life-saving medical and personal protective equipment from its auto factories.
“Our initial communications focused on assistance and reassurance,” said Matt VanDyke, Ford director of U.S. marketing. “The next phase of communications is about recovery. Ford is America’s car company. We’re looking toward the future and staying committed to our customers – what they want, what they need – each step of the way.”
Ford has developed new powered air-purifying respirators approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Ford has produced more than 400,000 reusable surgical gowns manufactured from material used to make airbags and other durable fabrics, and shipped them around the U.S. In addition, the company makes more than 1.5 million face shields a week and has shipped more than 14 million shields to all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam.
Now, Ford is preparing to safely restart factories that have been closed since March and helping boost the American economy.
An estimated 10 million workers in America are employed by automakers, their suppliers, dealers and related businesses. Vehicle sales and service, plus incomes and government revenue generate $953 billion annually in the country.
“Autos are the engine of America’s economy,” Galhotra said. “While we must do so safely, it’s time for us to start running again while remembering those who helped keep us in the race.”
Ford Motor Company PR