Windstar Solutions

 

Status: Concept
Introduced: Toronto Show February 2000

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Press
Ford & Maytag bring conveniences of home to personal transportation with new concept: Windstar Solutions
 

Home is where you are -- Ford & Maytag bring the conveniences of home to your personal transportation with a new concept: Windstar Solutions

CHICAGO, April 7, 2000 - Is your work schedule so tight that your vehicle is often your office? Is it a miracle that your 3-year-old makes it to Grandma's birthday party without wearing her juice? Need a solution? Maytag Corporation and Ford Motor Company teamed up to create the ultimate in a "personalized for your lifestyle" concept vehicle, named Windstar Solutions. Windstar Solutions provides convenience and timesaving appliances for on-the-go consumers and incorporates technology that links consumers to their home via "Home Connection."

"By marrying our expertise, Ford and Maytag recognized that together we could provide consumers personal, creative solutions for everyday living," said Lisa Buckley, Maytag Appliances vice president and general manager. "The result is the newest concept vehicle - the Windstar Solutions."

Why Windstar Solutions?
Research conducted by Ford and Maytag showed consumers are dealing with many lifestyle demands, including longer commutes, record numbers of working mothers and people's need to achieve home and work life balance.

Windstar Solutions was developed and designed by combining the ingenuity of Ford's engineering, technology and safety teams and Maytag's innovative and high performance appliances. The concept vehicle integrates custom-designed Maytag appliances into the 2000 Windstar production minivan. From the Maytag refrigerator to the Hoover vacuum, this vehicle gives you the conveniences of home on the road.

"Listening to and observing the consumer led to the development of the Windstar Solutions concept vehicle," said Jim Schroer, Ford Motor Company vice president for global marketing. "It is Ford Motor Company's goal to be responsive to our consumers by creating solutions which improve their quality of life."

The Genesis
Understanding the importance of women and their lifestyles is a mission for both companies through Maytag's women leadership team and the women's marketing and product office at Ford Motor Company. Each company conducted focus groups, compiled consumer research and used its historical knowledge and observations of consumer needs in the real world.

Commonalities of the research pointed to the following trend: Consumers' lives have become increasingly complicated and busy, and these hectic lifestyles keep consumers in their vehicles for long periods of time. Maytag and Ford Motor Company leveraged and combined their resources to create a minivan that transforms conventional thinking about how a vehicle can pragmatically synergize design, engineering, brand, marketing and logistics to develop a concept that enhances individual lifestyles.

What's Inside
Maytag and Ford Motor Company co-designed Windstar Solutions to extend the convenience of home to the vehicle. The appearance and placement of appliances and entertainment options furnish consumers with the best in flexible and smart transportation. The list includes:

Refrigerator: Maytag's exclusive ClimateZone™ technology food drawer is featured in the cargo compartment. Consumers will be able to set the proper temperature for certain foods especially meat, fruit and vegetables. There is also a refrigerated compartment in the rear passenger area. These built-in units provide convenient storage of perishable items purchased at the grocery store, allowing for customers to continue their errands without stopping at home.

Microwave: Placed in the left rear, it's perfect to heat up a baby bottle, hot chocolate, tea, soup and even popcorn.

Cooler: Located behind the driver and front passenger seats, the cooler stores easily accessible items such as bottled water, sodas and juice boxes. It is also removable for use at a park or a football game.

Hot/cold cup holders: Located between the passenger and driver, the hot/cold cup holders keep your milk cold and your coffee hot.

Trash compactor: Windstar Solutions has a trash compactor located between the front seats and a trash bin in the vehicle cargo area. The mechanical compactor can crush everything from apple cores to aluminum cans. Both trash units have a washable liner, which can be removed for easy cleaning.

Wet/dry utility vacuum: The Hoover wet/dry utility vacuum is placed in the side panel adjacent to the second-row passenger seating. Hoover, a Maytag division, provides this dual-purpose appliance, which eliminates cracker crumbs, beach sand and spilled juice.

Washer/dryer: Spills on clothing are common, especially with children in the vehicle. A miniature Maytag combination washer/dryer is built into the rear cargo area of Windstar Solutions. A shirt or party dress could be washed and dried in 15 minutes.

Tray tables: Tray tables fold down from the seat backs of the front captain's chairs, providing children and adults a great place to eat a snack, complete a crossword puzzle, read or do homework.

Home Connection: Home Connection, a conceptual idea, adds a unique twist to Ford Motor Company's Telematics system. Telematics brings voice activation, automatic emergency notification into Ford Motor Company's Lincoln LS and into Jaguar brands. The Home Connection concept could enable consumers to remain connected to their home. Customers in the future could preheat the oven, check home food inventories, and monitor home security and fire systems while driving using voice-activation technology. In the park position, consumers can choose to use a touch screen.

Entertainment package: Family members and friends can experience hours of entertainment. Individuals can choose between viewing movies or playing CD-ROM interactive electronic games. Game controllers and CD storage are built-in.

Safety
Ford's 2000 Windstar is unparalleled for safety. It has earned the federal government's double five-star frontal crash-test rating, the highest possible, for driver and front passenger for five straight years. When optional side-impact air bags were added, Windstar became the first minivan to combine a double five-star frontal crash-test rating with a double five-star side-impact rating.

The 2000 Windstar also has a child safety-seat anchoring system, front air bags, the Belt Minder system that reminds drivers to buckle up and a passive anti-theft system.

Comfort
Windstar Solutions seats six, a must for the family taking the kids and their stuff to practice or the empty-nest couple heading out with friends.

Ford's adjustable pedal system allows the driver to better choose distance from the instrument panel and steering wheel. The accelerator and brake pedals adjust up to 3 inches horizontally, giving more comfort to drivers of varying heights and sizes.

What's Next?
"We know that busy lives have led to the merging of many schedules in today's families," Schroer said. "The next step, of course, is for consumers to tell us whether this concept will meet their needs."

Windstar Solutions is debuting at the National Kitchen and Bath Industry Show April 7 through April 9 in Chicago. The National Kitchen and Bath Industry Show Trade Show is the world's largest kitchen and bath event.

The Companies:
Maytag Corporation

Maytag Corporation is a leading producer of home and commercial appliances. Its products are sold to customers throughout North America and in international markets. Maytag Corporation, based in Newton, Iowa, is a leading producer of home and commercial appliances. The corporation's brands include Maytag, Hoover, Jenn-Air, Blodgett, and Dixie-Narco.

Ford Division
Ford Division is the largest automotive marketing sales division in the world and has been the top-selling U.S. car and truck brand for the past 13 years. Ford brand is a division of Ford Motor Company, the world's second-largest auto company, headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., and selling vehicles in more than 200 markets. Ford Motor Company employs nearly 400,000 people worldwide. In calendar year 1999, Ford Division sold a record 3.4 million vehicles. Ford Division is home to 13 product lines, including the Ford F-Series pickup, the No. 1-selling pickup in the world, and Ford Explorer, the top-selling sport utility vehicle.

 

Home is everywhere you are - Ford and Maytag equip minivan with washer/dryer, microwave and vacuum
 'One of a Kind' Ford Windstar on display at the 'One of a Kind' Show in Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, November 22, 2000 -- Is your work schedule so tight that your vehicle is often your office? Is it a miracle when your five-year-old makes it to kindergarten without wearing her breakfast? Need a solution?

Making its first appearance in Canada, the Windstar Solutions minivan -- equipped with time-saving appliances for on-the-go consumers as well as technology that links drivers to their home -- will be on display at the One of a Kind Show and Sale at the National Trade Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto, November 23 to December 3, 2000.

Ford Motor Company and Maytag Corporation teamed up to create this one-of-a-kind "idea" vehicle outfitted with a refrigerator, microwave, washer/dryer and other home appliances because research shows that as people's lives grow more hectic, they spend more time in their vehicles.

"After talking to consumers and listening to how their lives have changed due to longer commutes, more double-career families, and 24-7 work expectations, Ford developed the Windstar Solutions concept vehicle. A concept vehicle is a great way to get consumers' reactions to new ideas because they can actually see, touch and experience the innovations," said Dean Stoneley, the Windstar brand manager at Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. "What people tell us about a concept vehicle like the Windstar Solutions helps Ford to build cars and trucks in the future that will truly fit how people live their lives."

What's Inside?

Ford and Maytag co-designed Windstar Solutions to extend the convenience of home to the vehicle. The appearance and placement of appliances and entertainment options furnish consumers with the best in flexible and smart transportation. The list includes:

Microwave: Placed in the rear cargo area, it will be handy when the need for a baby bottle, hot chocolate, soup or even popcorn arises.

Washer/dryer: Spills on clothing are common, especially with children in the vehicle. A miniature Maytag combination washer/dryer is built into the rear cargo area of Windstar Solutions. A shirt or party dress could be washed and dried in 15 minutes.

Refrigerator: Maytag's exclusive ClimateZone technology food drawer is featured in the cargo compartment enabling consumers to set the proper temperature for certain foods -- especially meat, fruit and vegetables. There is also a refrigerated compartment in the rear passenger area. These built-in units provide convenient storage of perishable items purchased at the grocery store, allowing customers to continue their errands without stopping at home.

Cooler: Located behind the driver and front-passenger seats, the cooler stores items such as bottled water, pop and juice boxes. It is also removable for use at picnics or soccer games.

Hot/cold cup holders: Located between the passenger and driver, the hot/cold cup holders keep your milk cold and your coffee hot.

Trash compactor: Windstar Solutions has a trash compactor located between the front seats and a trash bin in the vehicle cargo area. Both trash units have a washable liner, which can be removed for easy cleaning.

Wet/dry utility vacuum: The Hoover wet/dry utility vacuum is placed in the side panel adjacent to the second row passenger seating. Hoover, a Maytag division, provides the dual-purpose appliance, which eliminates cracker crumbs, beach sand and spilled juice.

Tray tables: Tray tables fold down from the seat backs of the front captain's chairs, providing children and adults a great place to eat a snack, complete a puzzle, read or do homework.

Home Connection: Home Connection, a conceptual idea, adds a unique twist to the Ford Motor Company's Telematics system. This concept could enable future drivers to remain connected to their homes by preheating the oven, checking home food inventories and monitoring home security and fire systems while driving, by using voice activated technology.

Entertainment package: Passengers can experience hours of entertainment by choosing between viewing movies or playing CD-ROM interactive electronic games. Game controllers and CD storage are built in.

Windstar Solutions seats six, a must for the family taking the kids and their stuff to practice or the empty nest couple heading out with friends. Ford's power adjustable pedal system allows the driver to choose the optimum distance from the instrument panel and steering wheel. The accelerator and brake pedals adjust up to three inches horizontally, giving more comfort to drivers of varying heights and sizes.

The Ford Windstar Solutions is on display for the duration of the 26th annual One of a Kind Show at the National Trade Centre, Exhibition Place in Toronto, November 23 to December 3, 2000. On November 23, Dean Stoneley, brand manager for the Ford Windstar, will be available to answer questions regarding this unique concept vehicle.