Ford's Australia Production Ends

Ford first began manufacturing vehicles in Australia back in 1925 and spread across the country in the following 91 years. Now, the American automaker is bringing its manufacturing business to a close and it isn't the only one. Ford's Australia production is officially ending at the end of the year, but the automaker won't be leaving the country entirely.

The final Falcon XR6 rolled off the production line at the Broadmeadows plant, officially marking the end of an era. The final vehicle will be put on exhibit in Ford's Australia museum. More than three million Falcons have been produced in Australia since 1960, making it one of Australia's most popular models.

Toyota and General Motors also announced their withdrawal from Australia, citing high production costs, increasing competition, and distance from target markets. Ford is withdrawing too, but not to the same extent. In total, all three automakers will lay off 6,600 employees.

Ford will continue to employ 2,000 workers in Australia to sell and service imported cars. Engineers will help design models that will be produced elsewhere. That will make Ford the largest employer in the Australian automotive industry once Toyota and General Motors close their doors.

We here at Hopkins Ford are happy to see Ford working to maintain its presence in Australia despite present challenges.




The Effects of Cold Weather on Fuel Economy

 

We're all aware of the hazards of winter driving, but did you know the cold weather can also damage your fuel economy? Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your wallet from pricey winter woes. Follow these steps to abate the effects of cold weather on fuel economy…

  • We know how luxurious it feels to use your seat warmer, but for efficiency's sake, only use those seat warmers and your defrosters when necessary.
  • Make sure you park in a warm place whenever you can. This will limit the length of time it takes to heat your engine when you turn it on.
  • Maintain your proper tire pressure. In any weather, incorrect PSI can ruin your fuel economy, but things get especially complicated in the wintertime since the cold temperatures can have an adverse affect on your tire pressure.
  • Use winter weigh motor oil as specified in your owner's manual.
  • And finally, don't idle! You might think it's a good idea to heat your car up for a while before hitting the road, and it is, but not for as long as you might think. It's best to let your car run for just 30 seconds and then to gently drive away.




Baby Safety in Cars

In honor of Baby Safety Month in September, we're going to share a few tips on baby safety in cars. The easiest way to keep your baby safe while in the car is by having them ride in a car seat. Correctly using a car seat can reduce a child's risk of death by as much as 71%. Unfortunately, nearly three out of four car seats are installed or used incorrectly.

Here is a five-step checklist to make sure your child's seat is doing its job. Before you place the seat in your car, read the entire manual to make sure you are installing it correctly.

1.       Right seat. Make sure the seat you are using is appropriate for your child's age, weight, and height.

2.       Right place. Until your child is 13 years old, they need to sit in the backseat.

3.       Right direction. Children should ride rear facing as long as possible, but at least until they are two years old.

4.       Inch test. Once you have the seat installed in your car, try to wiggle the seat at the base. If it moves more than an inch side to side or back to front, it is not tight enough.

5.       Pinch test. Buckle your child into the seat and tighten the straps. If you can pinch any webbing between your fingers at your child's shoulders, tighten the straps until you can't.

If you follow all of these steps, you will do a much better job ensuring your child is safe in the car.




Automotive 101: How Do CVTs Work?

A CVT, or continuously variable transmission, is a type of automobile transmission that doesn't have fixed gear positions, instead moving through an infinite number of gear ratios. This new take on the automatic transmission improves fuel economy and driving smoothness. So how do CVTs work?

In regular automatic transmissions, a certain number of gears are used to provide the best ratio for a given speed. This is why you'll sometimes feel your car shifting when you speed up very quickly-the transmission is moving from one gear to the next.

In continuously variable transmissions, however, the gears are replaced with a pair of pulleys with a metal belt between them. One, the input shaft, is connected to the engine, and the other, the output shaft, is connected to the drive wheels.

When the pulleys come closer together, the belt is forced higher on the pulley, making the pulley wider and the other smaller. This change in diameter is what allows the transmission's ratios to vary. As the car goes faster, the pulleys work to lower the engine speed. This also happens in regular transmissions, but the pulleys allow for continuous changing rather than occasional gear shifting.

It might sound complicated, but it's technological advancements like this that forward the automotive industry!




Things to Do this Labor Day in Chicago

 

Labor Day is a much-needed break where you get to take a day off from work! So instead of just sitting at home and catching up on TV shows, you should get out there and spend your Labor Day in Chicago!

Looking for a free event? No problem! Attend these three events for no entry fee:

Chicago Jazz Festival - This is running for its 38th year and is one of the oldest free lakefront music festivals! There are tons of top acts this year, so cross your fingers for beautiful weather!

Chicago SummerDance - If you want to brush up on your dance moves, you can do it in Grant Park. There will be live bands, an outdoor dance floor, and free dance lessons!

Navy Pier Summer Fireworks - Love fireworks? You're in luck! They'll light up the sky near the Navy Pier at 10:15pm.

There are also plenty of other events, which require you to pay, that should be super-cool:

Chicago Fringe Festival - Want to see some daring theatre? This fringe festival features new and envelope-pushing plays, even plays in the form of ghost stories like one called "The Curse on Mordrake House."

Great American Lobster Fest - If you love seafood, there's plenty of it here! You can eat a full lobster and listen to live bands.




F-150 Wins 2016 Green Truck of the Year

 

When most people think of fuel-efficient vehicles, trucks are not often on the list that comes to mind. However, automobile companies keep improving trucks to make them more efficient when it comes to using fuel.

The Green Car Journal just recently gave its 2016 Green Truck of the Year award at the San Antonia Auto and Truck Show. And the winner, of course, was the Ford F-150 pickup.

At 26 miles per gallon, the 2016 F-150 fuel economy is the best of any full-size gas-powered pickup truck. Ford has not only increased the rating of the fuel economy, but has also created versions of the truck that can run on propane and compressed natural gas (CNG). Ford has also used extensive amounts of aluminum in order to cut weight, and has included fuel lines made with castor bean oil and cloth seats made with fiber from recycled products.

Trucks are often some of the worst gas guzzlers on the road, so it is important for companies to continue working to improve fuel efficiency and overall 'green value of the vehicle.'  The F-150 is one of the top selling trucks in the country, so kudos to Ford for making it a more 'green' vehicle!




 

New Ford EcoBoost V6 Engine Will Make the F-150 Crazy Powerful

Ford is already known for its reliable, powerful engines - fueling what are literally America's best-selling cars, such as the Ford F-150 line. And now, it seems that the Ford EcoBoost V6 engine is set to become even more powerful.

The new Ford EcoBoost V6 engine will be able to produce more torque than ever before, making it the strongest engine of its kind and even rivaling diesel and V8 engines. The engine will have "port and direct fuel injection, new turbos, hollow camshafts and stop-start capability."

The 2017 Ford F-150 pickup is set to be the first model to sport it. The new F-150 will also feature a new, 10-speed automatic transmission, which--when combined with the new engine--will surely make the F-150 an even more attractive option for any buyer.

To learn more about all the new technology that Ford has in store, contact us or visit us anytime here at Hopkins Ford.




 

3 Delicious Places to Find Desserts in Elgin, Illinois

We at Hopkins Ford love dessert! Luckily for us, there are many fantastic places to get these delicious treats in Elgin, Illinois! Here are a few of our favorite places for desserts.

Fisher Nuts - Technically this is more of a store, but it has such fantastic deals, that we couldn't leave it off our list! Check out its website for fantastic recipe ideas then stop by the store to pick up the ingredients needed. Take the ingredients home and make your own delicious dessert!

La Michoacana - This crowd pleasing shop serves Mexican styles of ice cream such as paletas, mangoneadas, and even has unique dishes such as Cheetos with cheese. There are a wide variety of flavors and everyone will surely find a new favorite!

Oberweis Ice Cream & Dairy Store - Featuring rich ice cream and unique seasonal flavors, this is one dessert destination that definitely has earned a spot on our list!

These are just a few of the amazing dessert places around Elgin, Illinois. What is your favorite place to get dessert?




 

Top-of-the-Line Ford F-150 Offers Most Ford Truck Luxury Ever

Are you a picky truck driver that needs the perfect combination of luxury and capabilities? Well, have no fear-Ford now has the perfect F-150 for you. The American carmaker recently introduced the new top-of-the-line Ford F-150 Limited, which combines exclusivity, capability, and craftsmanship to produce a truck even the most discerning truck enthusiasts will love.

"The F-150 Limited sets a new bar for what discerning customers should expect in a high-end truck," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of Global Production Development. "We're adding segment-exclusive technology, and features that improve productivity, convenience, and capability with distinctive style."

A variety of technology comes standard in the F-150 Limited, such as the Ford SYNC® 3 with AppLink, a 360-degree camera system, and adaptive cruise control. IT even comes with multicontour massaging front seats! If that's not luxury, we don't know what is.

Other exclusive interior and exterior design elements include the raised LIMITED lettering on the hood, Mojave leather seating, a unique instrument cluster, and 22-inch wheels. These features, combined with the F-150's notoriously good performance and capabilities, make this top-of-the-line Ford F-150 a terrific choice for any truck buyer.




 

New Ford F-150 Raptor Conquers the Desert

Most people don't doubt that the new Ford F-150 Raptor will be able to handle just about any obstacle, whether it be made of rocks, sand, dirt, mud, or dust. But just in case there are doubters after all, Ford put out a new video showing off the truck's capabilities.

The video features the F-150 Raptor beating the desert into submission with slow-motion shots that do a great job of showing the truck's suspension at work. It looks as though the F-150 Raptor is barely breaking a sweat and as though the driver would be having an excellent time at the wheel.

Ford intends to release five more videos in the future that display other aspects of the truck's abilities and features, such as its all-new BF Goodrich KO2 off-road tires, its six preset driving modes, its long-travel suspension that the automaker describes as the "crown jewel of F-150 Raptor," and more.

It'll go on sale fall 2016, so expect it then at Ron Hopkins Ford!




 

How to Remove Paint Scratches

Scratches and scuffs can happen anywhere, ranging from parking lots to the highway. Once you've caught sight of a scratch, it's incredibly hard not to see it every time you walk by. A repair shop can get costly, but luckily there's a do-it-yourself way to fix the unsightly problem. Here's how to remove paint scratches from us here at Ron Hopkins Ford!

Before you get started, you'll need to check the depth of the scratch. Do so by dragging your fingernail over it. If your nail catches on the scratch, it may be too deep to fix at home without specialty kits or tools.

Once you've determined the scratch's depth, clean both in and around the scratch thoroughly. Any leftover dirt and grime will end up rubbed into your paint and that almost defeats the purpose of removing the scratch.

Now that the scratch is clean, take a damp cloth and toothpaste to it. A few dabs of toothpaste is all it takes to remove a scratch. Rub in small circular motions and check your progress every few rotations. If the scratch is shallow, it won't take long to disappear. Deeper scratches will take longer to remove altogether.




 

Tips and Tricks: Figuring Out Which Side the Gas Cap Is On

This might seem a little silly at first, but think about it-there's been a time, there's always a time, when you get out of your car at the gas station and realize your gas cap is on the other side. No matter how long you've been driving that car, it'll happen. Luckily, we know the not-actually-secret trick to figuring out which side the gas cap is on.

You can always strain your head to look out the window for the gas cap, but sometimes it's not so easy to see and this isn't the safest way to go about it. And it can kind of make you feel like a goof when you're wrong and everyone sees it, so you want to make sure beforehand.

The secret: Look at your gas gauge. You see that little tiny fuel tank symbol? It has that weird inexplicable triangle on one side or the other. That triangle actually indicates which side the gas cap is on. If the triangle is on the right side of the fuel symbol, the cap is on the passenger side. If it's on the left, the cap is on the driver's side.

Easy as pie, right?




Ford Lego Sets for the Young Ford Fan in Your Life (or Yourself)

 

Ford is all about driver experience (one cruise in a Ford vehicle is enough to convince you of that), but Ford is also all about creating a lifestyle that keeps drivers coming back to the brand. So what is the most recent addition to Ford lifestyle products? Probably the coolest item yet (especially if you're 12 and under, but not exclusively): Ford Lego sets.

The two new Ford Lego sets include a Ford Raptor and a Ford Mustang. The Ford Mustang Lego set sells for just $14.99 and is a great option for Lego-lite builders, with just 185-pieces total. The Ford F-150 Raptor Lego set, retailing at $49.99, is a little more advanced, with 664 pieces in total. The Ford Raptor set includes a drag racing Christmas tree, a hot-rod Model A, trailer, and full garage.

Either set makes a perfect gift for burgeoning Ford fans and Ford collectors alike-or just the Lego builders in all of us.




Ford Named Among Interbrand's 2015 Best Global Brands

The Ford Motor Company has been named one of Interbrand's 2015 Best Global Brands, the annual study that ranks the top 100 brands in the world.

Ford ranked 38th, up one position from last year with a brand value estimated at $11,758 million, an increase of around 6 percent compared to 2014.

The annual study ranks each brand based on three important factors: financial performance, the role the brand plays in the purchase decision process, and the brand's ability to command a premium price based on its strength.

In other words, automotive shoppers are more likely to buy Ford and even to pay more for a Ford simply because it has a Ford badge, which has proven time and time again to represent the qualities people care about in a vehicle.

We personally think it's because of their style, but you might have a different opinion about what makes the Ford brand so great. Stop by Ron Hopkins Ford and let us know your thoughts!




Ford's Fabric Promises to Stand the Test of Time

 

When it comes to the materials Ford uses in its vehicles, there is no cutting any corners. The fabric found in Ford vehicles needs to stand the test of time, including the ability to withstand the everyday wear-and-tear that happens when a family uses a vehicle on a daily basis - from installing car seats and spilling on seats, to leaning on arm rests and holding the steering wheel.

In an effort to help guarantee the long-lasting reliability of Ford's fabrics, the automaker subjects each of the materials used in its vehicles to harsh and rigorous testing. Engineers relentlessly stretch, pull, rub, scratch, and snag each material. Additionally, these materials are splashed with a variety of liquids, including grease, hot coffee, and dirt.

Some of these test include:

The Five-Finger Scratch Test - includes scratching plastics to see how much they can take before showing damage.

The Soil and Cleanability Test - splashes a variety of liquids and other stain agents on the materials and evaluates how well they can be cleaned.

The Resistance to Dye Transfer Test - rubs colored materials (like blue jeans) against leather to make sure the leather resists the transfer of any color.

The Mace Snagging Test - spins seat fabrics on rotating rollers while they are struck by a 'spikey iron ball' about 600 times to ensure the fabrics are tough enough to withstand year's worth of wear.

To learn more, visit media.ford.com or stop by Ron Hopkins Ford today!




Ford Apollo Edition Mustang Honors First Moon Landing

Ford is ready to take you to the moon-in the figurative sense. The American carmaker recently revealed a unique Ford Apollo Edition Mustang that was inspired by the U.S. Apollo spaceflight program. Needless to say, this Mustang's styling is truly out of this world.

"The Apollo Program delivered astonishing innovations in technology and achieved a national goal of landing the first human on the moon," said Edsel B Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors. "The entire program was extraordinary-one of our nation's greatest technological achievements. With this year's stunning Apollo Edition Mustang, we salute that spirit of American ingenuity with the quintessential American automobile-Ford Mustang."

Ford has created the Apollo Edition 'Stang based on a 2015 fastback Ford Mustang GT. It has a one-of-a-kind glossy pure white and pure black paint scheme that mirrors that of the Apollo spaceship, while also offering unique LED underbody lighting and a carbon fiber front splitter, among other things.

The proceeds of the Apollo Edition Mustang's purchase will go directly to benefit Experimental Aircraft Association youth education programs, including the Young Eagles. This program has already provided free introductory flights to more than 1.9 million children, helping increase the number of next-generation aviators.




2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport

One new addition to the 2017 Ford Fusion lineup is an exciting, turbocharged Fusion V6 Sport model. This sedan promises thrilling performance and a driving experience like you've never had in a Fusion before. Inside the V6 Sport model is a rotary gear shift dial with an all import Sport mode button right in the center.

According to Ford, when drivers press that button, seven important things happen.

Cluster. The Sport mode icon appears in the instrument clusters.

Steering. The electric power-assisted steering delivers unique tuning for enhanced vehicle response.

Handling. The continuously controlled dampers get stiffer to enhance the Fusion V6 Sport's responsiveness and minimize body roll.

Engine. The electronic throttle programming changes to deliver a more responsive feel.

Powertrain sound. The in-cabin noise cancellation alters its tuning to deliver thrilling engine sounds.

Paddle shifters. The paddle shifters behind the steering wheel reach their maximum capabilities for complete transmission control.

Transmission. Gears are held through turns for maximum cornering performance, downshifts while braking are rev-matched, and transmission programming selects lower gears for higher available torque.

With these fine-tuned adjustments, it's easy to see how the 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport is going to be one exciting ride. Come experience it today at Hopkins Ford.




Ford Fiesta Named a Best Back-To-School Car

 

You're ready to get back to school, so how about having a car that's ready, too? You can with the Ford Fiesta, since it was recently named a best back-to-school car.

The Fiesta was given the award by Kelley Blue Book. Each year, KBB.com compiles a list of the 10 Best Back-to-School Cars. And for a second year in a row, the Ford Fiesta made it on the list! It's not an easy feat, either. Kelley Blue Book only awards the cars with the best efficiency, affordability, and safety.

The Ford Fiesta has it all! It's got top technology thanks to SYNC 3 and incredible standard safety features to keep you safe on your journey back to school.

"Safety is the paramount decision when it comes to back-to-school cars, and practicality and affordability are also high on the list of desirable characteristics, at least according to parents," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB.com.

You'll get top efficiency, too. With EPA-estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg on the highway, you'll barely need to stop for gas even on longer road trips back to school.

Come down to Hopkins Ford today and test drive the Ford Fiesta!




 

5 Simple Preventative Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Running

You invest a lot of money into your vehicle, so you understandably what it to operate efficiently and properly for as long as possible. To do so, a bit of preventative maintenance and elbow grease is required.

Here are some preventative maintenance tips to lengthen the life of your car:

  • Never neglect your regular oil change, and be sure to check the oil each month on your own.
  • Make sure that your other liquids - coolant, brake fluid, etc. - are replaced and maintained according to your owner's manual.
  • Keep a sharp eye out on your tires, which should be properly inflated, properly aligned, and have the proper amount of tread.
  • Every now and then, check that each of your lights is working. If a light is broken, but out of your view, you may not notice it otherwise.
  • Lastly - especially in the summer - check your air filter, which will keep the car fresh!

For more maintenance advice or to check out our service department, contact us or visit us anytime here at Hopkins Ford.




 

Calling Captain Planet! Saving the Environment with the Ford Focus Electric!

For those who grew up in the 90s, animated television shows we're basically the best thing ever. Ford recognizes the nostalgic spirit of 90s fans and uses Captain Planet to promote their all-electric vehicle, the Ford Focus Electric.

Captain Planet is a great spokesperson for electric vehicles, as he was definitely one to promote environmental awareness. We think that Ford picked their cartoon wisely and enjoyed watching the animated clip. It's fun to watch the clip and think of all the "green" advice that the show used to give us!

If you are not a fan of Captain Planet, don't let that discourage you from the amazingness of the new Focus Electric. There are so many perks to the new vehicle such as never having to go to the gas station and waking up to a "full tank" every day! Of course, there is also the instant torque that comes with electric vehicles which makes driving less stressful and more enjoyable.

Don't just take Captain Planet's word for the amazing new Ford Focus Electric; stop by Hopkins Ford to try out the new Focus Electric and experience the smooth and efficient ride for yourself.




 

Ford F-150 Available With Factory-Installed Strobe Warning LED Light Kit

Ford is now offering a factory-installed strobe warning LED light kit on all 2016 Ford F-150 models, becoming the first automaker to make strobe lights available to F-150 fleet customers.

The strobe light kit is designed for use by utility, road construction, and municipal crews that need superior vehicle visibility while working on-site to warn incoming drivers that workers may be present and to proceed with caution.

The kit is designed specifically to work with the F-150's high-strength, military-grade aluminum-alloy body and uses weather-resistant, durable low-power LEDs to guarantee the best reliability even in rough working conditions.

The front- and rear-mounted amber lens strobe light can be seen from up to 1,000 feet during the day and as far as a mile away during the night, while rear-facing signals mounted on the stop lamp can't provide up to 180 degrees of illumination. The flash pattern can be customized by customers to meet any necessary fleet requirements.

For more information, ask us about the strobe warning LED light kit at Ron Hopkins Ford!




 

Ford Police Interceptor Harder to Spot

Speeders beware! Ford is giving its Police Interceptor SUV a more casual look, and it's one that could leave you with a ticket. With this new feature, this large SUV will be harder to tell apart from similar SUVs. With the offering of a new low-profile visor light bar, the Ford Police Interceptor is ready to crack down on crime.

Based on the Ford Explorer, the Police Interceptor is a large SUV, and with the addition of the new light bar, it'll be hard to tell the two apart. Although the Interceptor will still be black in color, there are still quite a few black Explorers on the road.

The low-profile visor light bar is hidden where the headliner and top of the windshield meet. That means the large aftermarket blue-and-white light bar we see on top of police vehicles could be disappearing.

"Today, agencies typically use aftermarket interior visor light bars that are somewhat bulky and can obstruct the field of vision-especially for taller officers," said Stephen Tyler, Ford police marketing manager for North American fleet, lease, and remarketing operations.

Get ready for a new world of crime-cutting stealth as the Ford Police Interceptor takes another step to improving the world we live in.

Here at Ron Hopkins Ford, we're happy to see an automaker doing more to support law enforcement!




How to Care for Your High-Mileage Car

 

If you're not ready to turn in your long-loved, years-old vehicle, you don't need to (though when you're ready to take the plunge, Ron Hopkins is here for you); but, if you're going to keep that vehicle as long as you hope to, you'll need to take some extra precautions. To help, here are a few tips for taking care of your high-mileage car:

At 120,000 miles, you'll want to keep an eye on your spark plugs and coils. You O2 sensors will have accumulated combustion byproducts, so be sure you're in communication with your technician at Ron Hopkins Ford about cleanings. Your high-mileage car will also require more alignment checks and suspension adjustments, which are very affordable procedures. Finally, make sure you keep up with engine fluid replacement.

At 180,000 miles, your car is nearing in on its upper mileage limits. You will still want to keep up with your fluid replacements and alignment checks. Additionally, be sure to listen for timing skips and unexpected noises. These could be a sign of necessary replacement of your timing chain tensioners.




Tips for Improving Fuel Economy in Winter Weather

 

According to fueleconomy.gov, a car's fuel economy drops an average of 12% when the temperature drops from 72 degrees to 20 degrees, and as much as 22% for very short trips. Whether you're looking to save a few dollars at the pump, or want to do your part in reducing greenhouse gases, there are a few things you can do to improve your car's fuel economy in the cold winter months.

Park in a warm(er) spot. If possible, choose to park in a garage or covered space, or choose a spot where the sun can reach your vehicle to make it easier for your car to warm up when you start it.

Combine trips. Whenever possible, run multiple errands at one time. Your car is much more efficient once it's warmed up, so take advantage of that.

Check your tire pressure. Cold weather can cause the air in your tires to detract, causing your tire pressure to be low. Check you tire pressure often in the winter to ensure your tires are properly filled and to ensure that your car is running at its most efficient.

Don't idle your car. Idling actually uses a large amount of gas, and proves to be less efficient than just driving to warm up the car.

Do you have other useful trip for improving fuel economy in winter weather? Let us know in the comments.

To learn more, stop by Ron Hopkins Ford today!




Good News: Gorilla Glass and Ford Partner Up

  

Speed demons who also love to keep things safe on the track, prepare to be pumped! Gorilla Glass and Ford have just announced a new partnership, bringing a new lightweight, high-safety experience to the Ford GT.

The new glass is a hybrid glass, uniting lighter yet stronger materials to decrease the weight and increase the strength of conventional materials. Gorilla Glass features a plastic adhesive interlayer and a soda lime glass outer layer, a high-tech way to make your life easier and safer. The hybrid glass is a whole 30% lighter and 20 - 50% thinner than conventional glass. On the Ford GT, this translates to approximately a weight reduction of 12 pounds. This might not sound like much, but at high speeds such as those the Ford GT is capable of, every little ounce counts.

 The Gorilla Glass and Ford union is likely to extend to other Ford models as well. Keep a look out for this awesome feature on your next Ford!




Celebrate These Holiday Events in Elgin, Illinois

 

Elgin, Illinois, is a great place to be this holiday season. There is easy access to nearby towns, good shopping, holiday light displays, and an outdoor skating rink, City Skate. City Skate is located on the Civic Center Plaza, and offers ice skating as well as a warming shelter. Skates can be rented for $4 with an ID.

Perhaps the most festive event will be the season's performance of "Elgin Celebrates the Holidays." The city's arts community will be performing a holiday variety show. Within the show there will be chorale music, classic vocal performances, and dance. Many groups will be featured in this production, including Eastern Groove Studio, Urban Dance Concept, and many more. Elgin's own Improv Troupe, GreenRoom Productions, will act as masters of ceremonies for the event. Tickets can be purchased at The Hemmens Box Office, by phone or online, or from participating groups. General admission tickets are $10 and all proceeds go towards the participating performing arts groups.

For more information on local events, click here. Don't miss out on all these holiday events in Elgin, Illinois!




Environmental Agency Gives Ford a Top Water Conservation Score

The CDP, the only environmental disclosure agency in the world, gave Ford a top water conservation score of A in its report, which was released in full at a conference of world leaders in Tokyo about water use and conservation on October 22.

The CDP evaluated over 400 companies for its report and awarded the A grade to only 8 companies worldwide. Ford received this award in part due to dramatically decreasing its total global water use by 62% between the years 2000 and 2014. This saved more than 10 billion gallons of water, a milestone which Ford hadn't expected to achieve for another two years.

The director of Ford's Environmental Quality Office, Andy Hobbs, commented that "access to clean, affordable drinking water is a basic human right" and went on to say that Ford still aims to continue reducing its water usage. Hobbs says the company will create more innovative technologies to decrease the usage of water in Ford plants and offices around the world.




Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Heads "The Specialists at Ford"

Ford has launched a new advertising campaign called "The Specialists at Ford." You might be surprised to find out that one of these specialists is none other than Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, whom you probably know as the biggest superstar in WWE history.

So what does wrestling entertainment have in common with Ford automobiles? Well, not much really, other than that The Rock enjoys cars and especially likes Ford. He's starred in the last three installments of the Fast & Furious franchise, has produced a documentary on karting, and owns a Ford F-150 truck of his own.

"The Specialists at Ford" are a crew of elite technicians with all of the necessary tools, parts, and training to make servicing your vehicle at a Ford dealership the right choice. Starting October 12, Johnson will lead this crew in ads on television, radio, and the Internet to promote the benefits of servicing your Ford at an authorized dealership-such as Ron Hopkins Ford!




Check Out the Elgin Fringe Festival

The Elgin Fringe Festival is coming up! This year the festival will take place from September 17-20 and will feature around 30 artists including actors, musicians, and filmmakers, who will perform or display over a hundred shows, films, and exhibits.

The Fringe Festival is a performance-focused festival that started in Scotland in 1947 and has expanded globally, with festivals all over Europe, Canada, and the US. Fringe Fests usually take place throughout spaces in the cafes and theaters of downtown areas. For information on the locations of Elgin Fringe Fest performances, check out the event website.

The executive director of the Elgin Fringe Festival, Sean Hargadon, says that "Downtown Elgin is a prime location for a fringe festival because of its urban feel and proximity to Chicago," as well as several art-related additions to the downtown area like Side Street Studio Arts and Elgin Art Showcase.

All profits from the Elgin Fringe Festival go back to the artists, so this isn't just a fun thing to do on the weekend but a great way to support local artists!




Find the Best Car Deal, New or Used, at Hopkins Ford Elgin

At Hopkins Fordof Elgin, we pride ourselves on selling a bunch of new Ford cars and trucks to many happy customers throughout the Chicago area. We always try to give our customers the very best prices and offer the best service and car shopping experience over all the other Elgin car dealerships, too. And a lot of attention ends up on trucks like the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 or the snappy crossover SUV Ford Escape, and deservedly so. However, a new car or truck might not be the best for some customers, and we understand that, which is why we always have at least 75 quality, low mile used cars on the lot. 

In fact, we are the most prolific used car dealer in Elgin, and shoppers coming into our family owned dealership realize that we have a lot of great pre-owned cars that are just a year or two old, like this 2014 Ford Escape, that are perfect for them. And, as an added benefit, these used cars and trucks will save them more than $10,000 over a brand new vehicle of the same model. It's a solid financial move for our customers to come in looking for a brand new vehicle but drive home with a great 2 year old car or truck, such as this 2012 Ford F-150 extended cab pick-up, instead. If the customer is happy, then that makes us happy, too.

And don't forget, whether you buy a brand new Ford car or truck from us or one of our numerous pre-owned vehicles, our QuickLane Center is there for all of your service needs, from oil changes and wiper blades to new tired, headlights and brakes. All of this work is done fast, while you wait in our revamped waiting room with TVs and wi-fi.

Come on in and enjoy the best car buying experience in the Chicago area. Whether it's a new or used car or truck you're looking for, Hopkins Ford of Elgin is the dealership that will serve you best.






Don't Let Your Winter Car Maintenance Guard Down Now

We've passed the midway point of February, which normally means we're looking beyond winter now and hopeful for spring. Of course, it looks like this year might be different.

make sure to never drive with this much winter road grime on your car.

We all know this road grime look. Make sure your wipers
are good and your washer fluid is full.

 

Record lows are predicted for the Chicago suburbs this week. Now, it might seem a bit obvious, since cold air is, well, cold air, but it's important for your car to not let your guard down for proper maintenance.

Just like the past two months or so, make sure your windshield fluid is full and your wipers are still soft and don't make that horrific noise while dragging across the windshield. If you ever notice the blacktop streets are pretty much white now, that's because of the accumulation of salt and grime (see image to the right). That grime will end up on your windshield, reducing your driving visibility exponentially, and hard or worn out wipers will only skip across your windshield leaving a smeary mess of streaks behind. Also, don't forget to wipe off your headlights.

Of course, these are just a couple of things we check and replace if needed when you bring your car to our QuickLane service center. We'll also make sure you battery, oil and tires are good to get you through the rest of this long, cold winter.

 

Soon, it will be time for spring so make sure you check back at www.ronhopkinsford.com to see what your car needs to work reliably and efficiently for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. And yes, one day it will be summer. 

 


2015 Ford Mustang GT is a (Well Heeled) Beast

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Larry A2015 Ford Mustang GT at Hopkins Ford of Elginndersen, chief of Sawfish Online Content Marketing. We do some digital and content marketing for Hopkins Ford of Elgin. I mention this because I don't sell cars, at least I never have, but I'm about to sell just one. Here's the story:

It was a day before New Year's Eve, Jay and Jeff Hopkins and I discussed some business at their dealership. While leaving, the brand new Ford Mustang in the showroom caught my attention. At first, I thought it was a Porsche because of the sleek fast back rear end. And then, duh, it dawned on me it's a Ford dealership and this was the brand new 2015 Ford Mustang. It was the best looking Mustang I've seen, and its lines and shape had a modern look with a serious amount of mid 1960s style. Beautiful car. I just wanted to touch it.

That was "just" the EcoBoost V6 model with 320 horsepower. Yeah, 30 mpgs with 320 horses. Jay walked up and says, "I've got the brand new Mustang GT out front. Want to take it for a spin?"

Normally, I'd pass, wanting to get back to the office or get home to see the kids. However, this time, I had to take the opportunity. Jay grabbed the keys and we hopped in the black Mustang GT.

It was the first car I've been in that didn't have an ignition switch, but instead the motor fired up by pushing a button. It felt like a race car. And when the 420 horsepower 5 liter engine lit up, it sounded like a race car, too.  A few stomps of the pedal and the tachometer leapt with joy and the exhaust growled real mean. I then promised myself two things: I wasn't going to wreck it, and I wasn't going to buy it.

We rolled out of the parking lot and onto Chicago Avenue. I stomped on it. The rear end sat down, the tires broke loose (at 20mph) and she got a little sideways. Jay and I both giggled and tossed out a few naughty words.  I stood on the gas to hear the roar and feel the acceleration many times on the drive because the Mustang GT, with its real big, aggressive hood, just begged you do it. I couldn't help myself.

Then we turned on to Lake Street. Merging with this car is actually fun instead of scary. Hit the gas and the car responds - and in a hurry. We got into the left lane and decided to pass a line of cars. From 40 mph to, well, I dare not say it because I COULD end up in jail, took all of three seconds. It didn't even feel that fast, but the speedometer was cheering, much like the big motor, and Jay and I giggled again.

We made it back to the Hopkins Ford dealership. I sat in the car for a moment flipping the gas pedal just to hear the Mustang growl some more. Then it was over. Exhilarating. Absolutely, positively incredible. Honestly, I never was a Mustang fan - at least the new ones - but this car is a beauty. And at about $31,000 with 420 horsepower stock, you're not going to find a better looking production car with more power, speed and interior comfort than the 2015 Mustang GT. My hat's off to the Ford team on this one, and thanks to Jay and Jeff for letting me take a lap.

Larry Andersen

Sawfish Online


 

2015 at Hopkins Ford of Elgin is Going to be Great!

There are a lot of things to be excited about at Hopkins Ford of Elgin. Late last year, we finished our complete overhaul of our family dealership that was started in 1982. It's a brand new look, brand new showroom, overhauled service garage and brand new waiting rooms.

 

Beyond our new looks, there are new Ford cars and trucks to be excited about as well. If you haven't heard, the new 2015 F-150 was completely redesigned and the body is now all aluminum, saving 700 pounds on the truck. There are a variety of engines available, too, from the dependable 5.0 liter V8 to the revolutionary EcoBoost 3.5L V6 that delivers around 23 mpg with a towing capacity of over 12,000 pounds. 

 

Let's not forget the brand new Ford Mustang. Its sleek new design harkens the days of famous fastbacks of the 1960s, with the power to go with it. The Mustang GT comes with 419 horsepower from the factory, and that number only goes up from there. We have one here at Hopkins Ford of Elgin and this thing is nuts! What a blast driving it!

 

Our lot is also filled with great pre-owned cars and trucks at great prices. We're certain you can find a good, reliable car at Hopkins Ford that will fit in your budget. Our staff will always make sure you get the quality used car you need and want and at the price you can afford. We won't pressure you, so come on in and take a look!

 

Keep Hopkins Ford of Elgin in mind if you find yourself needing a brand new Ford car or truck or a pre-owned vehicle in 2015. Your satisfaction is our priority! 

 

Thanks, and Happy New Year,

Hopkins Ford of Elgin

hopkins ford family dealership.jpg

Hopkins Ford of Elgin was started by Ron Hopkins (middle) in 1982. Sons Jay Hopkins (left) and Jeff Hopkins (right) now manage the dealership, making Hopkins Ford of Elgin a true family dealership.

 
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