Ford will launch a driver education campaign in China because, as an emerging market, there's lots of first-time car buyers. We've interspersed four videos of the Chinese driving "experience" into the press release below to show precisely why.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY LAUNCHES 'DRIVING SKILLS FOR LIFE' TRAINING IN CHINA
Successful global program is adapted to suit China's driving environment
SHANGHAI, China, June 12, 2009 — Ford Motor Company today launched its global Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) driver education program in China, together with its joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Co., Ltd.
The DSFL training has been customized for China to reflect the local driving environment and road conditions, and will mix classroom learning and practical training to help increase awareness of safe driving techniques and teach skills that can help drivers improve fuel efficiency.
"Ford is committed to contributing to Chinese society and being a leading advocate for road safety and environmental protection. The Driving Skills for Life program is dedicated to promoting driving techniques that result in improved safety, improved fuel economy and a better environment," said Robert Graziano, Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. "The DSFL program leverages our company's expertise, and will engage our employees and dealers to really help make a difference in the local communities."
As one of the world's fastest growing auto markets, China has a high percentage of first-time car-buyers and drivers on its roads. Ford strongly believes that programs like Driving Skills for Life are critical to address growing concerns about road safety in the emerging markets of its Asia Pacific and Africa region, including China.
Safe driving is economical
Nowadays a fuel-efficient driving style is no longer an option, but a real necessity. The introduction of this program is also timely for the reason. In addition to teaching basic safety skills, Driving Skills for Life will teach drivers how to improve fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent.
Key focal points of the training include methods to drive more economically with reduced environmental impact. Economical driving trainings cover topics of anticipating road conditions, applying fuel-efficient driving techniques, avoiding speeding and keeping a vehicle properly maintained for optimal fuel economy.
"The techniques used for safe driving are essentially the same for economical, fuel-efficient motoring," said Chi Linbing, a trainer from CFMA. "So, driving steadily at a reasonable engine speeds is not only safer, but can also help drivers improve fuel efficiency, as well as reduce CO2 emissions."
Driving Skills for Life was established in the United States in 2003 by the not-for-profit Ford Motor Company Fund, the U.S. Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts, to teach drivers the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what is learned in standard driver training programs.
The DSFL program was launched last year in four of Ford's Asia Pacific and Africa markets – including Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – and is on its way to becoming the company's first truly region-wide CSR initiative. More than 5,400 drivers participated in the DSFL training in 2008. The China launch represents the latest component of a global campaign that has helped educate more than 320,000 motorists to date, including both the U.S. and European initiatives.