Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, says “Successful products come from details.” So because he says that at Ford PD “We’re really focused on delivering continuously better products,” they are paying attention to the details. And seemingly even small things can make a big difference. He cites the design of the side view mirrors on the Ford Taurus. He notes, “They’re designed for form and function. The mirrors are sculpted and contemporary. What’s really important are the little notches on the top of the mirrors.” Now while the notches are, on the one hand, a design theme, reflected elsewhere on the vehicle, such as in the lamps, according to Kuzak, they’re just as important on the other hand, with that other hand being the functional one. The notches on the tops of the mirrors reduce the noise by one sone, which is a unit of perceived loudness.
The notches, Kuzak says, provide a four percent improvement in the overall wind noise in the vehicle, and contribute to the 13% improvement of the overall quietness in the interior of the Taurus compared with the Five Hundred that it replaces. About quietness he says, “It is a major contributor to the perceived quality of the vehicle.” In addition, because there is an improvement in aerodynamics provided by the notches, there is also an improvement in fuel economy. Slight, but still an improvement. And from little things, from attention to details, major improvements can be achieved.—GSV