Posts tagged with "ford"

Ford Honors Pirelli at 21st Annual World Excellence Awards

Pirelli was recognized as a top-performing global supplier at the 21st annual Ford World Excellence Awards, receiving a Brand Pillar of Sustainability World Excellence Award presented by Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer and Linda Cash, Ford vice president, quality and new model programs.

“It is an honor to receive the Sustainability World Excellence Award from Ford,” said Marco Crola, CEO of Pirelli Tire North America. “Sustainability is a fundamental choice for Pirelli. It is fully integrated into the Group’s vision and strategies for growth, in all business areas and in all management decisions, everywhere in the world. We applaud Ford for its strong leadership in sustainability: it has been an important stakeholder for Pirelli in areas such as responsible sourcing of natural rubber (see our work at https://naturalrubber.pirelli.com), carbon reduction, and materials innovation. This is the second year in a row Pirelli has been awarded a top award from Ford for global performance; our partnership is important and we look forward to supporting Ford in future”, Crola added.

“The Pirelli team continues to take big strides in developing innovative products for a more responsible automotive industry. With Ford’s commitment to making mobility more efficient and sustainable, Pirelli plans to partner in this path, every step of the way,” said Ernest Bedia, vice president of Original Equipment Pirelli Tire North America. “My sincere gratitude to everyone involved in the cooperation between Ford and Pirelli to help create a better future.”

“Ford’s annual World Excellence Awards recognize our top-performing suppliers for their contributions to our success,” said Thai-Tang. “Suppliers like Pirelli play an instrumental role in helping us achieve our vision of being the most trusted mobility company.”

The award winners achieved the highest levels of global excellence in 10 categories, including:

  • Quality, sustainability, safe and smart categories for suppliers that demonstrate leadership in Ford’s primary brand pillars
  • Aligned business framework for suppliers that most exemplify the framework’s principles, with an emphasis on quality, value and innovation
  • Special recognition for suppliers that delivered results exceeding expectations
  • Diverse supplier of the year and supplier diversity development corporation of the year to honor suppliers that excel in integrating diversity into their organization and business process
  • Gold and silver for supplier manufacturing sites demonstrating superior quality, delivery and cost performance throughout the year

About Pirelli

Pirelli was founded in 1872 and has its headquarters in Milan, Italy. Pirelli focuses its business on the high end, premium product segment where it is a world leader. Pirelli has a commercial presence in over 160 countries and 19 factories in 12 countries. Successfully competing in motorsports since 1907, Pirelli is currently the exclusive supplier of the Formula 1© championship, the Superbike world championship, and many other championships around the world.

Pirelli is recognized as a socially and environmentally aware corporation that applies sustainable practices in everything from “green performance” products to responsible sourcing, to providing a healthy environment for its workers.  The company is currently global leader in the auto components sector of the Dow Jones Sustainability World and Europe Indexes, on the CDP Climate Change A List, and a leader in several other indexes and rankings such as Euronext Vigeo, Ethibel Pioneer and Ethibel Excellence, ECPI and Oekom.

Pirelli Tire North America includes the Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) facility and research and development center at its Rome, Georgia headquarters, a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico, sales and marketing offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Montreal and Mexico City, and a prestige flagship store in Los Angeles. The company manufactures, distributes and markets original equipment and replacement tires for export and domestic car/motorcycle applications. For more information regarding Pirelli, please visit www.pirelli.com

ROUSH RAPTOR

The new, all-terrain 2019 ROUSH Raptor adds signature ROUSH style with an aggressive exhaust note and new, optional Performance Pac engine upgrades for sizeable increases in horsepower and torque.

ROUSH Performance has announced the release of its signature version of Ford’s legendary off-road performance truck, the 2019 ROUSH Raptor. Featuring aggressive BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, a performance-tuned ROUSH Axle-Back Exhaust System and dynamic ROUSH graphics, the 2019 ROUSH Raptor delivers unmatched off-road performance and style backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty.

The 2019 ROUSH Raptor is equipped with Ford’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine producing 450 horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque. ROUSH ensures this powerful engine has a sporty exhaust note to match with the included ROUSH Axle-Back Exhaust System. For those looking for even more power, ROUSH plans to offer an optional Performance Pac Engine Upgrade System (final numbers to be announced at a later date) which includes a maximum-flow 3.0-inch exhaust system, ROUSH Cold Air Intake Kit and an ECU flash for increased performance, throttle response and drivability. Overall performance gains from the ROUSH Performance Pac for 2019 will be announced at a later date.

The 2019 ROUSH Raptor rolls on 20-inch black ROUSH off-road wheels with integrated bead protection wrapped in BFGoodrich 35-inch All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires for maximal stability, grip and handling on rough terrain.

“The 2019 ROUSH Raptor is our most capable off-road vehicle to date,” said Jack Roush Jr. “From ice and snow to the depths of the desert, this vehicle conquers the terrain with iconic ROUSH performance and design, especially now that it is available with our Performance Pac engine upgrades.”

ROUSH offers a host of aesthetic and utility improvements that set the ROUSH Raptor apart including a ROUSH Chase Rack with optional off-road lighting by Rigid for sporty utility and style. A signature ROUSH graphics package with optional customization finishes off the unmistakable custom style. Interior modifications include a custom gauge cluster, ROUSH headrest embroidery and a serialized console badge.

Those looking for unrivaled off-road capability can add an optional off-road utility kit. For even more style and utility, ROUSH also offers graphics package upgrades and an optional Console Vault safe.

Pricing on the ROUSH Raptor begins at $13,000 over factory MSRP. Visit ROUSHperformance.com to build your ROUSH Raptor and find a ROUSH dealership near you.

ROUSH PERFORMANCE LAUNCHES SUPERCHARGED 2019 F-150 SC

The new off-road ready 2019 ROUSH F-150 SC features a ROUSHcharged 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 producing 650 horsepower and is now available for purchase or custom order at all ROUSH authorized Ford Dealers.

ROUSH Performance is proud to unveil our most advanced off-road performance truck to date with the 2019 ROUSH F-150 SC. Featuring the ROUSH TVS R2650 Supercharger and an advanced ROUSH/Fox 2.0 off-road suspension, the 2019 F-150 SC provides an unparalleled driving experience. Like all ROUSH vehicles, all of this power and performance is backed with a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty.

The 2019 ROUSH F-150 SC produces a potent 650 horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque from the combination of the ROUSH TVS R2650 Supercharger system and Ford’s 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8. This pairing offers an increase of 255 horsepower and 210 foot-pounds of torque over stock. ROUSH ensures this engine sounds as good as it performs with its dual tip performance exhaust system.

As an optional upgrade, ROUSH offers the F-150 SC with its premium Active Exhaust system. Upgraded for the 2019 model year, the Active Exhaust system uses electronic valve technology to allow drivers to choose between touring, sport, wide-open and custom modes via a mobile app or console mounted switch. The ROUSH Active Exhaust mobile application enables users to have full control over their truck’s sound based on rpm, vehicle speed, and accelerator position.

The F-150 SC gains additional suspension travel and two inches of front leveling over stock from a ROUSH/Fox 2.0 suspension upgrade. The suspension upgrade is designed to provide excellent off-road performance without compromising on-road handling, and preserves factory capacity for both payload and towing. The F-150 SC rolls on 20-inch black ROUSH wheels wrapped in General Grabber ATX LT305/55R20 Tires offering stability and confidence on rough terrain while remaining tractable on the highway.

“The 2019 ROUSH F-150 SC is truly an all-purpose truck,” said Jack Roush Jr. ”Whether you’re cruising down a highway or blasting across a desert trail, this vehicle pulls through with legendary ROUSH performance, style, and refinement.”

ROUSH offers a host of aesthetic improvements on the F-150 SC to ensure a unique, aggressive look on and off the road. ROUSH combines a signature front grille with accent lighting, fender flares with accent lighting, a front bumper cover and a square “R” hitch cover. A signature ROUSH graphics package with optional customization provides unmistakable custom style. An optional ROUSH Soft Tonneau Cover by ExTang is also available. Interior modifications include molded floor liners by WeatherTech, a secure console vault and a serialized console badge. Optional leather seating upgrades and an optional off-road utility kit are also available. The ROUSH F-150 SC pricing begins at $24,900 over factory MSRP.

Visit www.ROUSHperformance.com to build your F-150 SC and find a ROUSH dealership near you.

About ROUSH Performance
ROUSH Performance was founded in 1995 by motorsports legend Jack Roush, the winningest name in racing. Combining performance engineering with entrepreneurship, ROUSH began selling designs he had created for his own team to the wider world of motorsports. Based out of Plymouth Township, Michigan, ROUSH Performance, a division of Roush Enterprises, designs, engineers and manufactures completely assembled pre-titled vehicles, aftermarket performance parts, and superchargers for the global performance enthusiast market. For more on ROUSH please visit www.ROUSHperformance.comwww.ROUSHperformance.com or call 800.59.ROUSH.

2015 SHELBY MUSTANG GT350R

RARE 2015 FORD SHELBY MUSTANG GT350R SELLS AT BARRETT-JACKSON TO BENEFIT PETERSEN AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM

Auction Photos By Barrett-Jackson

One of only 37 units ever produced, the Shelby belonged to the museum’s Founding Chairman Bruce Meyer, who has donated all of the proceeds to the Petersen and the Henry Ford Museum

On Friday, January 18, 2019, in front of a packed house and a live television audience, a 2015 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R owned by Petersen Automotive Museum Founding Chairman Bruce Meyer sold for charity at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. With 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Petersen and the Henry Ford Museum, the rare race spec Mustang hammered with a winning bid of $500,000 and was sold to celebrated collector and museum supporter Ron Pratte.

“The Petersen would not be the global force it is today without the help of Bruce Meyer,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “His tireless dedication and outstanding leadership over the past 25 years is unrivaled, and we are so thankful for his generous contribution to us through the sale of this extraordinary GT350R.”

Before crossing the block as Charity Lot #3006, Meyer’s GT350R showed less than 200 miles on the odometer. Since he took delivery of the car in 2015, Meyer prominently displayed it in his Beverly Hills Garage. His decision to offer the car at auction for charity came from his steadfast support of the Henry Ford Museum and the Petersen, where he serves as Founding Chairman of the Board of Directors and the founder of the Checkered Flag 200—the Petersen’s top-level membership program.  

Ford’s 2015 Shelby GT350R celebrated 50 years of the iconic Mustang by transforming it into an all-out, street-legal track star. Like the 1965 R-model, Ford only produced 37 units of the GT350R. Purchase, however, was restricted to Ford family and VIPs—making ownership an exclusive affair. The car features a 5.2-liter V8 backed by a six-speed manual transmission, producing 526 peak horsepower at 7,500 rpm.

While the GT350R will no longer reside in Meyer’s world-renown collection, a selection of his most important race cars will go on public display at the Petersen in the new exhibit “Winning Numbers: The First, The Fastest, The Famous” opening Saturday, February 23. The exhibit will feature a curated selection of Meyer’s most important motorsport icons, including the first production Shelby Cobra, the Porsche 935 K3 that won Le Mans, the Greer-Black-Prudhomme dragster, two Le Mans-winning Corvettes separated by more than half a century and more. 

For more information about the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit www.Petersen.org.

Hyundai Invests in New Technology

Hyundai CRADLE, Hyundai Motor Company’s corporate venturing and open innovation business announced today its strategic investment in allegro.ai, a leading technology company specializing in deep learning (DL) – based computer vision. This partnership with allegro.ai will allow to speed up deployment of AI technology in many business areas. This will improve the quality of Hyundai’s products, thereby increasing customer satisfaction while creating a safer driving environment.

Founded in 2016, allegro.ai offers the first end-to-end DL lifecycle management solution focused on deep learning as it applies to computer vision. The company’s platform simplifies the process of developing and managing deep learning-powered solutions – such as autonomous vehicles, drones, security, logistics and others.

“Deep learning computer vision is one of the core technologies that can be applied to autonomous driving to navigate roads and make quick decisions in real-time – and allegro.ai is clearly an innovation leader in that field,” said Ruby Chen, Head of Investment at Hyundai CRADLE Tel Aviv. He added, “Our investment in allegro.ai is a further step in enhancing our presence in the Israeli market, a global leader of technological innovation in the fields of automation, artificial intelligence and deep learning. This is our fifth investment in an Israeli company and our activities will continue to grow the coming year”.

“We are proud to partner with Hyundai and share Hyundai’s belief that AI empowers the industry to provide greater road safety, autonomy, to better understand customers’ needs and to help broaden their experiences,” said Nir Bar-lev CEO and Co-founder of allegro.ai. “Whether a company is developing autonomous vehicles, drones, security, or other types of applications, allegro.ai makes it easy for them to manage their data-sets and build deep learning-based solutions while guaranteeing complete and confidential control of their data.

Check out their website HERE

Lexus UX, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Amazon headquarters, Seattle

LEXUS UX

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Lexus in Seattle for an intimate ride and drive of their wholly-new UX SUV at the newly reimagined luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. This seaport city is home to both tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. With Lexus’s innovative track record for having unparalleled technology within their cabin, it was befitting that they brought us to the home of the Space Needle. Subsequently, this town is known to think outside of the box.

The 2019 Lexus UX takes a step into the future of modern luxury with its two most affordable and compact SUVs – the UX 200 and UX 250h. UX stands for urban crossover (x-over). The UX 200 will be released in December 2018 starting at $32,000 and the UX 250h will be released in January 2019 for around $34,000. Gearing towards an opulent compact car with an exterior design so specific, the UX has a signature three-dimensional shape that makes it different from its siblings.

The front has brow-shaped LED lights with optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units. Across the back of the boot, are an innovative wrap of three-dimensional LED lights which help with stability on the highways – a standout design element on the UX. The structure is built to mold into an everyday vehicle that is stable, perfect for urban use because it’s small and easy to park. We had no problem squeezing to the front of the Bainbridge ferry.

The 18″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy dark gray metallic wheels are proportional to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Available in a variety of twelve exterior colors, two of which are exclusive to the UX F Sport – Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. The Cadmium Orange includes a cherry base with yellow lowlights, making it appear vivid and adding tons of depth. Nori Green possesses bright highlights and dark contrast alongside of calm shades, drawing the color brilliant. Both of these colors are newfangled and daring for the Lexus brand.

The F Sport package is available in both the UX 200 and UX 250h model as well as has enhanced features and style which contributes to its name. This option comes in the two colors – Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. The F Sport performance is exceptional, transforming the UX into a bespoke-like designer car with front sports seats, grille design, and jet-black trim.

The concept of UX stems from the versatility and adaptability this vehicle offers. With a seamless interior coupled with the Japanese concept of engawa offers a richer field of vision. Executed with a high-strength structure, placement of sound absorbing and insulating materials throughout, one can enjoy an extremely quiet ride.

The connection between driver and the vehicle is apparent with the “seat-in-control” concept. Entering and exiting is made easy with hip-point bottom cushions. 8-way power driver seats (including lunbar) allows the driver to operate with a comfortable yet natural posture.

All UX models are fabricated to ensure safety while driving. The Pre-Collision System alerts drivers of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles with a forward-facing camera and radar system. The LSS+ 2.0 system enhances this with specific light detection for different hours of the day. If the Pre-Collision System detects a high possibility of collision, an audio and visual alert will prompt the driver to take action. If the driver does not break at that point, the system may automatically apply brakes to help mitigate impacts. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control maintains a preset distance and operates between 0 to 110 mph. The Lane Departure Alert is extremely helpful with the Multi-Information Display (MID) the system can use forward-facing cameras to detect colored land marking illustrations. If the driver deviates from a visibly marked lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. In addition, the UX has an Electric Power Steering and Steering Assist. The Road Sign Assist can read a variety of traffic signs and will display them on the vehicle’s MID. Furthermore, Parking Support Brake uses braking control and visual warnings to reduce possible contact with moving objects while parking.

This Lexus is extraordinary with its high definition, intuitive technology, and overall performance. The UX includes a standard 7″ TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD control panel while the UX F Sport features an 8″ TFT LCD panel design with a movable meter ring. By pressing a switch on the steering wheel, it moves to the right, enlarging the multi-information display. With the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the 2019 UX feels as familiar as a smartphone. The most impressive tech feature is Amazon’s “Alexa” – which immediately connects you to play music; find directions; open your garage door on a rainy day; lock/unlock from a smart device and amongst other things control the lights in your home. The Lincoln Navigator is the only other vehicle in Northern America which offers Alexa. Moreover, additional driver connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, 4GB Wi-Fi Hotspot, Voice recognition for commands and the SiriusXM. The heads-up display allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment unit.

The UX complies with the global trend of efficient gas mileage vehicles – UX 200 at 33 mpg (2.0- liter inline four-cylinder engine, similar to competitors but with less under-hood heat and lower weight for better vehicle balance). The UX 250h at 39 mpg, making it the wave of their next generation of hybrids. With 181 hp, the UX 250h is the fuel-efficient leader with the best-combined mpg of any CUV and/or SUV without a plugin NA.

In short, the Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h is a shoo-in for a ‘xennial’ buyer – a person who grew up in an analog environment and can easily adapt to present-day’s digital society. Just think of all of your friends and family members with a recent graduate degree or higher residing in a metropolis. Most likely they have a high appreciation for the arts and take local trips within their surrounding area with one or more cronies and a small lap dog in tow.

J.D. Power × Multimedia × Satisfaction Study

In-Car Multimedia Technology Still Vexes Vehicle Owners, but Some Automakers Showing Strong Improvement, J.D. Power Finds

In-car multimedia technology, perennially the leading source of complaints among new-vehicle owners, is still a sore spot for customer satisfaction, but is improving. According to the J.D. Power 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study,SM the number of reported problems with in-car audio, communication, entertainment and navigation (ACEN) technologies has decreased for a third consecutive year, with several technology standouts emerging among manufacturers.

The study measures the experiences and opinions of vehicle owners regarding the quality, design and features of their ACEN system in the first 90 days of ownership. Multimedia system quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

Top-performing vehicles in each segment are as follows:

• Small Mass Market: Kia Rio

• Compact Mass Market: Kia Forte

• Midsize Mass Market: Ford Mustang

• Large Mass Market: Ford Taurus

• Small Premium: BMW 2 Series

• Compact Premium: Porsche 718

• Midsize Premium: Lincoln Continental

• Large Premium: BMW 7 Series

“In-car multimedia has been a problematic category for automakers for several years, as ever-more elaborate navigation, voice recognition and entertainment systems have proliferated in vehicles of every type,” said Brent Gruber, Senior Director, Automotive Quality Practice, J.D. Power. “While the area is still the leading cause of new-vehicle complaints—with voice recognition technology continuing to lead the way as the number one complaint for a sixth consecutive year—we are seeing some serious improvement across the board, with some manufacturers really raising the bar on delivering quality multimedia technology experiences for their customers.”

Data for the annual Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study is derived from each year’s J.D. Power Vehicle Quality Survey (VQS). The data is augmented with supplier sourcing information where available, which affords multimedia suppliers with a comprehensive view of the overall multimedia industry, as well as the performance of individual products and systems, and problems that owners experience.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.

BUICK: A CLASSIC REBORN

By Krishan Narsinghani x Vaughn Lowery

360 Magazine was recently invited to test-drive the redesigned 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir FWD 1 SP in Carmel, California. The model type avenir derives from a concept car introduced in 2017. Avenir translates to “future” in French and the modern aesthetics do not disappoint. Buick has since mirrored those design elements on multiple vehicles.

Walking up to the luxury three row crossover, drivers can start their engine with a new remote start key. The Enclave introduces sharper lines and athletic curves. The headlights and taillights are slimmer to create a skinnier look when in fact the vehicle is larger. Speaking of size, family trips just became easier with a spacey seven seater inside and roomy trunk. Buick reaped the benefits of high strength steel shaving roughly 400 pounds off the previous model.

This lifestyle voyager sets the stage featuring a bespoke-like interior with a two tone color pattern making the Enclave an executive family car perfect for a trip or a late-night urban outing. Avenir has not only set the bar with design but also in technology as a revolutionary rear view mirror transforms into a screen bleeding to the edges of the mirror for a second back-up camera that faces an eye level view. This camera travels faster than five mph to give a real-time view of moving surroundings. Apple CarPlay is also a new feature for iPhone users to drive safely. Located under the tail, drivers can kick a foot activated swivel to open the trunk. Finding the hands free lever becomes easier with a ghost lit Buick emblem highlighting the lever area.

Reduce carbon footprint through carpooling while the crossover adjusts fuel efficiency at 18 miles per gallon on city roads, 26 miles per gallon on the highway and 21 miles per gallon with mixed driving.

The team alongside Buick explored Carmel-by-the-sea and the fairytale land the city has to offer. The team joined Carmel Valley Ranch to see the daily life of a professional beekeeper. 360 handled the bees, watched honey come to life and even found the queen bee do her thing. While driving around the beach-city on California’s Monterey Peninsula, Buick stopped at the harbor for a kayaking expedition.  In-between adventures, the team had a chance to get acquainted with the smooth feel and driving style of the vehicle.

The Enclave packs a 3.6L V6 with 310 HP and also includes stop/start technology. Peak horsepower comes in at 6,800 RPM thanks to a nine speed automatic transmission. As one of the top luxury models, quiet cabins are enforced with QuietTuning. The weight saving translates to nimble handling and ride is soft while the body leans in the corners. The Buick Enclave Avenir’s base price is set at $53,500. Additional information can be found on their website.

TV ONE SPONSORS NAACP IMAGE AWARDS

TV One is joining forces with a distinguished team of sponsors supporting the 49th NAACP Image Awards: Red Carpet Live! pre-show on Monday, Jan. 15 at 8.00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT. and the subsequent live telecast of the 49th NAACP Image Awards onTV One at 9 p.m. ET8 p.m. CT. Sponsors include Ford Motor Company, AT&T, American Family Insurance, Black Radiance, Curls, Disney Pictures, McDonald’s, Walmart and Toyota.

 

“As we recognize black achievement on a day as auspicious as the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, TV One is proud to partner with a dynamic group of companies which understand the importance of representing the dream within their communities and across the nation,” says Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay, TV One EVP of Ad Sales and Marketing.

For the fifth consecutive year, TV One is the television home for the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization’s award show, the 49th NAACP Image Awards hosted by Golden Globe-nominated actor Anthony Anderson.

Additionally, actor and TV personality Terrence J (Think Like A Man) will return to host and serve as one of the producers for the 1-hour live TV One Red Carpet Special with correspondent Tanika Ray (Extra) and chat with the stars as they grace the carpet at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  The telecast will feature the latest, fully loaded Toyota Camry on the carpet. Toyota will also present the digital red carpet promotional category on HelloBeautiful.com. Following the arrivals, special guests will indulge on festive fair in the Walmart VIP Gold Room, complete with food, drinks and photographs to capture the occasion.

Ford Motor Company returns as the lead telecast sponsor to present the Backstage Pass, hosted by celebrity influencer Tai Beauchamp and comedian/actor/producer Chris Spencer. The in-show segments offer exclusive interviews with award presenters and winners throughout the night. Ford will also sponsor the Entertainer of the Year Award category, which boasts a tight field of nominees including Chadwick Boseman, Ava DuVernay, Bruno Mars, Issa Rae, Chance The Rapper and Jay-Z.

McDonald’s has signed on as sponsor of the newly created “Music Makes A Difference Honor,” which recognizes exceptional individuals whose work and foundations strive to create a force of development, change and inspiration in the lives of our communities.   The recipient is to be announced. Also, McDonald’s will sponsor the digital music recording promotional category as featured on HelloBeautiful.com.

AT&T’s sponsorship of the Countdown Clock during the red carpet special will help build anticipation leading up to the live broadcast of the Awards show, while their support of the TV One after party with show participants, winners and other special guests will help continue the celebration after the last trophy is awarded.

American Family Insurance and Black Radiance Curls will sponsor the first-ever NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet Fan Zone, where 100 lucky fans can watch their favorite stars walk the red carpet as well as experience all the glitz and glamour of the celebrity arrivals. Disney Pictures will build excitement for their new films A Wrinkle In Time and Black Panther with exclusive content from the upcoming releases during the telecast.  Beauty brand Black Radiance Curls will also sponsor activations on-site during the Red Carpet Live! pre-show.

The NAACP Image Awards honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors and celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film.  For the first time in its award show history, the public was invited to vote for their favorite nominees in 36 categories, which is certain to make for an even more meaningful win for this year’s honorees.

“For the first time in our history, voting for the 49th NAACP Image Awards was open to the public,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. “Through our Hollywood Bureau, the NAACP fights for diversity and inclusivity in front of and behind the lens. Engaging the public in the selection of the Image Awards winners is a natural extension of that mission. I am thrilled but not surprised that more than a million individual votes were cast for nominees in 36 categories. We look forward to celebrating the winners they selected on January 15th.”

TV One will drive conversation around MLK Jr. Day and the 49th NAACP Image Awards by encouraging its social audience to share how they ‘REPRESENT’ Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream today. Nominees, celebrities, influencers, notable dignitaries and the social community will use the hash tag #RepresentTheDream to create an emotional and powerful campaign that will remind viewers of the power of “The Dream.” Viewers can find each thought-provoking #RepresentTheDream testimonial on www.TVOne.tv/ImageAwards or on Instagram during the Red Carpet Live! pre-show.

For all information and latest news, please visit the official 49th NAACP Image Awards website at http://www.naacpimageawards.net. Viewers can also join the conversation on TV One’supcoming live telecast of the 49th NAACP Image Awards by visiting www.tvone.tv/imageawards and connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tags #ImageAwards and #RepresentTheDream.