With the worldwide headlines generated by Volkswagen AG's admission that it misled regulators on diesel emission tests, it is so important that you understand Ford's position on this issue as our customers may well be asking whether we could also be affected.
When a major company in our industry has this type of issue, it can raise questions about the entire industry - and our customers, our teams and all other stakeholders understandably want to know where Ford stands.
So let me be absolutely clear. We do not use "defeat devices" and we do not deliberately mislead the public, regulators or investors. Our award-winning vehicles and engines meet all applicable emissions standards in Europe.
We agree that emission standards need to more closely incorporate the real-world driving that customers typically experience on the road under normal conditions. That's why we have supported the development of a European Real Driving Emissions initiative going into law in Europe as part of the Euro 6 standards.
There is nothing more valuable to Ford than our reputation for operating ethically and legally. It's the bedrock of our company and one of the reasons we have been in business successfully for more than 100 years.
Ford was recently named to Ethisphere Institute's 2015 list of World's Most Ethical Companies. We were the only automaker named on the prestigious list for six consecutive years. The honour is based on top ratings in five categories: ethics and compliance, culture of ethics, governance and leadership, innovation and reputation.
Over the coming days and weeks, as the investigations continue, there will be significant coverage about diesel emissions across the industry and about standards in testing. We also will make sure that we clearly communicate Ford's position on our diesel technology and our testing procedures.
Ford also will cooperate - as we always do - with any inquiries into industry practice that arise as a result of the VW situation. I remain absolutely confident in our technology, our diesel innovation and in our corporate integrity.
As a valued dealer partner, you can be proud to represent a company that is committed to doing business the right way. You can be assured that we will continue to accelerate our progress on building a vibrant, exciting and successful brand in Europe whilst maintaining the highest standards.
Please share this communication with all of your employees.
James D. Farley, Jr