Ford Employee’s Wife Contributes to Design in New 2017 Ford Escape

Ford Asks Customers for Input on Storage and Other Design Features

The next time you get into a 2017 Ford Escape and marvel at the abundance of storage space near the driver’s seat, you can thank more than the practical designers at Ford Motor Co.; you can thank one of the designer’s wives, too.

It was feedback from Naz Ullah, wife of Ford senior interior designer Zulf Ali, who spurred a Ford team to move the gear shift out of the center console to create about 25 percent more storage space near the driver’s seat and a 15 percent increase in storage overall.

“It was great that I was able to say something to him,” Ullah told The Street. “I hoped that he could do something about it.”

.As the owner of a Ford vehicle, there is no doubt Ullah enjoys a direct line of communication with a Ford designer, made possible by her marriage to Ali. But in a fundamental way, Ali said he treated his wife’s constructive feedback as if it came from any other Ford customer.

“We always take our customers’ issues very seriously,” he said.

Wife Leads Designer to Reach Out to Other Ford Customers

Ullah proved it the day he brought home the 2014 Ford Escape. His wife had been driving the 2002 model for years and was eager to see the changes that had presumably taken place in the ensuing years. What she saw struck her as a bit of a disappointment.

“Why is there less storage when there should be continuous improvements?” she asked her husband. “Everything else looks great, but this is the one thing I’m having an issue with.”

Ali dutifully took notes of his wife’s comments and shared them with his superiors at Ford. Impressed with her ideas, they moved him to the Escape redesign team soon after and told him to roll up his sleeves and get to work on refinements.

Ali did just that, but not before reaching out to other Ford customers for their comments about interior storage space in the Escape. He also wanted to see for himself why his wife needed extra space and precisely where she needed it. In this way, he assumed she could serve as a representative of Ford’s female customers – busy women on the go who need a convenient, secure place to stow their purse, cell phone, sunglasses, notebooks and other items as they drive to work or transport children.

“What we did was a few runs to Kroger (a grocery store) and I watched her get in and out of the car and see where she naturally puts her bag and her sunglasses and all that stuff,” Ali said. “Then I took some notes and the next day, started designing straight away.”

Collaboration spawns other vehicle improvements

The expanded storage capacity in the 2017 Ford Escape was the primary result of the Ali-Ullah collaboration, but it wasn’t the only one. The Escape also features more outboard vents on the instrument panel (to enhance air flow) and includes a leather-strapped steering wheel for added gripping power.

The second verdict rendered by Ullah played like music to Ali’s ears:

“I’ll definitely be upgrading” to the newer Escape,” she said.

You can, too, when you check out and test-drive the 2017 Ford Escape at Ford County, Las Vegas’ premier Ford dealer. The knowledgeable sales people share an important trait with Ali: they know the importance of listening to – and following the lead of – their customers. Call Ford Country at 702-558-8063 today!

About Ford Country Las Vegas

Ford Country Las Vegas, part of the Gaudin Motor Company family, was established in 1996 and continues to lead in the industry as a top 100 Ford dealership in the country. Located in the Henderson Valley AutoMall, Ford Country is made up of highly trained professionals who share a steadfast commitment to its customers and their needs. Ford Country is designed to serve as both a credited dealership, anchored by a state-of-the-art open showroom, and a full service automotive department that features Quick Lane maintenance for customer convenience. The facilities also invites guests to dine at Ford Country’s popular Mustang Sally’s Diner, adjacent to the showroom and features 60s style décor and delicious diner-style cuisine. Ford Country is home to Motorsport Enthusiast, a custom shop that offers automotive accessories and apparel. For more information, visit

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