Montréal, Québec, May 13, 2003 – On June 16, 2003 – Ford Motor Company will mark its 100th year of building automobiles. As part of the year long celebration, Ford launched a special-edition Centennial Package to be offered on key Ford vehicles in this spring.
The special-edition vehicles, of course, are offered in "any colour you want as long as it’s black."
As the legend goes, when Henry Ford’s production machine was rolling at full speed at his Highland Park (Mich.) Assembly Plant and the Model T was breaking production records every day, the vehicle was offered in "any colour so long as it is black," as Henry Ford himself would say.
Black paint dried faster than other colours, allowing Henry Ford and his team to produce cars more quickly and efficiently. This, in turn, helped drive down the price and made the automobile within reach of the middle class consumer for the first time. From an original price of $850, the Model T price dropped to well below $300 by the early 1920s. That was a value hard to beat.
Ford’s colour palate has grown significantly since the early years, but the vehicles of today – the cars, trucks and SUVs – still represent a value that is hard to beat. Ford is the best-selling brand of vehicles in America, thanks in part to key vehicles such as F-Series, Explorer, Taurus, Focus and Mustang. The special 2003 Centennial Package is offered on these five vehicles.
"They were a natural choice to represent the Centennial for us," said Alain Batty, president and chief executive officer of Ford of Canada. "Like the Model T, they are hallmark products for Ford, the vehicles at the foundation of the brand. They say a lot about who we are and what we do."
In fact, all five vehicles have helped shape Ford Motor Company and, in their own way, the automobile business:
Ford Explorer, when launched in 1990, helped define and establish the SUV segment. It remains the best-selling SUV in America. It is the best selling SUV in Canada for the sixth consecutive year.
Ford Taurus redefined the sedan segment when it was launched in 1985. It is still one of the top-10 selling vehicles in the United States.
In 1964, when the Mustang was launched, a love affair began that is still alive today. Few cars have as strong a following as Mustang.
Since the F-Series was introduced as the Ford F-1 in 1948, the truck has served as the workhorse for America. It is the best-selling vehicle in the United States and has been for the past 25 years. In 2002, Ford F-Series earned the title as Canada's best selling pickup truck nameplate for the 37th straight year.
Focus is Ford’s Model T for the 21st century: a great value that puts excellent driving dynamics and outstanding packaging in reach of most new-car buyers.
Ford vehicles with the Centennial Package are offered in black only, with special interiors and unique badging. Additionally, buyers will receive special commemorative gifts from Ford. Production will be limited to 4,000 or less of each Centennial vehicle.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is the world's second largest automaker with approximately 350,000 employees, and operating in more than 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Hertz and Quality Care. The company's world headquarters are in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Company will officially observe its 100th anniversary June 16, 2003. Additional information can be found on the company’s Web site at www.ford.com.