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Elena Ford Plays Key Role In L-M Revival Drive

Mac Gordon/TCC Daily Edition 11/21/02

A full-court press to resuscitate Ford’s Lincoln Mercury division is drawing the personal involvement of Mercury marketing manager Elena Ford, a second cousin of company CEO and Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr.

Ms. Ford is making personal appearances on TV newscasts in Detroit and other major cities to promote Mercury’s 2003 model lines, infusing the midmarket brand with the family aura in an unprecedented direct manner.

Elena Ford reportedly is planning to make presentations at the Lincoln Mercury press events during the Detroit and Chicago auto shows this winter, as the company embarks on a turnaround program for both its upscale brands. After posting a profit of $1.2 billion in 2000, LM lost about $1 billion last year and is facing a comparable loss for 2002. Mercury sales in the U.S. have tumbled 16 percent so far this year, while Lincoln sales have declined 7.7 percent. Both brands are pinning their recovery hopes on a spate of new models, starting now with the Lincoln’s Explorer-derived Aviator SUV. Mercury unveils a compact SUV next year based on the Ford Escape plus a Villager minivan successor, having added the high-performance Marauder sedan this past summer.

“Mercury will be getting a full lineup of new models over the next few years as the step-up brand from Ford,” Elena Ford declares, dispelling any notion that the brand would be axed in the U.S. as it was in Canada in 2000.

Bill Ford gave this reply in a recent interview: “Do you think I would have sent my cousin over to run Mercury marketing if we were planning its termination?”

Elena Ford is the daughter of Charlotte Ford, a sister of Edsel Ford II. Her grandfather, the late Henry Ford II, preceded Bill Ford as chairman and CEO of the 99-year-old company.

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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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