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Old 02-03-2003, 07:21   #1 (permalink)
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Ford to rename Windstar minivan

Monday, February 3, 2003
By Mark Truby / The Detroit News

Ford will unveil the new name for its Windstar minivan this month, something that will begin with the letter F.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ford Motor Co. plans to change the name of its Windstar minivan when it introduces the all-new version of the vehicle later this month, part of an effort by the automaker to give its cars and minivans more uniform and distinct names.

Ford is closely guarding the new name, but it will begin with the letter F, Steve Lyons, president of Ford Division, said Friday at a National Automobile Dealers Association meeting.

The automaker hopes a new name will draw attention to the changes Ford is making to the minivan. The redesigned version, which will be shown at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 13 and go on sale in September, will feature a new fold-flat third-row seat, an upgraded interior and a more powerful engine.

"We think the change to the vehicle is significant and it's time to signal a change," Lyons said. "It's not something we took lightly. The Windstar name was recognized for safety, but we need to evolve."

Ford sold 148,875 Windstars in 2002, down 17 percent from 2001. The Windstar is the second best-selling minivan on the market, behind the Honda Odyssey.

The majority of Ford's car and minivan names will begin with F going forward, Lyons said.

Ford already has the Focus small-car and will start selling a Five-Hundred sedan and Freestyle crossover vehicles next year. A midsize sedan, due out in 2005, expected to eventually replace the Taurus, also is expected to have a name beginning with F.

Ford doesn't plan to change the name of the Mustang coupe or Thunderbird convertible, Lyons said, because both names are popular and have historical significance.

A similar naming strategy is under way at the company's Mercury brand. In addition to the Mountaineer SUV and Marauder sedan, the new Mercury minivan will be called the Monterrey. Two future Mercury sedans also are likely to have monikers beginning with M.
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Old 02-03-2003, 20:25   #2 (permalink)
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Future Ford model names to begin with 'F'

Source: just-auto.com editorial team

Ford is introducing a new North American model naming policy that will see most new Fords get names beginning with F while Mercury models begin with M, the Detroit News said.

According to the newspaper, Ford plans to change the name of its Windstar minivan when it introduces the all-new version of the vehicle later this month.

The closely guarded new name will begin with the letter 'F', the Detroit News said, adding that the redesigned minivan, featuring a new fold-flat third-row seat, an upgraded interior and a more powerful engine, will be shown at the Chicago Auto Show on February 13 and go on sale in September.

Ford division president Steve Lyons told the Detroit News that the majority of Ford's car and minivan names will begin with 'F' from now on though the company doesn't plan to rename the Mustang coupe or Thunderbird convertible because both names are popular and have historical significance.

The Detroit News said that a similar naming strategy is under way at the company's Mercury brand where, in addition to the Mountaineer SUV and Marauder sedan, the new Mercury minivan will be called the Monterrey.

Two future Mercury sedans also are likely to have names beginning with M, the newspaper added.
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Old 02-06-2003, 06:45   #3 (permalink)
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Ford revamp of minivan includes name, Freestar

By Mark Truby / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- The next generation minivan from Ford Motor Co.'s Ford division will carry the Freestar name when it goes on sale this fall.

The automaker's high-volume Ford brand decided to make the change from the current Windstar name to draw attention to the minivan's new features and improvements.

The name Freestar, confirmed by people familiar with the new minivan, also dovetails with Ford's strategy to assign its vehicles names that begin with F.

Ford plans to unveil the new minivan and formally announce the new name next week at the Chicago Auto Show. Before the Freestar hits showrooms in the fall, Ford will have to re-educate consumers used to the Windstar name.

"You have to re-create awareness," said Jim Hall, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc., a marketing firm with offices in Southfield. "That can be more expensive that you would guess."

Ford is hoping the move will re-energize its minivan business. Windstar sales dipped 17 percent last year, and its share of U.S. minivan sales slipped to 13 percent from 15 percent in 2001.
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