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Old 09-09-2004, 07:26   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford ups ad spending to promote brand's models

Ford ups ad spending to promote brand's models

BY BILL KOENIG
BLOOMBERG

Ford Motor Co. plans to increase advertising spending on Ford-brand cars and trucks by 50 percent to about $150 million during the fourth quarter to promote four new models.

The spending will rise from about $100 million a year earlier, said Steve Lyons, president of the company's Ford division, in a Wednesday briefing for reporters. "It's a huge, huge expenditure," he said.

The namesake division of the second-largest U.S. automaker is trying to reverse a four-year slide in U.S. market share. The Ford brand's share fell to 16.4 percent for the first eight months of 2004, from 17.2 percent a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp. The Ford division accounts for 83 percent of the company's U.S. vehicle sales.

The division starting this month is introducing the new Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle sport-utility vehicle, as well as the redesigned Mustang sports car and Super-Duty pickup truck. A year ago, the division's advertising was concentrated on the redesigned F-150 pickup. This year's fourth-quarter advertising spending will be spread out more among models, Lyons said.

Ford began promoting the Super Duty pickups -- also known as the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 -- on Sept. 4 with short teaser ads. About 80 percent to 90 percent of customers use the trucks for towing. The automaker boosted towing capacity on the 2005 models to about 17,000 pounds from 14,000.

The first regular spots are to debut tonight on Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN and ABC networks before and during the first game of the 2004 National Football League season, Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots.

Ads for the Five Hundred and Freestyle will debut in mid-October, and spots for the Mustang will appear in November, Lyons said. The Ford division's advertising agency is J. Walter Thompson, a unit of WPP Group Plc.

Lyons also said Ford is on track to exceed the annual sales record for F-Series pickups, set in 2001 with 911,597 trucks. About 500,000 will be F-150s and the rest will be Super Duty models, he said.

Ford shares closed at $14.25, down 31 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.
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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.

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