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Ford kicked-off what it calls the "Fiesta Movement" yesterday when 140 new European-built Ford Fiestas were unloaded at ports in Baltimore and Oxnard, Calif.

The vehicles will be loaned out to young "trendsetters", who will report on the vehicles using modern social networking sites like Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. Ford actually used YouTube to select the winners, asking those born between 1979 and 1985 to submit a video of why they should be chosen.

580,000 videos were submitted with 3,300 being reviews by Ford.

This bold marketing strategy is aimed at promoting the Festiva, which will go on sale in North American in 2010, by using younger buyers to speak to younger buyers (the Festiva’s target market).

"We're really excited to be able to get our U.S. customers behind the wheel and experience this car," said Sam De La Garza, Ford's small car marketing manager. "It's all part of a plan to build excitement about the new Fiesta with the next generation of Ford customers."

The Fiesta is Ford's first global car. It went on sale in Europe and Asia last year and is the second-best selling vehicle for Ford in Europe.

"In the midst of the toughest economy many of us have ever seen, the Fiesta is becoming a legitimate global success story," said Jim Farley, Ford Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "The Fiesta Movement is all about introducing a new kind of small car to a new generation of buyers."

The Fiesta models that hit U.S.-shores yesterday were built in Cologne, Germany (although North American vehicles will be manufactured in Ford's Cuautitlan, Mexico plant), and have been modified with English instrumentation and include readouts in mph. All Fiesta Movement vehicles come with keyless entry with a push-button start, Ford's EasyFuel Capless Fuel-Filler System and either 16- or 17-inch wheels.

Let the marketing onslaught begin. Or as they say at Ford, Viva La Revolution!

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