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A new color, True Blue Clearcoat, is added to the Lightning exterior paint palette. Meanwhile, a detuned version of the SVT-developed supercharged Lightning engine finds its way into a 2002 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson specialty truck and promptly helps it double sales over the previous year's F-150 Harley truck model. SVT reaches the milestone of 100,000 vehicles produced.
The SVT Cobra rocks the enthusiast world with the performance of its Eaton supercharged DOHC 4.6-liter "Terminator" V-8. It also features a 6-speed gearbox, redesigned front and rear fascias, new "heat-extraction" hood, special rocker moldings and side scoops, and several new interior appointments. To help celebrate its 10-year Anniversary, SVT offers a 10th Anniversary Special Edition package on the Cobra Coupe or Convertible, with production limited to a total of 2,003 units. Lightning is certified as the "World's Fastest Production Pickup Truck" by Guinness World Records, Ltd., clocking a top speed of 147 miles per hour on a test track. A practical 5-door version and a special 3-door European Appearance Package is added to the SVT Focus model lineup.
2004 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra Mystichrome
On the heels of the best-selling Mustang Cobra of all time (SVT produced more than 13,000 Cobras for the '03 model year), Cobra adds two new exterior paint colors, plus a limited-edition (1,010-unit run) Mystichrome Appearance Package. With an all-new Mustang due at a new facility for 2005, the storied Dearborn Assembly Plant -- home to the Mustang for 40 years -- is closed down. With an all-new F-150 waiting in the wings, the SVT Lightning also entered its final year of production as the best-selling and longest-running sport truck nameplate of all time. With a revamped Ford us moving to a new assembly facility, the SVT Focus closed out its critically acclaimed production run ay making the full-featured European Appearance Package available in both 3- and 5-door configurations. With all three of its 2004 products on revised platforms and in new assembly plants for '05, SVT ended 2004 with nearly 145,000 sales over 12 years of production. (Ford Motor Company 2008)
Potential future marketing strategy (or strategies) for Ford. Brodesser Akner (2008) relates one future marketing strategy Ford has begun to implement, which will also likely serve as an example for potential future marketing strategies Ford will likely utilize. "During the first incarnation of the "Knight Rider" TV series in the 1980s, one of the two lead characters was a Pontiac Trans Am that talked," Brodesser Akner (2008) reports. The KITT the car for a two-hour NBC movie special, albeit, a symbol on Ford's current and future marketing strategy: a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, notes that because Ford agreed to an "enormous' advertising commitment to the project. Silverman and Ford officials declined to offer a specific figure" (Brodesser Akner 2008), it beat out GM for the TV movie. In addition to Ford placing the Mustang GT in the movie, Ford Motor vehicles will also "star" in the "Knight Rider" movie and Ford will sponsor commercials during the broadcast. Featuring its company's products in movies and TV shows, a common practice today, appears to be the market strategy for the future. Another potential future marketing ploy for Ford's products will likely be featuring them in video games. In making commitments to Ford, Mary Lou Quesnell, director of branding for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury stresses that as Ford makes commitments to employees and customers it is 100% sure it possesses and promotes the right goods. Ford also ensures customers the company is true to their brand and representing their customers" (Krisher 2006). One prominent commitment Ford states the company currently makes to customers is to research, develop and market innovations customers need and want. The following denote some current innovations Ford currently markets, as noted by the following.
Ford's Current Innovations www.ford.com/innovation/automotive-technology"
Other noted innovations include:
An acoustic windshield helps reduce wind and road noise.
A www.ford.com/innovation/automotive-technology/developing-better-ideas/night-vision/active-laser-night-vision-306p" Active laser night vision improves night vision and helps increase safety.
A www.ford.com/innovation/automotive-technology/developing-better-ideas/soy-based-foam/soy-foam-623p"Soy-based foam decreases dependence on foreign oil.
Hybrid batteries contribute to energy storage solutions. (Ford Motor Company 2008) vital key to Ford's and other firm's survival in contemporary competitive markets and "can deliver economic benefits to countries as well as to individual firms."
From the barrage of information presented during this semester's classes, this researcher contends that if Ford is to succeed as it plans, the company needs to stay on course with it plan to develop and market innovative products. After all, as Bill Ford Jr. stresses: "...Innovation is the compass by which Ford will set its future direction" (Levin 2006).
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Krisher, Tom Associated Press Writer. "Ford Embarks on New Marketing Strategy," AP Online, 3 May 2006. Available from: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-122911074.html[3 April 2007].
Levin, Doron "Ford Tells Workers Innovate Before it's Too Late: Doron Levin. Bloomberg Columnists. Bloomberg.com, Jan. 2006. Available from: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&refer=columnist_levin&sid=aCi2lPzWvDWk [3 April 2007].
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Small Car Market Poised to Lead Global Auto Industry" (www.highbeam.com/Search.aspx?q=auto+industry+(global)+drivers%20publication:%5b%22M2+Presswire%22%5dM2 Presswire, (www.highbeam.com/Search.aspx?q=auto+industry+(global)+drivers%20pubdate:%5b20080325;20080331%5d28 March 2008. Available from: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-177188698.html[3 April 2007].
The world changed the machine" the Economist (U.S.), March 30, 1996. Available at http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-18141975.html[3 April 2007].[continue]
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