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Shelby GT500 Claims Ford Performance Torch – With New TV Commercial - As Ford GT Ends Its Run


* The 2007 Ford Shelby GT500 becomes Ford’s performance flagship as 2006 Ford GT production comes to an end in late September.

* Ford GT exclusive two model run will result in 4,038 Ford supercars on the road continuing legacy of historic LeMans-winning GT40 race car.

* Shelby GT500 stars in new ‘Bold Moves’ television ad premiering this weekend, continuing tradition of Ford performance ‘halo’ advertising which began with Ford GT.

Click here to view the “Germany” commercial:

DEARBORN, Mich., September 8, 2006 - Ford is putting its performance marketing efforts into high gear this weekend with the premiere of a new ‘Bold Moves’ television ad starring the Shelby GT500, as the high-performance Mustang assumes the position of Ford’s performance flagship.

The new commercial showcases the strength of the Shelby GT500 in both performance and powerful good looks. With the tagline, “Bold is 500-horsepower,” the message is very clear; the Shelby GT500 is Ford’s performance leader.

“With 500hp and the legacy that comes from Carroll Shelby’s involvement, the GT500 is an instant performance icon,” said John Felice, general marketing manager for the Ford brand. “The GT500 has what it takes to carry on the Ford performance torch that burned brightly under the reign of the Ford GT.”

The new 30-second commercial, named ‘Germany,’ opens with a GT500 coupe being unloaded from a ship docked at port. The shipment operator, speaking with a German accent, asks the vehicle’s owner, “You couldn’t find a car you liked in Germany?” to which the owner replies, “No, I couldn’t find a speed limit I liked in America.” The commercial cuts to the GT500 blasting down the famed Autobahn passing exotic German cars.

The new ads will debut on September 10 during the NFL season opener on FOX and CBS and will be run primarily during NASCAR races and NFL games throughout the fall.

The Ford GT supercar was first revealed as a concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Forty-five days later, the announcement was made that it would go into production and be revealed at the Ford Centennial celebration, as a symbol of Ford’s product passion and automotive innovation. In an incredibly fast development program utilizing the latest in computer-aided design and modeling, the Ford GT went into production in June 2003 as a 2005 model.

As Ford’s performance flagship, the Ford GT earned a spot starring in its own television commercial, called ‘The One’, which first aired during the 2004 Super Bowl.

The Shelby GT500 features components that are direct mechanical descendents from the Ford GT, with both vehicles having spiritual roots back to the 1960’s when Ford embarked on its famous ‘Total Performance’ campaign with both racing and performance car efforts highlighted by the LeMans-winning GT40 race car and Shelby Cobra, and GT350 and GT500 Mustangs.

The Shelby GT500 features a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 engine producing 500-horsepower and 480 ft.-lbs. of torque. The engine is an evolution of Ford’s experience in supercharged V-8 performance powertrains, most recently the Ford GT supercar’s 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 which produces 550-horsepower. The GT500 shares the four-valve cylinder heads, piston rings and bearings with the Ford GT engine.

Another similarity between the programs was the enthusiastic embrace from automotive collectors when the vehicles were first made available for sale. The first Ford GT sold to the public in a charity auction for $557,500 in August 2004. More recently, an early production Ford GT owned and used by the Company for display sold for $572,000 in January of this year with proceeds going to charity. The first Shelby GT500 sold to the public went for a winning bid of $600,000 in a charity auction this past June. The results speak for themselves; both the Ford GT and Shelby GT500 are instant classics.

Ford GT production comes to an end on September 21 with the planned total volume to equal 4,038 units. The Ford GT is produced at the Wixom Assembly Plant in Wixom, MI.

The Shelby GT500 ad was developed by Ford’s advertising agency, JWT Detroit. It is part of the Bold Moves marketing communications platform that showcases Ford products, customers and employees making bold moves in their everyday lives.

Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and 108 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit

About JWT
JWT, which celebrates its 142nd anniversary this year, ranks as the fourth largest full-service network in the world. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).


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