Top Ten Ford and Lincoln Mercury Highlights for the Week of March 26, 2007
1. Ford Tops Repair Costs Survey : Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles earned a total of 10 best-in-class rankings in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2007 Relative Collision Insurance Costs Report, which will be available in car dealerships on March 30, 2007. With eight top picks, the Ford brand was the most recognized brand. Toyota, by comparison, only earned two top picks. Nissan, Suzuki, Hyundai, Chrysler, Audi and Saturn failed to earn any.
The report compares differences in insurance costs for different makes and models of vehicles based on damage susceptibility. The findings are based on data compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute. Ford and Lincoln Mercury nameplates earning top rankings include the Ford F-150, Ford F-250 Super Duty, Ford Focus, Escape Hybrid, Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis and Mustang GT convertible. Other products, including the Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr, Ford Five Hundred, Ford Escape and Lincoln Navigator, ranked among the top three in their respective segments.
NHTSA estimates top-rated vehicles could save consumers up to 10 percent on insurance collision-coverage costs. Each year, one in eight consumers is involved in an accident that could require collision repair, a $38 billion industry.
2. Ford’s Switch to New Engine Oil Has Saved 700 million Gallons of Gas: Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles have saved more than 700 million gallons of gasoline since 2001 by switching to 5W20 motor oil from heavier weight 5W30 oil. The new oil reduces internal friction which helps deliver about a half mile per gallon increase in fuel economy per vehicle. It also helps reduce oil consumption, because it is less volatile. In addition, Ford estimates that using the new oil has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by about one million metric tons a year, which is equivalent to taking about 180,000 cars and trucks off the road. Motorcraft is Ford Motor Company’s only approved motor oil, part of a lineup of Ford-approved components and lubricants specially formulated for use in Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
3. Annual Maintenance Costs Down by More than $600: Thanks to improved engine designs and engine oil quality improvements, Ford has extended the oil change intervals on a wide range of new products, including the 2007 Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKZ, to 7,500 miles or every six months – up from 5,000 miles. Combined with “fill for life” automatic transmissions, design for fuel filters and other service timing adjustments made, Ford and Lincoln Mercury customer savings now can be as much as $614 per year.
4. Ford is the Crossover Company: Year to date through February, combined Ford and Lincoln Mercury crossover sales climbed 21 percent – the biggest increase among the six largest auto companies in North America. Ford’s successful range of 5- and 7-passenger crossovers, including the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, will be joined by the Ford Taurus X this summer, a new Ford crossover based on the Fairlane concept in 2008, and a large Lincoln crossover coming in the future.
5. Car Sales Records : Combined sales of the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ have set monthly sales records in each of the last five months. The new mid-size sedans were introduced in October 2005.
6. Former Vice President Al Gore Purchases a Mercury Mariner Hybrid : The former vice president, who won an Oscar for his documentary on global warming, has purchased a black 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The Mariner uses the same full-hybrid technology as the Ford Escape, which was the first American hybrid and remains the most fuel-efficient SUV. Combined Ford and Mercury hybrid sales are up 31 percent, year to date.
7. Ford and Mercury Vehicles Earn EPA “SmartWay” Designation: A wide range of Ford and Mercury products have earned the U.S. EPA’s “SmartWay” designation, which is given to vehicles that score 6 or better on both the agency’s Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Scores, and have a combined score of 13 or better. According to the EPA, vehicles that receive this designation are very good environmental performers relative to other vehicles. In California and the other “green” states, the vehicles are the Ford Focus, Ford Fusion (4-cylinder, auto), Ford Escape Hybrid, Ford Ranger (4-cylinder), Mercury Milan (4-cylinder, auto) and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. In states with Federal emissions, the vehicles are the Ford Focus, the Ford Escape (4-cylinder, 5-speed), the Ford Ranger (4-cylinder, 5-speed) all 4-cylinder Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans, the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid.
8. Fueling FFVs with E-85 Could Save 3.5 Billion Gallons of Gas : Ford estimates that if all the flex-fuel vehicles on the road today filled their tanks only with E-85, it would displace 3.5 billion gallons of gasoline each year – the equivalent annual use in Missouri. Already, Ford has produced 2 million flex-fuel vehicles, including our best-selling F-150. The company has pledged to President Bush and congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle that we will dramatically expand our range of E-85 capable vehicles as the nation improves its ethanol production, delivery and distribution capability.
9. Best New Vehicles for Parents: In the April 2007 issue of Parents magazine, the 2007 Ford Edge and Mercury Milan are singled out as two of the top 15 family vehicles of the year. Parents partnered with AAA to identify vehicles that performed strongly in government and industry crash tests, and provide “the perfect mix of performance reliability, comfort and bang for the buck.”
10. Ford Teams with Hip Hop DJ and Car Customization Guru: Ford is once again sponsoring Funkmaster Flex’s Custom Car and Bike Show Tour. From now through mid-September, the tour will travel to eight different high-profile stops along the East and West Coasts, including the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky.; Pomona, Calif.; and Myrtle Beach, S.C. The tour fuses the hottest names in the music and automotive worlds – like Fat Joe and Xzibit – with the coolest custom cars and bikes on the planet. Each of these shows attracts strong diverse crowds of 10,000 to 30,000 fans. The audience is made up primarily of young males who are highly favorable to Ford products – especially the F-Series and Mustang, which have remained segment leaders for the Ford brand with African American and Hispanic buyers for 6 consecutive years.
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