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FORD invites FOCUS FACEBOOK friends around the world to ambitious test drive of all-new model

Ford has created a test drive like no other to kick-start the launch of the next-generation Ford Focus – the flagship in a new generation of global

vehicles from Ford.

  • Ford is inviting bloggers, social media mavens and Facebook friends to the first global consumer test drives of the all-new
  • Ford Focus to share their experiences with friends and followers before the car hits dealers 100 participants from around the world will travel to Europe
  • in early 2011 to spend two days discovering the all-new Focus and sharing their experiences. Participants selected through a Facebook application process will receive the local-market equivalent of $10,000 (USD) for a charitable cause, with up to $500,000 (USD) in total contributions around the world.

Ford announced at the Paris Motor Show that it is inviting digital influencers – established and aspiring alike – to participate in the inaugural global test drive of the next-generation Ford Focus. Winners will be among the first in the world to drive the all-new Focus ahead of its dealership arrival in Europe and North America in early 2011 – and raise money for their favorite charities in the process.

The “Focus Global Test Drive – Start More Than a Car” program is another concrete example of Ford’s ongoing commitment to involve customers in the product development process and encourages them to tell the Ford story.

Beginning shortly after the Paris Motor Show and continuing during the next few months, test drive applications will be accepted to attend this first-of-its-kind event via Facebook on the “Global Drive” tab at http://facebook.com/fordfocus.

“The Global Test Drive gives us an opportunity to reach out to consumers around the world and involve them in the launch of our new Focus while giving to their local charity,” said Jim Farley, group vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “We’ve learned through our previous social media initiatives, that turning the brand over to consumers early on helps build awareness and interest in the product.”

Applicants will be asked to submit a video clip to the Focus Facebook page explaining why they should be selected to participate in the event and how they might “Start Something More” with a charitable cause in their community with a donation from Ford.

Each driver will be awarded the local-market equivalent of $10,000 (USD) for a charitable cause, with up to $500,000 (USD) in total contributions around the world. Participants will be chosen based on a combination of their reach in social networks, content creation skills and volume of “likes” generated, among other factors. Ford also will invite established bloggers and online influencers.

“We’ve applied lessons learned from our Fiesta launch in China and the Fiesta Movement in the United States, where 100 Ford Fiestas were given to social media influencers to drive for six months to develop this unique approach. The global reach and power of 500 million Facebook members and online influencers is amazing,” added Farley.

The Focus Global Test Drive event will be held in early 2011 in southern Europe. Behind-the-wheel activities will be designed to give the participants an early yet comprehensive look at the next new car from Ford in fun and unusual ways. Participants will be asked to capture and document their experiences for sharing within their individual social network spheres.

Further details are available at http://facebook.com/fordfocus.

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