Books, documentaries and collectible merchandise are also in the pipeline as Ford takes stock of a memorable century.
Closer to home, Ford Middle East is celebrating the day, 100 years ago, when Henry Ford put the world on wheels with its best-ever annual unit sales in the region, 20 per cent plus sales growth in the first quarter of 2003, and the launch of a special centennial edition of its best-known car in the Gulf – the long wheelbase Ford Crown Victoria full-size passenger sedan – in Saudi Arabia.
Reinforcing its commitment to the community in the Middle East, where Ford’s history goes back more than 50 years, the company has also marked the centennial year by recently launching the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants for the fourth consecutive year in the GCC and the third straight year in the Levant. Once again, a total of US$90,000 is available to worthy volunteer causes in the region.
A national road show will then hit top gear as Ford’s senior management emulate the legendary people skills of the company’s founding father and criss-cross America to meet customers, dealers, community leaders and Ford classic car enthusiasts. Touring history exhibitions and car displays are also on the cards, featuring ride and drives in replica models of the car that started the Ford phenomenon – the Model T Ford.
Jim Benintende, managing director of Ford Middle East, said: “2003 is a landmark year for Ford in the Middle East as it is for the company the world over. Record sales, new product launches, and an expanding dealership network across the region are the perfect platform for continued growth and success.
“The 2003 Ford Crown Victoria Long Wheelbase Centennial Edition, launched in Riyadh earlier this month, is already proving a hit with customers and will undoubtedly become a highly collectible version of a model that has sold more than 50,000 units in the Kingdom to date.”
Benintende added: “Ford can look back on 50 memorable years in the Middle East and look forward to many successful years to come. As Bill Ford said recently, history is about the past while heritage is history with a future.”
A New Logo
The Ford oval is one of the most distinctive company trademarks in the world and this unmistakable design has evolved subtly over the years from its original black-on-white form.
From June 17, 2003, the first day of Ford Motor Company’s second century, Ford will launch the centennial oval as the company’s new corporate identity.
A modernised version of the classic oval, the ‘refreshed’ design will be the symbol for both corporate communications and Ford-branded cars and trucks. It will also enjoy pride of place atop Ford’s world HQ in Dearborn, Michigan.
Jan Valentic, vice president, Global Marketing, Ford Motor Company, said: “The Ford oval is a powerful symbol. As we head into our next century, we want to make it clear that the same symbol will lead the industry based on three simple values – great products, a strong business and a better world.”
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