Ford Employees are 'Drive One' Stars

Ford Press and News

Initial quality of Ford domestic vehicles (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury) is now close to the level of Toyota and Honda. Hard to believe isn’t it? Overall, Ford vehicle quality has improved 8% over the past year, according to a study conducted by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, MI. In addition, every new car and truck, including the 2008 Ford Focus, launched with improved quality versus its previous generation.

RDA’s report “2008 U.S. Global Quality Research System” study was commissioned by Ford and tends to predict how the automakers will perform in the closely watched study on new-car quality by J.D. Power and Associates.

Read the following press release by Ford to learn more details.


  • Ford introducing comprehensive new marketing platform called “Drive One”
  • Effort showcases Ford’s leadership in quality, safety, “green” and smart technologies
  • Ford employees to star in TV and web advertising, which begins Tuesday during American Idol

DEARBORN, Mich., April 7, 2008 – Ford employees will be the stars this week on American Idol, as the company introduces a new and far-reaching marketing initiative called “Drive One” to underscore to consumers its leadership in quality, safety, “green” and smart technologies.

New broadcast, print and digital media will highlight the company’s new products and major accomplishments through Ford employees’ voices and their stories.

“It’s time for more people to know about our ‘new’ Ford and how strong our products really are” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “When I asked the team to roll up their sleeves and come up with a plan to tell our story to more people in a credible and convincing way, they said the Ford story is really about our people and the hundreds of daily success stories that have driven our improved results in quality, safety, smart technology and sustainability.”

New “Drive One” television commercials debut on American Idol this Tuesday and will air on such other highly rated programs as Oprah’s Big Give and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Initially, one 60-second commercial and five 30-second spots will air throughout the spring and summer. Each will feature Ford employees talking about their work and the new technologies the company is introducing in its vehicles. The work was developed in partnership with JWT Team Detroit and Wunderman Team Detroit, both part of the WPP Group.

In addition to the ads, the “learning center” web site will have richer and more detailed content, again featuring Ford employees. The site is designed to be as valuable to consumers as to Ford employees, retirees and dealers. That is because Ford is aggressively promoting the campaign and its accomplishments through aggressive internal communications.

Last week, employees and retirees throughout the U.S. were given a preview of the “Drive One” initiative. This week in Las Vegas, some 3,000 Ford dealers will learn about the company’s latest products, accomplishments and the new advertising.

The goal is to engage these Ford stakeholders – an audience numbering more than 500,000 – to become advocates for the brand with friends and family.

“The talent, passion and commitment of the Ford team is inspiring, and I am convinced they can be our most credible spokespeople,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “Our employees, retirees and dealers have loyalty, pride, commitment and excellent results to share.

“The more our own team knows about the good work and the wider they share the story, the faster the rest of the country will believe in us and try our new products,” Farley added.

Among the accomplishments they will be able to tout is an announcement today that the quality of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles again has improved and now equals that of Toyota and Honda.

A just-released study on quality by the RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., shows Ford now matches Honda as well as Toyota in initial quality and that Ford’s vehicle quality improved 8 percent versus last year. In addition, every new car and truck, including the 2008 Ford Focus, launched with improved quality versus its predecessor.

The RDA’s first-quarter 2008 U.S. Global Quality Research System study shows Ford’s domestic brand quality level was a combined average of 1,284 things-gone-wrong (TGW) per 1,000 vehicles during the first three months of ownership. This performance is statistically equivalent to the 1,250 TGW level of Honda and Toyota.

“Last year we tied with Toyota, and this year our quality performance is as good as industry-leading Honda’s too,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Our world-class quality is one of the most important aspects of our turnaround in North America. This consistently strong quality improvement should offer today’s customer renewed confidence, setting the stage for important new products like Ford Flex, which is launching this summer.”

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit


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