Ford Giving Free Fiestas to People 30-and-under

Ford Press and News

Ford Motor Company will ship 100 European Ford Fiestas to young American consumers in the coming months to help generate some excitement about its new small car.

Although the cars slotted for U.S. shores rolled off an assembly line in Cologne, Germany, this week, Ford has not yet selected the 100 “agents” to participate in the pre-launch campaign — they will talk about the Fiesta on social media Web sites.

The Blue Oval is still accepting video applications online at More than 1,500 people have applied and the deadline for new applications is March 13. Ford wants to attract younger consumers, those born between 1979 and 1995 and known as Millennials. The automaker projects that in 2010, when the Fiesta arrives at U.S. dealers, 70 million Millennial-aged drivers will be on the road, representing 28 percent of the U.S. driving-aged public.

“The Millennials are an emerging market force, with 11,000 reaching driving age every day,” Ford’s small car Marketing Manager Sam De La Garza, Ford’s small car, said in a statement. “It’s the most important demographic trend since the Baby Boomers, and it represents one of the greatest opportunities for Ford.”

The agents will be given missions with vehicles every month and will use social media networks such as Facebook, MySpace and FlickR to share their experiences.

Ed Kim, an industry analyst at AutoPacific Inc., said using social media could draw younger consumers and if Ford can generate excitement around the vehicle, it could grow from there. He pointed to recent examples such as the Smart fortwo and Volkswagen Beetle that saw an underground-swell of support.

“It can be particularly powerful when it’s an interesting product and gets people talking,” Kim said.

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