Ford Using Miracles To Gain Market Shares

Posted by on July 25, 2011 - more
Roger Keeney in front of 2010 Mustang GT

Ford is pretty big on performing miracles – whether they want to call it that or not. The Mustang has been beating Chevy and Dodge at the performance muscle car wars for years. Even with antiquated rear suspension, the Mustang is still the performance car to beat around a track. Now with the 2012 BOSS 302, even Germany’s benchmark production BMW M3 is no match for the Mustang.

A miracle? Perhaps not. But with the economy continuing to limp along, selling new cars is getting more and more challenging. Increasing efficiency, improving products and offering more content for the customer’s money will only go so far towards winning market shares. What is a car company to do to attract new customers? Well, Ford has been thinking outside the box and has come up with a totally untapped demographic that is sure to help sell tens, if not hundreds of cars.

In what some (me) are calling a minor modern day miracle, Ford recently gathered a group of 30 visually impaired individuals at the Merkenic Development Center test track in Cologne, Germany to teach them how to drive. That’s right, with war in the Middle East, unemployment at 9% and cats no longer speaking to dogs, Ford has decided to teach the blind to drive. While you can’t fault the visually impaired for wanting to experience the joy and thrill of driving, you have to wonder what Ford’s motivations are.

Is it to prove the point that most people that CAN see actually drive worse that those who CAN’T? Or is it to bring a whole new car buying demographic into the Ford fold?

Well, it’s not the first time Ford has put the visually impaired behind the wheel of their performance products. Back in 2009, Ford was promoting the 2010 Mustang with the “’10 Unleashed” campaign which featured 10 stories of Mustang dreams coming true. For one Roger Keeney, his dream was a simple one – just to drive a 2010 Mustang. What was stopping him? Roger has been blind for the last 20 years due to a farming accident. With champion driver Tommy Kendall in the passenger seat, Roger proceeded to fulfill his dream and hoon his way into Ford Mustang history.

Big kudos to Ford for reaching out to a group, who themselves, never thought it possible to drive a car. If it makes more fans for the Mustang, I for one, am all for it. But what did Ford get out of this marketing miracle, besides cozying up to a group that generally does not buy cars?

According to Dr. Wolfgang Schneider, Vice President, Legal, Governmental and Environmental Affairs for Ford of Europe. “In traffic situations, people with visual impairments orient themselves using sounds, so it’s easy for them to misjudge size and speed of cars. We want to help resolve such problems by encouraging greater participation in traffic that can leave us all more enlightened and confident.”

Really? Helping 30 blind people to be better able to judge the size of a car in every day life? That was the goal? Or could it be that “with new technology developing rapidly – such as camera- and radar-based safety systems, advanced satellite navigation systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communications – the possibilities that the blind and visually impaired could one day drive are increasing, and Ford predicts advanced driver assistance systems could one day lead to greater independence for these customers.” It’s probably the new technology thing. Technology making it possible for visually impaired people to become more independent by being able to drive themselves around. Now that is a minor modern day miracle if I’ve ever seen one.

Following the driving experience, I heard rumors that Ford treated the participants to a private screening of the new 3D movie “Captain America”. And everyone left with a new iPad2. Good for you Ford of Europe, for treating every individual as a possible customer. At the very least, the families of the visually impaired can feel good about their loved ones getting some long overdue attention from a major car company.

Next on Ford’s list of minor modern day miracles, the marketing boffins are planning on sending a group of hearing impaired individuals to the Black Sabbath reunion concert to see how they react to people reacting to live music. What can be gained from such outside-the-box marketing campaigns? Who knows, but I am sure it will lead to tens of more customers.


27 Comments

  1. Won’t we all be chauffeured by Google’s self-driving cars soon?  Visually impaired, hearing impaired, legless, armless, and those who suffer from erectile dysfunction will soon be able to bend a corner in a prius with a lightning rod.  I, for one, am looking forward to taking my driver’s seat out and installing a kegerator.  

  2. Mary Q says:

    i have had my beautiful 2012 convertible for 5 weeks I love it and get numerous compliments on it. thanks Ford!

  3. sinisterone07 says:

    Well done!  Well written article.  It really exemplifies the fact that the car companies that will survive and thrive in this economy will do so by branching out and including everyone.  Gone are the days when Detroit ruled the world and the earth’s transportation was decided by ruthless, cigar chomping megalomaniacs that did not care what the people really wanted and shoved old technology down our collective throats.  Bravo, Ford!

  4. The80s_nut says:

    Id say delusional by far. Check those sales for the last few years and look up those track records again. Ford is lagging behind. the only thing they have to offer is a cheap sticker price.

  5. Anonymous says:

    hehe didnt get the sabbath joke

  6. cartierlovejesduas I pre-ordered ages ago… can I get a book plate? Pleeeaaaasseeee?
    rolex datejust 2 occasion replique

  7. cartierlovejesduas Hola Coe seguramente así será, desde el punto de vista del que creo es tu estilo de inversión debe ser buena compra, en estos últimos meses lleva una buena rentabilidad en bolsa, estaba hace poco a 1.70-1.75 y se ha ido a los 2 y pico. Si la nueva estrategia le sale bien y realmente se pone por delante de la competencia, hasta que la vuelvan a coger, igual obtienes una buena rentabilidad a lo largo de un par de años, yo la tuve e4n cartera hace bastante tiempo y me canse de esperar los resultados que siempre tenían que venir dentro de un trimestre o dos. Ojala te salga bien y ganes mucho dinero con Tubos, pero en esta no creo que nos hagamos socios, aunque nunca se sabe. Un abrazo
    bracciali da uomo cartier imitazione

  8. cartierlovejesduas Ya, di era Pemerintahan Besar. Trims, Mone!
    imitation love cartier Bangles

  9. cartierlovejesduas Great you are working on a solution. I will wait with installation till you give the green light. Can you send me an email when you are sure everything works ok? Thank you — Erik W.
    bague or blanc faux

  10. cartierlovejesduas yeah i pretty much just read this because of my math theacher #boredoutofmymind
    cartier gioielli uomo falso

  11. Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing work.

  12. May I simply say what a relief to uncover someone who actually understands
    what they’re discussing online. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    A lot more people have to read this and understand this side of your story.

    It’s surprising you are not more popular since you surely possess the gift.

  13. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative.
    I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  14. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  15. Somebody essentially help to make severely posts I might state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now?
    I amazed with the research you made to make this actual put up extraordinary.
    Excellent job!

  16. Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.

    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things
    out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m
    not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
    Many thanks

  17. Enid says:

    Amazing blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so
    many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any
    tips? Thanks!

  18. yytx365.com says:

    Asking questions are in fact nice thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, but this paragraph presents pleasant understanding even.

  19. I blog frequently and I really appreciate your information. This article has really
    peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your website
    and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  20. I got this web site from my pal who told me about this web page and
    at the moment this time I am visiting this web site and reading very informative articles at this time.

  21. Uta says:

    Ahaa, its fastidious dialogue about this post here at this blog, I have
    read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this
    place.

  22. Hello every one, here every one is sharing these know-how, thus it’s pleasant
    to read this website, and I used to go to see this website daily.

  23. Rhys says:

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Cheers!

  24. Lakeisha says:

    This paragraph provides clear idea for the
    new viewers of blogging, that genuinely how
    to do running a blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *