<!--:es-->2008 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup delivers more products customers want<!--:-->

2008 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup delivers more products customers want

·More Crossovers: New 2008 Taurus X crossover builds on Ford’s industry-leading sales growth in this fast-growing segment. Through May, Ford’s crossover sales have grown 37 percent, year over year.

·More Innovations: Including Ford Sync™, a first-of-its-kind, in-car voice-activated communication and entertainment system developed with Microsoft for cell phones and media players. It’s available this fall exclusively in 12 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.

·More Standard Safety Equipment: Now more than a third of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles offer AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control and Safety Canopy® side curtain air bags as standard features, including America’s safest-rated large cars, the new 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable.

·More Fuel Economy: Highway fuel economy improves in several 2008 models: Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable (up 10 percent), Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner (up 8 percent for gasoline version, up 14 percent for hybrid), and Ford Focus (projected improvement of 4 percent).

·More Quality: Ford’s newest models build on the company’s quality leadership; Ford Motor Company had more top quality awards than any other automaker in the most recent J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study.

Ford Motor Company today kicks off the 2008 model year by delivering more of the products customers really want – with new cars, crossovers and trucks featuring advancements in safety, quality, environmental innovation and design.

“We promised that 70 percent of our Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup would be new or significantly upgraded by the end of next year. With our 2008 showroom, we’re halfway there,” notes Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas.

In the crossover market, Ford Motor Company is setting the pace with newer entries, such as the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX, which have led a year-to-date increase in total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury crossover sales of 37 percent through May – the largest increase among major manufacturers and well above industry-wide crossover growth of 17 percent. In May alone, the Ford Edge outsold all mid-size crossovers, including the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Nissan Murano.

In the passenger car market, the Ford Fusion has emerged as the preferred choice of many mid-size car buyers. Through May, Fusion sales were up 15 percent over a year ago. In two separate head-to-head consumer challenge drives organized by Car and Driver and Road&Track magazines, the Fusion all-wheel-drive sedan beat the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in styling, handling, performance and fun-to-drive categories. Along with the Lincoln MKZ and Mercury Milan, Fusion attracts new customers to Ford, with conquest sales of 40 percent.

“More customers are recognizing Ford makes great passenger cars,” says Fields. “Just three years ago, 70 percent of our U.S. retail sales were trucks and SUVs, and 30 percent were cars and crossovers. Today almost 50 percent of our retail sales are cars and crossovers, thanks to the success of our new products.”

In the pickup market, Ford continues to build on its 30 years of truck leadership. First, the 2008 F-Series Super Duty brought a series of industry-first features to the heavy duty truck segment. It has set the stage for this fall’s arrival of the 2008 F-150, which delivers more firsts to the full-size pickup segment along with an expanded model lineup.

Additionally, 12 models in the 2008 lineup will distinguish themselves through the availability of Ford Sync™, an exclusive hands-free, in-car communications and entertainment system developed with Microsoft that fully integrates mobile phones and media players into the vehicle through voice recognition, Bluetooth technology and USB connectivity.

There’s also more evidence of quality improvements at Ford, Lincoln and Mercury. Ford Motor Company has the most top-quality vehicles in the industry, according to a customer-based initial quality survey released by J.D. Power and Associates.