Ford Motor Co. designs new car with Latinos in mind
Actress Roselyn Sanchez unveils new car.
2, 2006 -- With $736 billion of the nation‘s buying power, Hispanics are among the most influential consumers in the marketplace. And with arms wide open, Ford Motor Company is making every
effort to welcome these influential customers to its family of vehicles.
Mercury hopes to engage Hispanic consumers in a big way through its sponsorship of Miami Fashion Week, the largest Latin American fashion event in the U.S.,
which is being held May 6–10 in Miami Beach. The event brings top designers from Latin America and Florida to preview their spring 2007 collections.
“Mercury is bringing a distinct voice into the Hispanic marketplace and introducing great new products that offer a smart, sophisticated alternative to
the competition,” said Cisco Codina, vice president, Marketing Sales and Service.
The all-new Milan is now Mercury‘s top-selling car among Latino customers, and the Mariner SUV continues to be a top choice.
“The Milan is designed for the young, savvy individualist whose personal style is shaped by fashion, new technologies, and
the discovery of new and different ideas. Nuevo Latinas and Latinos are an important part of this group, and they express their individuality through these
‘passion points,'” said Kim Irwin, Mercury brand manager.
Mercury will debut a customized 2006 Mercury Milan Voga during the event. The car was designed with the Nuevo Latino in mind by Ford GT car designer Camilo
Pardo. Actress Roselyn Sanchez will unveil the car, which will be auctioned online in June at www.Ebay.com/Milan. All the proceeds will benefit MANA, A
National Latina Organization, which is committed to empowering Hispanic women.
“It‘s going to be really cool because I‘ve never had the opportunity to get involved with the design of a car and then deliver it to the Hispanic
community,” said Pardo, who is a descendant of Columbia. “We‘ve used the Ford GT as a centerpiece before, but this is a car designed specifically for this
purpose, and it is going to be auctioned off for a very worthy cause.”
Pardo is also one of the featured clothing designers for Miami Fashion Week. Twelve of his Mercury-themed clothing designs -- including two inspired by his
work on the Milan Voga -- will be featured throughout the event.
Reaching out to the Hispanic community through events like Miami Fashion Week is a smart move, according to Jeffrey Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for
Economic Growth, an economic forecasting center at the University of Georgia. He‘s been studying minority buying power since 1990.
“This is where the growth is in our own backyard,” he said. “The Hispanic market is not the largest of the niche markets, but it is the fastest-growing. By 2010,
nearly one person out of every six living the U.S. will be of Hispanic origin, and their buying power will reach $1,087 billion.”
Ford Motor Company‘s efforts to strengthen its relationship with the Hispanic community don‘t end with the action in Miami Beach.
Mercury is the exclusive sponsor of Terra Nostra: Solamente Salma, an exhibition by Latino artists featuring paintings of actress Salma Hayek, which will be on
display at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio through June 18.
Mercury is also the exclusive sponsor of the AOL Latino Short Film Festival, Festival Cine Corto, which includes a sweepstakes designed to discover
up-and-coming Hispanic filmmakers.
“Our involvement with fashion and film brings Mercury into the lifestyle of
Hispanic consumers who appreciate new discoveries,” said Irwin. “As they learn
about our brand, they find that getting behind the wheel of a Mariner or Milan
offers another great way for them to express their own personal style -- just as
they do with their clothes, music, art and other aspects of their lives.”
David Rodriguez, who works with Ford‘s Hispanic advertising partner, Zubi
Advertising, says that in addition to special events, the company advertises
regularly on Hispanic television and in various print publications.
“We work in tandem with the company‘s general marketing efforts in terms of
overall strategy, but we tailor it and do customized research out in the
Hispanic marketplace to make sure we‘re connecting with the audience in the most
effective ways possible,” he said.
According to Rodriguez, the company is particularly targeting young, first-time
“We have great new products -- like the Mercury Milan and the Ford Fusion --
that are at the right price points for people just entering the mid-size
segment, and we want to get to these first-time buyers as early as we possibly
Rodriguez is particularly excited about Ford‘s sponsorship of the Daddy Yankee
radio show, which airs on the ABC network in top Hispanic markets across the
country. “Reggaeton” is the hottest musical genre in the Hispanic market, and
Daddy Yankee is the No. 1 “reggaeton” artist in the country.
“This is certainly one of the most high-profile and most current initiatives we
have that really taps into Hispanic pop culture,” he said. “We‘ve created a
specific radio commercial for Fusion on the show, and Daddy Yankee also does