DEARBORN, Mich., July 20, 2007 – Ford Motor Company will have its largest presence ever next week at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual aviation extravaganza. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007, which is expected to draw in excess of 650,000 visitors, will be held July 23-29 in Oshkosh, Wis.
The annual EAA “fly-in” routinely attracts more than 650,000 visitors and 10,000 aircraft. Ford displays and activities will feature more than 60 vehicles, including concept cars, test-drive opportunities and hot laps in a Ford GT.
“AirVenture is a great opportunity to showcase Ford Motor Company vehicles and spur purchase consideration for all of our brands,” said Kevin Keling, Ford Corporate Events manager. “This year, we are engaging event attendees in more ways than ever before.”
The on-site experiential opportunities for the 2007 event will range from product demonstrations to sales promotions and entertainment sponsorship. The Ford Hangar will be the hub for much of the automotive activity. There, attendees will be invited to learn about the company’s performance capability, innovative technologies, vehicle customization options and future vehicle designs.
Among the vehicles slated to be on display are two exciting new cars scheduled for launch in 2008: the Shelby GT500KR and the Ford Flex. Showgoers also will have the opportunity to see the Ford Interceptor and Lincoln MKR concept cars, as well as the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999, which is expected to challenge the land speed record this August.
Additional Ford Hangar attractions will include a John Force Mustang Funny Car, a Ford Sync™ display and three interactive kiosks, virtual vehicle Accessorizer and the Mustang Quarter Mile Challenge on a dynamometer. Each day, the quarter mile participant with the lowest elapsed time will win a helicopter ride.
Ford Chief Designer Doug Gaffka and the Ford Advanced Engineering team will be on hand throughout the week to discuss Ford vehicles and technologies with attendees. Automotive legends Jack Roush and Carroll Shelby will be signing autographs.
New for this year is the Ford Challenge Test Drive Event, featuring 12 vehicles from across the company’s vehicle portfolio. Participants who test drive at least one vehicle will be eligible to take a ride with a professional driver in a Ford GT on a closed course during the event.
“Half the battle in this business is getting buyers behind the wheel for a test drive,” Keling said. “The Ford Challenge has proven very effective at improving purchase consideration.”
Ford also will help sponsor special events at AirVenture 2007, including a Beach Boys concert and a nightly “Fly-in Movie Theatre.” Last year, Ford co-sponsored a Beach Boys concert on opening day that proved to be the best attended single day in the event’s 54-year history.
“Last year’s Beach Boys concert was successful beyond all expectations and we had many, many requests from EAA members and others for another opening-day concert,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. “Through the support of Eclipse Aviation, Innovation Solutions & Support and Ford, we are able to bring the Beach Boys back in 2007 to round out an extraordinary opening day at Oshkosh.”
Last year's donated vehicle raised $500,000 when auctioned to raise money for youth aviation education programs.
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