Ford Motor Company will increase the pace of new product introductions as it accelerates the Way Forward plan, Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas, tells industry leaders at the Center for Automotive Research’s 40th annual Management Briefing Seminars.

“When we talk about acceleration at Ford, that includes more new products, features and technologies throughout our lineup,” says Fields. “We have nine new Ford and Lincoln Mercury products going on sale in the next six months alone, and we are rebuilding our business for the future with an emphasis on more new products faster.”

Among the new products are the Ford Shelby GT – on sale in January – and Lincoln MKS flagship sedan, which will arrive in showrooms in 2008.

Ford Shelby GT

The 4.6-liter, 325-horsepower Ford Shelby GT will occupy a niche between the Mustang GT and the Ford Shelby GT500 both in terms of performance and appearance. It is a retail version of the Ford GT-H – the Shelby and Ford Racing-prepared Mustang developed for Hertz that was the surprise hit of the 2006 New York International Auto Show.

“We know the combination of Mustang and Shelby is magic, and we proved it again when we revealed the Ford Shelby GT-H for Hertz. The car received such rave reviews that our dealers and customers asked for a version of their own,” Fields explained. “We listened, and we’re delivering.”

Lincoln MKS

The Lincoln MKS full-size flagship sedan will be based on the concept vehicle first shown at the North American International Auto Show in January.

“The Lincoln MKS will take Lincoln craftsmanship and comfort beyond anything we’ve built before,” Fields said. “Its design communicates power, motion and speed, and it will be packed with more technology and features than any Lincoln before it.”

The Lincoln MKS is the next major step forward in re-establishing Lincoln as America’s luxury brand. Lincoln is building momentum – with sales up 8 percent for the first half of 2006, in large part because of the success of the Lincoln Zephyr.

The new Lincoln MKS flagship will continue to introduce a new face of Lincoln to the American public – building on the hallmarks of design, a business class experience and a smooth, confident ride.

New Products for New Customers and a Changing Marketplace

Ford kicked off the 2007-model year with a lineup of new cars, crossovers, hybrids, SUVs and trucks that puts the company in its best position ever to face a rapidly changing car-buying market and to attract new customers.

“Ford never has been in a better position than this model year to compete for customers in an environment of rising gas prices and higher demand for more power, more performance and more features,” says Fields. “We’re also leading the way with bold American designs and innovations in our new vehicles hitting the market this summer and fall.”

Key new products include:

  • Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, which are expected to shake up this fast-growing market when they go on sale in November.
  • Ford Shelby GT500, which is now on sale as the most powerful production Mustang ever.
  • Lincoln MKZ, with its new 3.5-liter V-6 engine – which eventually will power one of every five Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles.
  • Ford Expedition, Expedition EL and Lincoln Navigator, which go on sale in September, and the new Lincoln Navigator L in December. The new SUVs offer more standard safety equipment, best-in-class towing for Expedition, a usable third row and additional cargo space.
  • Ford Explorer Sport Trac, which is now on sale with one of the segment’s only V-8 engines.
  • Ford F-150 with increased towing to a best-in-class 10,500 pounds, new FX2 Sport edition and new 6.5-foot box for the Super Crew.
  • New all-wheel-drive versions of the top-selling Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ – a technology that more than half of new buyers say they want in their next vehicle.

Ford also this year is delivering: more standard safety equipment on more vehicles, with a focus on rapidly increasing standardization of side air bags and side air curtains; double the number of vehicles available with DVD-based navigation systems; quadruple the number of vehicles available with SIRIUS satellite radio; and iPod connectivity in half of the Ford and Lincoln Mercury lineup.

Ford predicts that iPod and other MP3 player sales will reach 132 million units in 2009 – more than double the 57.7 million sold in 2005.

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