Those marketing and media guys at Ford Motor Co. never rest!
Last week, Insider Louisville got a peak at Ford’s new Intelligent Vehicle technology.
A few days later, we got a mysterious invitation for a “product immersion” junket to Ford’s Dearborn, Mich. headquarters for November 1 and November 2.
The invite noted that Ford’s SUVs – the Edge, Explorer and Escape – are selling like mad, a trend we can see every day on the streets of Louisville. Ford’s figures show sales up 30 percent through September.
“Ford plans to further strengthen its utility lineup with an all-new Escape, debuting next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show,” according to the invite.
So, the plot thickens.
Before the LA show, Ford will show the world media the new models while placing an embargo on what the journos can report about the “additional new products Ford will reveal in November. Specific embargo timing for each vehicle will be shared at the program.”
Please note, the invite says: No cameras will be permitted during the product immersions.
Wow. We’re wondering if attendees will get to see both the new Escape to be made in Louisville and maybe an extra added bonus such as the new Lincoln SUV rumored to be on the way to Ford’s newly revamped-to-be-flexible (to the tune of $600 million) Louisville Assembly Plant?
Last January, media reports hinted that the Escape will resemble the Vertrek, a German design.
AutoObserver’s Bill Visnic called the new Escape “a drastic departure from the conservative looks of the current Escape. If it looks like the concept and continues Ford’s recent track record of good fuel economy, there’s the potential to hit it out of the park.”
In January 2010, Courier-Journal reporter Jere Downs had a scoop: Alongside the Escape and other compacts, Ford will build a new Lincoln SUV at LAP.
Ford execs, speaking on condition of anonymity (yeah, we know all about that) told her the Lincoln SUV would be smaller than the Lincoln MKX and compete with the Lexus RX.
Yet, since then, there’s been very little buzz about a new Lincoln SUV. Instead, the updated Lincoln MKZ sedan is supposed to debut sometime this year.
Could that end up being built in Louisville?
If all this pans out, Louisville’s share of the Ford spoils could be THE big story out of the Dearborn extravaganza.
For better or worse, the United Auto Workers have ratified their new agreement with Ford, clearing the way for the company to add 1,000 jobs in Louisville, though the numbers are fuzzy.
If Europe can solve its sovereign debt crisis and the Chinese economy doesn’t implode, maybe – just maybe – we can see a little economic growth in this town for a change.