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Ford to Debut Fiesta Ads Tomorrow

The 2010 Ford Fiesta

May 17 (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co., the top seller of pickup trucks in the U.S., is seeking to build credibility as a maker of small cars with a new advertising campaign for its Fiesta subcompact.

A Fiesta commercial will debut tomorrow during Fox television’s “American Idol,” and dealers will begin selling the company’s first subcompact in more than a decade in the U.S. this summer. Ford will introduce a redesigned version of its Focus compact early next year. The Fiesta and Focus were developed by Ford’s European operations.

“This is an opportunity to change the perception of the Ford brand,” Matt VanDyke, Ford’s U.S. marketing director, said today during a press conference in the company’s home city of Dearborn, Michigan. “We don’t have natural showroom traffic on small cars.”

The Fiesta, which starts at $13,995, is an attempt to turn around Ford’s history of making little or no money selling small cars to U.S. consumers. With rising oil prices boosting sales of those cars, Ford and General Motors Co. are rolling out models to meet drivers’ changing tastes while delivering a profit.

“It’s a very important launch for the near-term future of Ford,” John Wolkonowicz, an auto analyst at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, said today in an interview. “If they can’t sell a lot of these, they’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”

‘Pretty Big Deal’

Fiesta commercials, with the slogan “It’s a pretty big deal,” will appear in the final four episodes of American Idol in the next two weeks, reaching more than 100 million viewers, VanDyke said. Ford is spending a “substantial” amount on the Fiesta campaign, which may be similar in size to promotions for Ford’s top-selling model, the F-series truck, VanDyke said.

Read More At: businessweek

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