Posted by: David Kiley on November 09, 2006
Ford executives have apparently decided to come up with a different name for the Fairlane concept when the final vehicle comes to market.
This is the same braintrust, mind you, that decided to ditch the Zephyr name after a year or so in favor of the MKZ. These are the folks who also brought us the Freestar and Freestyle on the same showroom floor to enhance confusion in the marketplace.
The Fairlane is not only a sensational name from Ford’s past, but this vehicle has been building up some awareness in the auto press and car enthusiast public for two years. On the heels of looking so foolish over the Zephyr, couldn’t there have been some conversation about doing what’s so obviously correct for the brand and the marketplace?
Too, Ford is trying to save some money right? There is awareness of this vehicle connected with this name and there is awareness of mating the Fairlane name with Ford. That all sounds like the vehicle would hit the ground running when it launches in 2008. This was a decision that should have been locked and loaded. The company got something so obviously right, there was no reason to rethink it.
We hear there is one executive at Ford who is playing God with vehicle names. And not in a good way. I’ll give you a hint. Let’s go back to yesteryear and pay homage to one of my favorite ad camapigns of all time. When it comes to the naming debacle at Ford…..”When E.F. talks…people have no choice but to listen.” Draw your own conclusion.
Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Detroit bureau chief David Welch , Dexter Roberts and Ian Rowley bring daily scoop, keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business from around the globe. Read their take on such weighty issues as Detroit’s attempt at a comeback, Toyota’s quest for dominance and the search for an efficient car.