A PINK Mustang? Ford trim package splashes a touch of pink to attract women

A PINK Mustang? Ford trim package splashes a touch of pink to attract women http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070312/AUTO01/703120368/1148

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. is readying yet another version of its popular Mustang pony car, this time with a feminine touch.
The Detroit News has learned that the automaker plans to offer a "Warriors in Pink" trim package for the sports car this summer to help raise money for breast cancer research and attract new buyers to the Mustang nameplate, which has seen sales slip in recent months.
Details are still being worked out, but the new version is expected to feature pink stripes on the exterior and pink contrast stitching inside. It will be available only with a V-6 engine, but customers can opt for either a convertible or a hardtop. A couple of colors will be offered, including black. Pink will not be one of them.
Ford will build the cars to order, and some of the profits will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Not everyone likes the idea of a Mustang marketed at women. Analyst Erich Merkle of IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids said Mustang is an iconic brand that is based on a special mix of speed and testosterone. He said Ford should not mess with success.
"Is Mustang going to be a stallion or a gelding?" Merkle quipped. "The cause is admirable, but the Mustang isn't the right choice."
He suggested Ford use another vehicle for the program.
But other Mustang enthusiasts welcome the move.
"I think it's a great idea. It's going to add a little class to the car and a little feminine touch," said Audrey Zavodsky of New Boston, who races Mustangs professionally in the Grand Am Coni Series and teaches high-performance driving at the Bondurant Racing School.
"A lot of women are buying Mustangs, and I think this is going to appeal to even more women."
Racing legend Carroll Shelby famously derided the original Mustang as "a secretary's car" before going on to transform it into one of the most macho vehicles ever to hit the American road.
Ford needs to get new customers into Mustangs. Almost three years into its latest redesign, Mustang sales are down more than 19 percent this year, and Ford has hinted that incentives are on the way to help bring buyers into the showroom.
But Mustang has always relied on special editions to keep drivers interested.
At least two other special edition Mustangs are slated for release later this year, including a new, limited edition Mustang Bullitt to commemorate the movie of the same name.
"One of the reasons for this strategy is to keep the buzz up as high as possible," said Ford spokesman Jim Cain, who noted that the Mustang continues to dominate its segment in the domestic market.
In fact, he said Mustang's share of the U.S. sporty coupe market has climbed to more than 50 percent even as its sales have slipped.
Ford has long been a leading sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, having already donated more than $87 million in cash and in-kind donations to fund its mission of breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.
Ford's "Warriors in Pink" initiative is aimed at increasing breast cancer awareness, and also offers a collection of clothing and accessories, proceeds of which go to fund the foundation's work.
-- The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. T.R. April 10, 1899

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