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Ford to expand graphics in response to popular demand

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Ford to expand graphics in response to popular demand

They'll be available for all cars, trucks



Graphics for all!

Because graphics have been far more popular than expected, Ford plans to offer them for all its cars and trucks by the end of the summer.

Among the 50 or so choices: Cute flowers. Artsy dots or stripes. Funky tattoo-like prints. Cool flames. Rugged camouflage.

Ford is already offering the graphics, which are applied to the exterior body panels, on its Fiesta subcompact, which is to come to market this summer.

On Tuesday, Ford said it would expand the graphics offerings to the Ford Mustang and the F-150 pickup by the end of this month. Graphics for all other Ford vehicles are to follow by the end of this summer.

The graphics, which cost from $200 to $1,200, will be installed at Ford's dealerships and are part of what Ford sees as a growing desire among young consumers to customize products ranging from iPhones to cars, said Jim Abraham, Ford's licensed accessories manager.

Ford first learned how popular the graphics could be last year when it provided 100 Fiesta cars to agents who drove them for six months.

About 70% of those agents personalized their Fiestas with graphics designed by Original Wraps, a provider of custom graphics to the automotive industry.

In November, Ford launched a Web site for the graphics called www.fordcustomgraphics.com. So far, Abraham said there have been more than 10,000 hits on the Web site and visitors spend an average of 15 to 20 minutes on the site.

After doing some research, Abraham said, "We discovered that this program has a home beyond Fiesta."

Ford also is evaluating the program for its Lincoln and Mercury brands on a more selective basis.

For instance, environmentally oriented graphics might be appropriate for the Mercury Milan hybrid.



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By Mark Kleis

Following the experimentation offered by the Fiesta Movement involving the use of vinyl graphics on Ford’s Fiestas, the automaker has now expanded its offerings to be available across several models.

Ford is billing the addition of custom graphics through dealerships as giving customers more of what they want, particularly with the F-150 and Mustang – two of the most accessorized vehicles on the road in America.

“Ford knows that customers want a vehicle to be all their own,” said Jim Abraham, Ford’s licensed accessories manager. “The Ford Custom Graphics website complements our strong accessory portfolio and enables customers to put a personal stamp on their vehicle.”

Ford says that there will be approximately 50 different designs, created specifically for each vehicle at the launch of the service. Users can then modify the roughly 50 designs (for each vehicle) by choosing their own unique colors, and in some cases, sizes of the designs as well.

The automaker says the new offering, the result of a partnership with 3M with a product known as “Original Wraps,” will be an ever-evolving project as the automaker learns which designs are most popular, allowing them to constantly tweak their offerings based on consumer demand. Ford also believes many consumers will appreciate the option for vinyl graphics, as opposed to custom paint, as it will save them money – Ford suggests the vinyl will cost about half as much as custom paint – and it will allow owners and potential second-hand buyers the option to change or remove the graphics down the road.

The custom graphics will be installed by professional at Ford dealers, and will be covered with the three-year, 36,000 mile warranty.

To find the custom graphic for you, visit www.FordCustomGraphics.com, but be aware that some vehicles are not available for customization yet.



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