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April 29, 2005

USA: Ford seeks to lure young buyers with presence in video games

Automotive News reports that Ford Motor Co. is using video games to bring the Ford Mustang and GT to the attention of young consumers.

Automotive News reports that Ford Motor Co. is using video games to bring the Ford Mustang and GT to the attention of young consumers.

The AN report by Marty Bernstein said that Ford Division is working with Sony Online Entertainment Inc. and Konami Digital Entertainment to promote two race simulation games. Ford’s display at the New York auto show in March featured Enthusia, a game developed by Konami, the report said. The game went on sale this month.

The technology analysis firm Jupiter Research in New York estimates that 40 million Americans play video games. Jupiter expects that audience to grow to 62 million Americans by 2009.

Most game players are under 34, Jupiter says.

Enthusia enables players to choose from more than 200 vehicles to compete on 50 race courses. It features the Mustang and GT, Automotive News reported.

Killol Bhuta, Mustang’s assistant marketing manager, told AN that Ford’s product placement in the two racing games will help it reach the pony car’s target audience. “One out of every four Mustangs we sell is to an individual under the age of 34,” Bhuta said, in the report.

“Chances are very good they are also game players.”

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