Ford initiatives underline a commitment to grassroots

As it prepares to launch into its second century as an Irish company, Henry Ford & Son Ltd is refusing to let the grass grow under its feet.

Ford initiatives underline a commitment to grassroots

Two initiatives in recent months have highlighted the motor company’s priorities as it draws up plans to adapt and grow in a changing world.

The first was its sponsorship of the UCC Quercus Talented Students’ programme, which has been highlighted in recent weeks by a giant banner on Grand Parade.

The second initiative relates to the company’s ‘Clean Up for 181’ sales campaign.

The link-up with UCC’s Quercus Talented Students’ programme was announced during the visit of William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, in April, when he was marking the centenary of Henry Ford & Son Ltd.

Recently, Cork City Council partnered with the company to unveil the new banner on Grand Parade, and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, and Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Henry Ford & Son Ltd, attended the unveiling, along with scholars on the programme and Professor John O’Halloran, director of the Quercus programme.

The banner, focused on education and learning, also supported the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Conference which took place in Cork City Hall recently and attracted more than 600 international delegates.

The banner includes the image of a large oak tree —Quercus means oak in Latin.

The Ford Centenary Quercus Scholarship will run for five years, beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, and seeks to support and promote excellence for prospective undergraduate students and students already registered in UCC.

The Ford Centenary Quercus Scholarship in particular targets students who show outstanding promise in the areas of Active Citizenship and Innovation / Entrepreneurship, seeking to nurture the talent of each student through support, challenge and mentoring.

Over the five year scholarship period, the programme will help approximately 50 talented students to realise their potential and to fully develop their talents through educational and practical support.

Meanwhile, the ‘Clean Up for 181’ sales campaign was launched with a clever tagline paraphrasing Henry Ford’s famous quote: “You can have any colour you want as long as it’s black.”

The sales campaign shows a green woodland with the slogan ‘You can have any colour you want as long as it’s green’, stressing the environmental benefits of the company’s vehicles.

The ‘Clean up for 181’ campaign involves reductions of up to €6,000 on selected models and 0% finance, with buyers urged to get into more environmentally-friendly, Euro 6 compliant vehicles.

Timed to coincide with the 181 January new car market, Mr McMahon said: “Our ‘Clean Up for 181’ campaign is all about making it extremely easy for car buyers to get out of older, less efficient cars and get into one of our new models which have engines that are all Euro 6 compliant, meaning they are meeting the strictest European emissions regulations.”

The campaign includes price reductions on various high specification versions of some of Ford’s most popular models including the Ford Kuga ST-Line, the new Ford EcoSport and Ford Galaxy Titanium.

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