Three Questions with Jim O'Connor
We sat down with Ford Division President Jim O'Connor and asked him three questions about last year's rerelease of the legendary Bullitt Mustang, a campaign that featured the son of the late actor Steve McQueen and close cooperation with Warner Brothers Studios.
Q: So, shades of the '60s, Bullitt Mustang is a smashing success. Steve McQueen would be proud. Are you considering another limited run for 2002, or perhaps squeezing out a bit more production before calling it quits?
A: The Bullitt Mustang has, indeed, been a huge success, and we've had a lot of fun working with Chad McQueen and Warner Brothers pulling it all together. Our strategy for Mustang "buzz vehicles", however, consists of offering different exciting new feature cars each year, rather than offering multiple runs of the same feature car. So, stay tuned for our next great Mustang!
Q: Let me guess, you've acquired one for personal use...yes? And how do you account for Mustang's continued popularity despite the impending demise of it's historical competitors, Camaro and Firebird?
A: Although I don't have a Bullitt Mustang of my own, I do have a flock of T-Birds in my garage right now (a 1957 model as well as a brand new 2002 model). As to the continued popularity of Mustang, I believe we've continued to do well because we listen closely to the Mustang enthusiasts, and continue to deliver to them great products like the Mustang GT, the Bullitt, and the Cobra. We've also listened to our "image seekers", and continue to provide them affordable V6 Mustangs and convertibles that offer tremendous value.
Q: If you recall, Mustang GT was the cover for the inaugural issue (all 830,000 of them) of eMOTION! and we included fond reference to the Bullitt Mustang. Also, did you consider placing a video of "Bullitt" in the glovebox of every car sold?
A: We appreciate all the buzz that the Bullitt has generated so far, and we will continue to offer exciting new Mustang feature cars in the years ahead. As to the idea of providing copies of the movie with the car, it was considered (along with a variety of other marketing ideas), but we chose a more grass-roots approach to marketing the car - (i.e., "leaking" info to enthusiast websites, holding sneak previews of the car with Mustang club members, press events, etc.)
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