Two Icons Together – All New 2015 Mustang Launch At Burj Khalifa
The Eagle Has Landed
This may be the first official trip to Dubai for Bill Ford, The great-grandson of Henry Ford. And this time he was tasked with two missions, or perhaps three depending upon how you adjoin today’s marketing tactics as a lifestyle activity of the modern day of the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.
He was in Dubai Chamber and discussed the plans for Future of Mobility in Dubai with the resident UAE dignitaries. As UAE transportation is 2nd largest revenue generating sector of logistics market; accounts for 18.8% of total sector revenue. However, at the other end of the spectrum more and more vehicles can possibly cause a gridlock.
Hence, Bill Ford Expressed his concern: “For most of my adult life, I worried about, “How am I going to sell more cars and trucks?” But today, I worry about, “What happens if all we do is sell more cars and trucks?”
Dubai has over 1 million registered cars as per the Roads and Transport Authority. According to Ford Motor Company, the number of cars on the road is forecasted to grow from 1 billion to 4 billion globally by 2050. The future of mobility depends on a collaborative vision for smart transportation and development of intelligent vehicles and transport systems.
William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, said: “As technology quickly evolves, we must push ourselves to look for new opportunities to solve bigger issues. Together, we must find ways that mobility can improve the human condition, and I congratulate the Dubai Chamber on a timely and engaging conversation on this topic.”
Mission -1: Aggressive Business Style
All that aside and will remain parallel and headaches for the city planners and the auto industry gurus. Bill Ford inaugurated Ford’s latest business unit for Middle East & Africa this year, that will represent the final frontier and will effectively cover the company’s automotive business in 67 Ford markets in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and Middle East regions. Also getting aggressive in business is the name of the game, Industry sales in Middle East & Africa are expected to grow 40 percent to 5.5 million vehicles by 2020. To meet new customer demand, Ford pledged to launch 25 vehicles in the region by 2016, including the all-new Mustang debuting next year.
“Today we planted the Ford flag in the Middle East & Africa, an exciting, vibrant region that represents the final frontier for growth in the auto industry,” Bill Ford said. “We also sent a message to the world that the Mustang is going global after 50 years as America’s greatest motoring icon.” “A century ago, Henry Ford had a vision to open the highways to all mankind,” said Jim Benintende, President, Ford Middle East, and Africa. “Placing our regional headquarters in Dubai, lets us tap the innovation and imagination that’s flourishing here, helping us to bring our founder’s vision to this part of the world.”
Mission – 2: Hollywood Style
That last 300 meters took me about 45 minutes to actually drive and hand over my car to hotel valet. And it wasn’t a surprise when it took me another 10 minutes to actually hand over my car to valet parking driver as no one available on the spot to greet you and the open door. They were all gone bonkers.
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford capped the live-action event by delivering the iconic pony badge to the 2015 yellow Mustang on the 112th floor of the skyscraper. The event was viewed live around the world on YouTube as well as by approximately 10,000 people gathered in the Dubai Downtown area, overlooking the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.
Viewers of the light-hearted action spectacle witnessed a dramatic journey that started with a hero atop a cliff in Arizona taking an urgent call. The unknown protagonist raced via horseback, airline, car, helicopter and jet ski to Dubai to deliver the iconic pony badge. Only in the final scene on the 112th floor of the Burj Khalifa – 399 meters (1,300 feet) above the ground — was the protagonist revealed with a wink and a nod as Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford. (Third mission).
And if those final 10 minutes were like hours in space-time, I’ll kid you not that it took me more than an hour to get my car back after the party was over. I managed to talk to one of the Valet parking supervisors who looked totally drained in pleasant weather condition. He said, Sir, there are more than 750 cars today, it’s simply hard to find the key for the token issued and then a car and lastly to bring it back here in the foyer.
The Mastery Of Retooling
The Mustang was born as an icon. It coined the phrase “Pony Car”. To celebrate the launch it was taken on top of the worlds tallest building, an engineering marvel of the time, The Empire State building in New York. To keep the utmost secrecy and most probably as reality would have, it cannot be dropped from the hovering helicopter. The only way left was the main elevator! But of course, the elevators were designed to carry only people not Mustang as it was only 36 inches wide. The solution was to cut the Mustang into pieces.
Fast forward to today, Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of newly launched 6th generation Mustang here in Middle East region. As history would repeat itself, what could be the more apt place than the new engineering marvel, the tallest building in the world: The Burj Khalifa. Soaring at 828m only a little short of being actually a kilometer high in the sky!
However this time the car that you see in the photos is one-off purpose built Dry Run show car. The car actually came off the assembly line and then cut into 5 pieces to accommodate once again in the elevator. It took the special DST team to retool the car at the gallery on 112th floor (at 399 meters). Interestingly platform was large enough to showcase two Mustangs!
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