Ford Digs Deep for Multicultural Marketing Opportunities

Geoffrey Precourt

The Ford Motor Co. first manufactured the Taurus in 1986 and marketed it for 21 years, up to 2007. In the summer of 2009, with the automotive industry all but crushed, Ford saw an opportunity for new revenue with a relaunch of the old Taurus brand.

And, according to Crystal Worthem, Ford's multicultural marketing manager, the company's vision of that opportunity was visible from the outset with the selection of team members who would drive the program.

"The chief engineer was Latino. The designer was Afro-American…. In that sector, the majority of buyers are Afro-American…. What are we doing on the inside is trying to make sure we can resonate with consumers [on the outside].  That means having people with seats at the table who can make critical decisions."

The results of the decisions that the multicultural managers made on behalf of the Taurus relaunch had an immediate impact: "In its first two months of sales, Taurus had the highest proportion of Afro-American sales in that group."