Ford Plans New Reality Show

FORD logo over 2002 Ford Focus cars on assembly line, Wayne, Michigan AP

If singing, cooking and clothing design can sell as reality TV, why not designing dream cars?

Ford Motor Co., a sponsor of Fox's "American Idol" reality show, is planning its own television reality program in which the participants develop concept cars with Ford designers, the Detroit News reported in Thursday editions.

Ford showed a promotional video about the program at a dealer's meeting Wednesday and is working on lining up a network, the newspaper said.

"It's a very cool idea," said analyst Jim Sanfilippo of Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc., who called it a good way to convey Ford's message to the buying public. "It's a way to engage the audience in a way that they can identify it."

Last week, the nation's No. 2 automaker reported a $1.2 billion loss for its first quarter as it began a costly restructuring effort amid weak U.S. sales. The company's U.S. sales fell 3 percent for the January-March period, though its worldwide sales were up 3 percent from a year earlier.

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