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Small Car Czar
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Ford Links Up With BP

By Brian Gorman
July 1, 2005

Cross-promotion can be a powerful tool. McDonald's promotion of a new Disney movie with Happy Meal toys can lead to more buzz for the film, creating bigger box office numbers, leading to even more Happy Meal sales. Sometimes, though, the rationale for such alliances is somewhat less clear. Ford (NYSE: F), for example, has teamed up in the past with Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) to offer a free computer with the purchase of a Ford Focus.

At first blush, Ford's latest marketing initiative also seems a bit off the mark. The automaker announced today that it is linking up with energy giant BP (NYSE: BP) in an unusual way. Beginning in July, the gas caps on all 2006 Ford vehicles will bear the words "Ford recommends BP" and the BP logo. For BP, the benefit here seems likely to be extremely small. As noted in today's Chicago Tribune, Ford owners won't even see the gas caps until they open the metal door at the gas station.

Still, if anyone benefits from the alliance, it will be Ford. BP heavily promotes its efforts in developing more environmentally friendly energy technologies. TV spots regularly remind viewers that BP is one of the world's largest solar concerns, and the firm's website is plastered with information on the firm's innovation in the areas of cleaner fuels and eco-friendly energy. Even BP's green and yellow logo evokes a sense of harmony with nature.

Ford is keen on being associated with innovation in environmentally friendly technologies, a trend that appears to have become fashionable of late with such firms as General Electric (NYSE: GE) announcing its own green initiative. Although the BP deal will have a limited impact at best in improving the automaker's environmental image, Ford can use all the help it can get. Of course, gimmicks can go only so far, especially when other competitors continue to push the envelope in the environmental arms race -- Honda (NYSE: HMC) announced yesterday that it has leased the first fuel cell vehicle for private use.
Source: The Motley Fool, www.fool.com
 

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So let me see if I get this straight.BP means British Petroleum which bought Amoco(American oil company)which in their ads says BP (Beyond Petroleum).Why doesn't Ford just say they recommend Amoco fuel which is now owned by BP as it has a stronger identity here in the US then the BP name.Unless the Motley Fool is parady.
 

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Ford has publicly already talked about how we do not have clean burning diesel fuel in the states (which prevents them from doing more diesel engine vehicles, which could increase overall fuel economy), maybe BP is working harder then anyone else to get the same quality fuel available here. If so it would make sense that Ford is trying to help their sales and team up with them. I imagine Ford would love to offer cars getting ~%20 more mpg, while having better overall performance (turbo diesel) and durability, along with low (enough) emissions.

It's all speculation on my part, and I am not a big diesel fan personally and never really associated them with performance, but after seeing a F-350, longwheelbase, crew cab truck with 33in mud tires and a power stroke turbodiesel run a 11.4sec 1/4 mile I think I could be convinced ( F350_turbodiesel ).
 

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Motley Fool is a legit financial analysis site.

I believe it's BP's long range plan to eventually change over all Amoco branding to BP.
Okay thanks Ron.

It just threw me because of the "Fool" part.I know better now.I am all for better developed fuel as I am sure everyone is.
 

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i've actually noticed a difference in milage, performance, ect. when i started using bp fuel. it idles smoother also, so there seems to be some actual bennifits from using it, at least so far in my case anyways..
 

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Is BP going to bring up the quality of fuel also? by that I mean is the 91oct actually going to be 91oct, and not like 89.7oct?
 

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I manage a BP in South Florida and let me tell you that when the rest of the untied states gets the CLEAR gas you will notice a difference in you car. We were the first market to get the clear gas and sales have gone through the roof with more people purchasing 93 octane now. Steve
 

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I think BP also ate up Exxon as well.


The Turbo Oil 2380 (Used in aircraft with Turbofan Engines) once had the "Exxon" logo, but now the can now sports the "bp" logo.
 

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Shouldn't Automotive companies strive for producing cars with better fuel economy? Which means developing cars that reduces fuel consumption? So why is it making alliances with a gas provider?
 

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Personally I'm for banning 'low performance drivers' NOT 'high performance cars'...but that's just how I feel about the whole mess.
 

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"Following a series of mergers and acquisitions with Amoco, ARCO, Burmah Castrol and Vastar, by 2001 BP had become the largest oil and gas producer and one of the largest gasoline retailers in the United States."

I use Arco. Always the cheapest in my area.
 

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I manage a BP in South Florida and let me tell you that when the rest of the untied states gets the CLEAR gas you will notice a difference in you car. We were the first market to get the clear gas and sales have gone through the roof with more people purchasing 93 octane now. Steve
Amaco 93 Octane has always been clear. I think they used to have a little window with a metal spinner thing in it when you picked the 93 Octane pump.
 
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