Edsel Ford II Talks 'Gen 6' Race Car on NASCAR Race Hub
Ford Motor Company Board Member, Edsel Ford II, the great grandson of company founder Henry Ford and son of Henry Ford II, visited SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub this evening to talk about the new ‘Gen 6’ Ford Fusion stock car that’s set to compete in the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Ford sat down with co-host Steve Byrnes and chatted about the racing program, the new driver stable and what expectations are for the new car moving forward. Here is what he had to say.
Steve Byrnes: If we don’t help the automotive manufacturers, there may not be motor sports. I don’t think the fans understand the relationship between auto manufacturers, like Ford, and the race teams, why it’s so critical.
Edsel Ford II: It’s absolutely critical and frankly, the relationship between NASCAR and the manufacturers – that relationship has improved. I think it’s improving because we’re all talking to each other. There was a time where the pendulum had swung too far and now, I think the pendulum has come back to the middle. I think all the manufacturers, and I can’t speak for anyone but Ford, but I think we’re very happy where we are.
Byrnes: We mention that, ‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday;’ is that an intangible thing? Can you see from a sales stand point, that people are now relating to that race car? Is that real?
Ford: Oh absolutely. First of all, let me just say that my father first said those words at Le Mans. He coined it, and I take great credit for my father for ‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.’ Absolutely… we do what we do for the fans. We don’t need to be in motor racing, but we do it because we want to be - because our fans want us to be. NASCAR fans are the most loyal customers we have. So, I think we’re back to the old days where we have Ford versus General Motors versus Toyota. I mean, this is where it all started. It was great fun.
Byrnes: We can say Edsel too, that the beginning of NASCAR, that loyalty was very important. You’d hear a fan say, ‘”I’m a Ford guy. I’m a Chevy guy,” perhaps more so than they were of a particular driver.
Ford: So wouldn’t it be nice if you went to a track and Ford fans sat in one section? Wouldn’t that be good? Like in the old days, fans would start yelling at each other. That’s the ultimate.
Byrnes: Moving forward, what would be a successful year for Ford? What do you want to see out of this season with this new race car?
Ford: I want to go to Las Vegas, and I want to accept the manufacturer’s championship. I’ll be blunt, that’s’ what we want - plain and simple. We haven’t been able to achieve it in the last 10 years. I think it’s time. I think we have a terrific team. We’ve added Penske Racing, we’re really excited about that. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., has moved up from Nationwide, up to Cup. We’ve got a really good stable. It’s the best stable Ford Motor Company has had, that I can remember.
Byrnes: I’m guessing you’re biased, this may be a dumb question, is it (the Ford Fusion) the best looking race car out there?
Ford: By miles… by absolute miles. We did it on purpose that way. I think it is. I think it’s got very strong brand identity, and the great thing is that our drivers are very keen to promote the product.
Byrnes: As we look at the car, it’s very distinctive.
Ford: Its good looking isn’t it? It’s really good. I want to compliment NASCAR too. They worked really hard with us to make sure we got that type of brand identity. As I said earlier, we haven’t had that in a while, and it’s very important for us.