2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford is diving into the burgeoning social media world head first. Based on the success of its Fiesta Movement, the Blue Oval has decided to launch a new program called Fusion 41 – so named because of the Fusion Hybrid's 41 mile-per-gallon EPA estimate in the city and the fact that Ford is looking for 41 participants to take part in its new game.

A total of eight Fusion or Fusion Hybrid owners will be chosen from all applicants received based on their social media presence, and those drivers will each choose four friends or family members to join their team. Ford will then hand out assignments that must be completed with photo and video proof that is to be uploaded to the driver's Facebook profile. Ford is calling the program an "automotive relay race," whatever that means.

So, what's the incentive to participate? For starters, each team will be given a new Fusion for the challenge, and the winning team captain will have their own Fusion or Fusion Hybrid paid off by Ford. Not bad, eh? Plus, participating team members from the winning group will earn free gas for one full year. Want to know more? Click past the break for the press release and visit www.fusion41.com before November 6th to enter the contest.


Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE

FORD LOOKING FOR 2010 FUSION OWNERS FOR UNIQUE CONSUMER PROGRAM


* Ford is seeking 2010 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid owners to participate in Fusion 41, an automotive relay race designed to build awareness and excitement around the all-new Fusion; the Fusion owner of the winning team will have their vehicle paid off, and team members will win free gas for one year
* Interested applicants must be passionate about their Fusion and have a compelling desire and ability to spread the word about it on social media sites; to apply, visit www.fusion41.com
* Fusion 41 is an extension of the Ford Drive One campaign, which focuses on customers sharing all the cool and positive experiences they're having with their new vehicle

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 21, 2009 – Ford Motor Company is conducting a nationwide search for passionate 2010 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid owners to participate in Fusion 41, a consumer program designed to build awareness and excitement around the all-new 2010 Ford Fusion.

The Fusion 41 program – named for the unsurpassed 41 mpg fuel economy that makes Fusion America's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan, and the 41 participants – builds on the success of the Ford Drive One advertising campaign, which focuses on actual customers experiencing new Ford vehicles and sharing their stories with others. The Fusion 41 consumer story will come to life on the Internet, through social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

How Fusion 41 works
Eight 2010 Fusion owners from throughout the country will be selected to participate in the Fusion 41 program. They will be chosen based on their passion for Fusion and their ability to share compelling information about the vehicle on the Internet. Applicants must have a current Facebook profile with a minimum of 100 friends and an active photo collection.

Each of the eight Fusion owners will then choose four friends or family members to join their team, and each team will be given a 2010 Ford Fusion or Fusion Hybrid to drive in an automotive relay race. To complete the relay, each team member must fulfill an assigned task within 41 hours, tracking competitive variables such as miles driven, stops made or the number of passengers picked up.

The winning team will be chosen based on their ability to complete the activities and provide proof by uploading photos and videos to various social media sites, including Facebook.

The Fusion owner of the winning team will have their vehicle paid off, and team members will win free gas for one year.

"Fusion 41 is a fun way to engage customers and get them talking about the all-new 2010 Fusion," said Jeff Eggen, Ford Car Experiential Marketing manager. "There's no better way to spread the word about our new products than by putting them into the hands of prospective customers and enabling them to experience our vehicles firsthand."

2010 Fusion owners interested in competing in Fusion 41 may apply at www.fusion41.com between now and November 6.

Ford fuels social media
Research shows that social media sites are increasingly one of the best ways to reach out to consumers. Prior to the development of the Fusion 41 program, Ford expanded its presence on Facebook with a new application for its "Fusion + Hybrid" profile called "You Speak Green" that enables visitors to share their sustainable lifestyle suggestions. Since its launch in mid-July, more than 104,000 Facebook users have downloaded the application to their profile pages and 15,000 have posted tips.

Another example of Ford's groundbreaking social media outreach is its support of the Fiesta Movement campaign to promote the company's sporty, savvy new small car through social media agents. Agent postings have garnered significant numbers on social media sites, including more than 4.8 million YouTube views (www.fiestamovement.com), more than 600,000 Flickr views and more than 3.2 million Twitter impressions.

Fusion sales momentum
With its unsurpassed quality, best-in-class fuel economy, class-exclusive technologies and significant residual value improvement, the 2010 Ford Fusion is delivering the key attributes that midsize sedan buyers want. Even at a time when industry-wide sales of midsize cars are down 26 percent, sales of the new Fusion continue to grow. Through September, Fusion sales are up 15 percent compared to the same period a year ago, and the Fusion share of the midsize car segment is up 3.8 points versus a year ago.

2010 Fusion Hybrid sales account for almost 20 percent of the total Fusion retail sales. More than 60 percent of those sales have been to non-Ford owners, and more than half have been to customers coming from import brands, mostly Toyota and Honda
.