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In addition to making its vehicles more efficient, Ford wants to help its dealers cut down their energy use and has teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI, more information here) to make it happen. At the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in Orlando, FL this weekend, Ford announced a voluntary dealership sustainability program.

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1989 Ford dealer training clip - click above image to watch the videos

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After spending a few days with Ford's main-marketing-man Jim Farley and his team, we can truly say that the excitement surrounding the company's new Drive One marketing strategy is palpable. They believe that the story they have to tell is rather compelling; the real struggle will be convincing car-buyers that their vehicles are every bit as good as their competition from Japan -- as recent studies indicate. To show people what's going on behind the scenes, Farley and his posse brought Ford's be

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Ford has a dealer development program aimed at helping those who lack up-front capital open a dealership. The dealer pays Ford back with profits from the business, and slowly buys out Ford's stake. There are 81 dealers in the program now, 62 of which are minorities who the program was originally intended to aid, and Ford has offered to buy all of them out by returning the dealer's full investment.

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