It kind of goes without saying, but joining the military means you won't be enjoying quite as much leisure time as members of the civilian world. That said, when a chance to let your hair down does come along, servicemembers usually enjoy some very unique opportunities... like driving a new Ford Mustang and F-150 around Germany's Hockenheimring.
Ford and the Overseas Military Sales Corporation, the on-base retailer for the Blue Oval and the same outfit that worked out a raffle program for servicemembers to purchase the limited-edition 50th Anniversary Mustang, put together the ride-and-drive program at Germany's second most famous circuit. The OMS allows military men and women to purchase vehicles for both on-base use and for pickup when they arrive back in the United States.
"The Ford Driving Freedom ride-and-drive event is designed to introduce the new 2015 Ford Mustang and F-150 to military personnel who are stationed on US bases across Europe," Ford fleet sales manager Doug Walczak said in the attached statement. "It's the first time such an event has been held overseas."
According to Ford, over 300 servicemen and women applied to take part in this pilot program, which was more than double what Ford and OMS had room for. With such an impressive response rate, it's no surprise that similar events could come to other US bases.
Scroll down for the official press release from Ford.
· Ford and the Overseas Military Sales Corporation host first-ever Ford Driving Freedom ride-and-drive event for U.S. military personnel stationed on bases across Europe
· U.S. military personnel got the unique opportunity to drive the Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang on Hockenheimring racetrack in Germany
· Ford has worked with Overseas Military Sales Corporation since 1995 to offer Ford and Lincoln vehicles for sale throughout the Americas, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as on select Navy ships
HOCKENHEIMRING, Germany, June 9, 2015 – Members of the U.S. military got the unique opportunity to take a test drive of the Ford F-150 and Mustangtoday at Germany's famed Hockenheimring racetrack.
"The Ford Driving Freedom ride-and-drive event is designed to introduce the new 2015 Ford Mustang and F-150 to military personnel who are stationed on U.S. bases across Europe," says Doug Walczak, fleet sales manager, Ford Motor Company. "It's the first time such an event has been held overseas."
Walczak says the exercise reinforces Ford's commitment to U.S. military personnel around the world. "We're excited to provide this unique opportunity to men and women serving in the military," he says. "They make many sacrifices on our behalf, and we wanted to give them a chance to leave base and experience something fun while serving their country."
The Hockenheimring track is home to the German Grand Prix. The venue was selected both because of its history and its central location. Military personnel from U.S. bases across Europe were invited to participate, along with 125 winners of a contest sponsored by Overseas Military Sales Corporation. The group is the only on-base, factory-authorized Ford Motor Company distributor to military personnel. Walczak says the contest, which drew 300 entries, is an example of the community events the group holds to boost the morale of troops and showcase Ford products.
"Ford has worked with the Overseas Military Sales Corporation since 1995 to offer Ford and Lincoln vehicles for sale in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as on select Navy ships," said Walczak. "Service personnel can order vehicles for use where they are stationed, or place an order overseas and pick it up at a dealership when they return home."
The ride-and-drive program is a pilot, and could serve as a template for integration in Ford's future product launches.
The trucks being used for the ride-and-drive, along with others on display, are among the first F-150 vehicles on the ground in Europe.
Ford is top of mind for members of the U.S. military. Overseas Military Sales Corporation was the leading retailer of Ford Mustang in the world in 2014, while Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle for members of the military – according to a survey by USAA, a financial services company serving military personnel and their families.