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FORD BUILDS ON AIR BAG SAFETY LEADERSHIP

 CHICAGO, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey of American consumers found that more than half felt safest in an American car.
 Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has plans to make Americans feel even better.
 Ford, the world's leader in the installation of air bag supplemental restraint systems in cars, today announced plans to take truck leadership as well.
 Ford will introduce standard driver-side air bag supplemental restraint systems on its Ford light-duty F-Series and Bronco trucks this fall, Robert H. Munson, executive director of Ford's Automotive Safety Office, said here today.
 "In a recent study, Prevention magazine found that a majority of American consumers said they felt safest in an American car, while only 9 percent said they felt that way in a Japanese product," said Munson, who was here to address the Lifesavers 11, the nation's largest annual automotive safety conference. "This shouldn't surprise anyone. Ford continues to take the lead in the introduction of important safety features, such as air bags and anti-lock brakes. To that 9 percent of the population, I ask: 'Have you driven a Ford lately?'"
 The F-Series has been North America's best-selling vehicle for 11 years running, with production regularly topping 500,000 units annually. It will be one of the first full-sized pickups in the nation to offer air bags, while the Ford Bronco, also a longtime best-seller, will be the first air bag-equipped vehicle in its class.
 Ford will have more air bag-equipped truck models available and sell more air bag-equipped trucks in the 1994 model year than any other manufacturer, domestic or foreign.
 The Ford Aerostar minivan and Ford Econoline and Club Wagon full-sized vans already are equipped with standard driver-side air bags. Next November, Lincoln-Mercury will add a driver-side air bag to its hot-selling Villager minivan. By the end of 1994, all Ford light trucks will be equipped with standard driver-side air bags and several will have passenger-side air bags as well.
 Ford has already sold 3.6 million vehicles equipped with air bags, more than any other manufacturer in the world. Of those vehicles, more than 600,000 also were equipped with passenger-side air bag systems.
 Currently, Ford and Lincoln-Mercury have 10 car lines equipped with standard driver-side air bags, and two lines with optional driver-side air bags. Seven car lines have passenger-side air bags as either standard or optional equipment.
 Ford offers more 1993 models with dual air bags -- including its three Lincoln luxury cars -- than any other domestic or import vehicle manufacturer. By 1995, all Ford cars will have dual air bag systems.
 -0- 3/16/93
 /CONTACT: Pam Kueber, 313-337-2456, or John W. Spelich, 313-322-9600, both of Ford/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan, Illinois IN: AUT SU: PDT

ML -- DE006 -- 6421 03/16/93 09:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 16, 1993
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