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FORD FUSION “LIFE IN DRIVE” SURVEY FINDS A CAR “KEY” TO IMPRESSING A FIRST DATE

MIAMI SINGLES TO TAKE PART IN FIRST FORD FUSION SPEED DATING EVENT

If there’s one thing men and women agree with when it comes to dating it’s that cars make an impression, this according to a Ford Fusion “Life in Drive” Dating Survey that polled more than 400 singles and revealed a whopping 89 percent of males and 95 percent of females said they were somewhat likely to notice their date’s car.

The survey is part of an upcoming series of Ford-sponsored speed dating events in select U.S. cities to introduce the new Ford Fusion -- a mid-size car designed with style and attitude and marketed under the theme, “Life in Drive.”

On November 15, Miami-area singles will participate in the first Ford Fusion Speed Dating event from 6-8 p.m. at Cafeteria in Miami Beach. During the invitation-only event hosted by Univision’s Jackie Guerrido, area singles will get to know each other during seven minute speed dates in Ford Fusions parked along Pennsylvania Avenue at the corner of Lincoln Road. The Ford Fusion’s new twist on speed dating explores the role a car can have in making the right impression.

“A person’s car is most definitely an extension of the person,” said Ellen Fein, dating expert and best-selling co-author of The Rules. “You often get one chance to make a right impression and, many times, your car is one of the first personal things your date sees about you. Similar to your clothes, your car says something about you and your style,” added Fein. “The interior trim, leather seats, bold colors all reveal something about you.”

Keep It Clean
The Ford survey revealed that it’s not just your car, but the state of your car that can make an impression on your date, with 58 percent saying that the condition of their date’s vehicle would at least somewhat impact their attraction to the person. Females felt more strongly about their date’s car condition than males with 69 percent saying it would at least somewhat effect their attraction to their date compared to 47 percent of males.

“If your car is dirty outside and cluttered with wrappers and junk inside, that delivers a personality message to your date that could very well impact the evening and your future prospects,” said Sherrie Schneider, co-author of The Rules.

“Your car offers a very visual view of the person you are dating before a single word is ever spoken.”

Sky Rocketing Gas Prices – Don’t Go Dutch!
More than 79 percent of respondents said they had never been “asked to chip in for car-related expenses by their date.” Of those that had been asked to chip in, 15 percent said they were asked to spring for gas followed by parking (9 percent) and tolls (6 percent). Twice as many males (20 percent) said they were asked by their dates to chip in for gas than females (10 percent).

“At today’s gas prices, I guess you can expect more people to ask their dates to share costs,” said Fein. “It still remains a big no-no in most dating circles if you’re looking to score a second date,” she cautioned.

Most Embarrassing Car Date Moment
When asked to recall their “most embarrassing car date moment,” respondents chose being told by their date that they were a “bad driver” (22 percent) as tops overall with females (26 percent) outpacing males (18 percent).

Second overall was suffering an “upset stomach” (16 percent), followed by being “pulled over for speeding” (15 percent) and a getting in to a “fender bender” (10 percent). Also on the list, but scoring surprisingly low with all respondents, was “getting caught fooling around” (2 percent).

Kissing and Not Talking About It?
When asked “what their favorite car date activity” was, 43 percent chose “talking” or getting to know their date better. Nearly half of females (49 percent) rated talking as tops with 38 percent of males agreeing. Second overall was “sightseeing” (28 percent) followed by “kissing” (16 percent) and listening to music (14 percent). Of note, only eight percent of females surveyed chose “kissing” as their overall favorite car date activity versus 24 percent of males.

Grand Theft Auto
An overwhelming 90 percent of those surveyed said they “would not borrow” a nice car from a friend to impress a first date. Of those that said they “would borrow,” 12 percent were males compared to nine percent of females.

“What’s the point if it isn’t yours?” said Fein. “If you go beyond a first date to the all-important second date, it’s only going to come back to bite you. Besides, there are some really stylish and affordable cars out there that make a great impression.”

About Ford Fusion
The 2006 Ford Fusion, which is now arriving in dealerships nationwide, marks Ford’s return to the mid-size car market after a hiatus of several years. Fusion is designed and engineered to make a strong first impression and forge relationships that stand the test of time.

  • Distinctive Design: Fusion has a sloping hood, steeply raked windshield and bold chrome design accents, including a three-bar chromed grille inspired by the hit Ford 427 concept car. Some models push the design envelope with Piano black interior accents, oatmeal colored stitching on black leather trimmed seats and a chrome-ringed analog clock.
  • Sporty Ride and Handling: In its October 2005 issue, Car & Driver magazine wrote, “The overall balance of road feel and comfort is mainstream European, with excellent body control and supple wheel motion.”
  • Green: Fusion achieves very good fuel economy thanks to advanced engine and transmission technology – EPA estimated 29 mpg highway for V-6 models and up to 32 mpg highway for four-cylinder models.
  • Affordable – A well-equipped Fusion has a low base manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $17,795, including destination.

About The Ford Fusion “Life in Drive” Dating Survey
The Ford Fusion “Life in Drive” Dating Survey was conducted online from September 13 – 15, 2005 among 422 online single adults, ages of 25 – 40, across the United States by Russell Research, a New York based research firm founded in 1946. The online sample for the study was drawn from Survey Sampling International’s SurveySpot online consumer panel. Survey Sampling is recognized as the premier sample provider in the market research industry. The SurveySpot panel currently has 2.2 million panel households who are recruited using a wide variety of online and offline methods, including website registrations, email invitations and telephone recruiting. For this study, invitations were e-mailed to potential respondents targeted by gender, age, census region and ethnicity.