Driven by you

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The Independent Online

"Ford gives you more", so the old slogan went. At last, we have to add. Not for nothing was this country known to domestic car-makers and importers alike as "treasure island". Profits were fatter here than on the Continent, and the great car rip-off carried on, year in, year out, courtesy of a greedy motor trade, indulged by a succession of government ministers and, it has to be admitted, abetted to no small degree by an undiscriminating car-buying public.

"Ford gives you more", so the old slogan went. At last, we have to add. Not for nothing was this country known to domestic car-makers and importers alike as "treasure island". Profits were fatter here than on the Continent, and the great car rip-off carried on, year in, year out, courtesy of a greedy motor trade, indulged by a succession of government ministers and, it has to be admitted, abetted to no small degree by an undiscriminating car-buying public.

No one was more cynical about the marketplace and there was no more skilful marketeer than the Ford Motor Company. Few other car firms would have dared to tell us, still less persuaded us, that the Cortina was imbued with Continental style; that the not-all-that-sexy Capri was the car we'd always promised ourselves; and that the gargoyle-faced Ford Scorpio was possessed of a dignified presence.

Fords are better nowadays, but competing on price is something the company gave up on after the Model T. Nor, for the more patriotically minded buyer, can Fords be seen as "British": when Dagenham closes, no more cars with the familiar blue oval will be made in Britain. Prodigious things may again be sought from the Ford marketing department.

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