Ford Taurus and McDonald's(R): This Partnership Is In the Bag
11 August 1998Ford Taurus and McDonald's(R): This Partnership Is In the Bag
DETROIT, Aug. 11 -- Victory for Ford Taurus is in the bag -- the Happy Meal(R) bag. Next week McDonald's restaurants will begin offering miniatures of Ford Taurus race cars as Happy Meal toys at its restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada. Three of the four die cast collectible NASCAR toys are actual Ford Taurus race cars driven by Bill Elliott of the #94 McDonald's team. Each week from August 14 through September 10, McDonald's will race a special edition car during NASCAR events, then give away the corresponding Hot Wheels(R) replicas with its Happy Meals. Millions of miniature Ford Taurus race cars will be distributed as part of the promotion. "Ford and McDonald's are a winning combination both on and off the track," said Sam Scott, Ford Division's motorsports marketing manager. "In its first season on the race track, Taurus already has eight wins. Now fans will be able to watch the races and then visit McDonald's for replicas of their favorite race cars. We're certain this promotion will be a winner." Ford Taurus entered NASCAR for the first time last February and since then, the four-door sedan has won eight races and carried four drivers into the top-five in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings. "The success of Taurus on the track is translating into success in our showrooms too," said Larry Collins, Ford Taurus brand manager. "We want to appeal to a younger buyer, who is very enthusiastic and loyal. We want to capture the emotion and the passion NASCAR fans exhibit, and we're getting very positive feedback from our dealers on the Taurus NASCAR participation." Taurus sales have increased every month since the car joined the NASCAR circuit. Sales in 1998 are up eight percent over last year. Bill Elliott will debut the Ronald McDonald Happy Meal Taurus at the Michigan Speedway on August 16 in the Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss. A miniature version of Elliott's Taurus will be available at McDonald's with the Hot Wheels Happy Meal promotion starting August 14. The second NASCAR Taurus, Mac Tonight, will be offered starting August 21, with Elliott racing the car one day later in the Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. The promotion will conclude with the NASCAR 50th Anniversary Taurus, distributed beginning September 4. Elliott will race the vehicle on September 6 in the Southern 500 at Darlington Motor Speedway in South Carolina.