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Ford Taurus and McDonald's(R): This Partnership Is In the Bag

11 August 1998

Ford 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.