The first dealership to premiere Ford's 2010 Taurus sedan is not in the Motor City, New York, or Los Angeles.
The West-Herr Ford dealership is among three nationwide to premiere the sedan this week, and was the first of those to do so Tuesday night.
Tony Helta, general manager at West-Herr, said that the distinction is testament to the strong ties that Ford has with the area, including its stamping plant in Hamburg.
"Buffalo is a blue collar town," he said. "There is a lot of loyalty to Ford in this area."
Ford selected West-Herr as one of the first three in the country because of the success of the F-150 pickup premiere there last fall, Helta said. That premiere, one of the first 20 in the country, drew nearly 450 attendees and the attention of the company, he said.
Pei-Wen Hsu, marketing manager of the Ford Taurus, said that Tuesday night's event will be followed by two other premieres in Tampa and Houston later this week. Hsu said that the first three premieres, each in different regions of the country, will guide Ford as dealerships nationwide launch the car later this summer.
"When we kick it off officially, we will have a flavor of different areas to refine the program," she said. "Anything we learn, we will share with the rest of the dealers to help them host their events."
Hsu said that West-Herr was Ford's choice in the Northeast because of its sales performance and commitment to the community.
Those at Tuesday night's premiere could not drive off the lot with a new Taurus. The model unveiled was only for display. But they could receive $500 off the car by buying in advance, Hsu said.
List price for the Taurus ranges from $25,995 to $37,995 depending on the model, according to Ford's Web site.
While the spotlight is on West-Herr, other area dealerships will have to wait anywhere from mid-June to mid-July to receive the sedans, which have a revamped design and technology. Jim Walters, sales manager at DeLacy Ford, said that it would have been great to have one of the Taurus models in his dealership right now. But he is glad that there is high interest in the Taurus.
"All Ford dealers are happy that Ford is in the position that it's in," he said.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org