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7/30/2008 - Ford Launches Driving Skills For Life in Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand, July 8, 2008 - Ford Motor Company is launching its successful "Driving Skills for Life" program this year in select Asia markets, including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. In cooperation with the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation and government agencies in the four ASEAN countries, the program will teach practical skills and training for safe and fuel-efficient driving.

Driving Skills for Life is a free course that mixes classroom learning and practical training to help increase awareness of driving techniques that save fuel. The training is customized in each participating market to reflect the local driving environment and road conditions.

A grant from Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services' Ford GlobalGiving Campaign is helping to finance the introduction of the Driving Skills for Life program in Southeast Asia. This is the first Asian initiative being supported by the Fund.

"Road safety is a very serious issue in our markets," said Neal McCarthy, corporate communications director for Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. "Driver safety is highly relevant to our business, and Driving Skills for Life is an ideal way for Ford to leverage our global expertise to make a difference."

Reducing the toll of road traffic accidents across the region is a key objective of Driving Skills for Life. World Health Organization forecasts indicate that road traffic accidents will become the third-leading cause of premature death for all ages by 2020, accounting for a staggering 1.2 million deaths every year.

According to Greig Craft, president of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF), programs like Driving Skills for Life are critical to address growing concerns about road safety in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa. The organization, a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, is dedicated to public awareness and education programs on road safety.

"This is a huge step in the right direction," Craft said. "In developing countries, motorization is happening so quickly that road traffic injuries and deaths have reached an epidemic proportion. People are taking to the road in ever-greater numbers, usually without the training to drive properly or the fundamental understanding of driving skills. Driver training, education and public awareness are imperative to making a difference. That's what Driving Skills for Life is all about."

Participating Markets

Driving Skills for Life will launch in four ASEAN markets:

Vietnam - In partnership with the Vietnam National Road Safety Committee, Driving Skills for Life will partner with driving schools in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, launching in mid-July. Training will be offered to Ford retail customers, fleet customers, government ministries and college students.

Thailand - Kicking off in mid-July, Driving Skills for Life will be promoted nationally by Ford dealers. The program is being conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Land Transport and Jor Sor 100, which will offer listeners the opportunity for training focused on safety, economy, environmental awareness and fun.

Indonesia - In cooperation with the National Police and Asian Development Bank, Driving Skills for Life will be incorporated into Ford's fleet training program and offered to retail customers, existing customers, university students and the public in Ford communities.

Philippines - Driving Skills for Life will be incorporated into Ford Philippines' successful RIDE road safety program. Introduced in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of IT and Communication, a Road Safety Council will act as ambassadors for Driving Skills for Life. Fleet customers, Ford employees dealers, Ford and Mazda clubs and students will be offered training.

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