PANAMA CITY, Panama – Designed as an informative weekend of fun, Ford Techno Fest may also have attracted new customers to the Ford brand.
The two-day event gave the hundreds of attendees an opportunity to try out Ford’s cutting-edge technology, including the new hands-free liftgate system, Active Park Assist and Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert. At the same time, they were able to check out the new Ford Fusion. “The pre-production Fusion had just arrived in Panama,” said Central America Regional Operations Manager Crucita Santiago-Santana, “and we thought this would be the perfect place to unveil it for the Panama market.”
In addition to Fusion, the Edge, Explorer, Escape, Ranger, Raptor and Mustang were on display.
Judging by the line of people waiting to test it, the most popular technology may have been Active Park Assist, which can steer a vehicle into a parking space. A crowd also gathered to try out the hands-free liftgate system, which requires only a gentle kicking motion to unlock and raise the liftgate.
Santiago-Santana said they held the event on a causeway rather than at a dealership so guests could play with the technology and not feel any sales pressure.
Media praised the event, with blogger Benjamin Chellew calling it “very original,” and others asking if it would be held annually.
A number of people took to Facebook to share thoughts – many of which revolved around the Raptor (“the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen”) and the “elegant” and “fancy” Fusion.
Ford Techno Fest was designed to help increase brand awareness and improve dealer sales volumes by combining fun activities for kids with areas of knowledge and innovation for their parents and older siblings. While it was not a sales event, Techno Fest generated multiple requests for sales proposals and may result in new customers for Ford.
“I think it helped with our brand awareness and that people understand the value of our vehicles better,” said Santiago-Santana. “Holding it shortly before the auto show should help increase sales because people got a taste of Ford right before the show.”
Techo Fest was held the last weekend in September. The Panama Motor Show runs through Oct. 28.