Ford EXP
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Ford
Model: EXP
Ford EXP

Ford was ready to reenter the two-seater car market and decided to do so with the Ford EXP. First shown at the Chicago Auto Show and introduced in April 1981 as an early 1982 model, the Ford EXP and the Mercury LN7 were the first two-seaters that Ford offered in 25 years. Comparing the EXP to the original Thunderbird, Ford Division General Manager Louis E. Latalf expressed his desire to offer something that had flair but would be very affordable and very fuel-efficient. This car seemed to perfectly match the lifestyles of the eighties. Ford's marketing strategy continued with this perception of the American lifestyle. Ford saw the growing number of one and two person households, combined with the lifestyle of the younger target audience who desired a small sporty car, and concluded that Americans wanted a small, peppy, dependable, efficient and affordable vehicle. Ford's perception was that if a customer wanted room for four or five passengers, they would buy an Escort or a Fairmont. They were not trying to appeal to the family market, but rather the same segment that might like a European grand tourer. This was a personal vehicle for two, with a shotgun seat for emergency transport of a third. The designation of EXP, reflected this philosophy. Naming of automobiles has become somewhat of an art, and it seems that there is always some debate surrounding how the name originated. For a long time, some were adamant that the letters EXP stood for 'EXPerimental', while others said that Ford marketing executives just thought it was a cool combination of letters and wasn't intended to really mean anything. However, according to an article published in Popular Mechanics in 1981, the letters EXP are supposed to stand for Erika Project Personal car. It seems that the "Erika" came from the codename from the European Escort. So there, the debate is settled and everyone can move on.

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