BP, Ford Cap Deal

Automaker will recommend oil company's fuels

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Beginning this month, 2006 model Ford Motor Co. cars, pickups and SUVs in the United States will bear gas caps recommending BP to customers as an extension of a relationship the company has developed with the fuel provider.

This is the first time in the United States that a major automobile manufacturer has recommended an energy company's fuel, BP said. Early joint efforts for the Ford/BP filler cap initiative in Europe have been very successful, it said, and have paved the way for the current launch in the United States. Nearly three [image-nocss] million Ford products will feature fuel caps with Ford recommends BP and the BP helios logo.

At BP, our commitment to consumers is to deliver high-quality fuel backed by our quality guarantee, said Gary Brinkworth, vice president of marketing of BP U.S. Fuels. We're proud that Ford, a company well-known for its quality vehicles, values the BP brand as its first choice for fuels. This endorsement from Ford recognizes our dedication to producing fuels that help to improve cars' performance, efficiency and emissions.

For 15 consecutive years, BP's slate of Amoco Regular, Amoco Silver and Amoco Ultimate premium gasoline has been rated highest in quality in a national consumer survey conducted by NPD Automotive, the company said. All BP gasolines are backed by a written guarantee. Ford has selected BP as the primary supplier of initial fuel for its products as they roll off the assembly line. BP also is a leading supplier of the fluids and lubricants used by Ford.

The relationship between Ford and BP is a great fit for a number of reasonscommon customers worldwide, strong retail networks and complementary technologies, said Ford Division President Darryl Hazel. The fuel cap recommendation allows customers to establish a tangible connection between both companies. We expect to have future promotions between Ford dealerships and BP retail locations that will strengthen that association even further.

BP already has worked with Ford on a number of promotions that featured Ford vehicles at BP retail locations. Recent examples include a Win Free Gas for a Year contest promoting the F-150 in the United States and the Focus C-MAX in Europe. Last year, the two companies held a sweepstakes giving customers the chance to win a Ford Escape Hybrid. This summer's Ford and BP sweepstakes features the all-new Ford Five Hundred.

The filler cap initiative is a strong part of ongoing retail activities between the two companies that build on their technical cooperation. BP and Ford are working on the joint development of fuels, lubricants and drivetrains that benefit the customer, as well as the environment. This total systems approach to optimizing vehicle performance will include all fuel and powertrain technologies, from gasoline to hydrogen.

Ford and BP have begun a major initiative aimed at moving the United States closer to a hydrogen economy. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Ford is delivering hydrogen-powered Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles to demonstration fleet customers in Southeast Michigan; Sacramento, Calif., and Orlando, Fla. BP said it plans to build hydrogen fueling stations to support them.

BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through 14,000 retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities.