US Automakers Turn To Hip-Hop; Funk Flex Releasing Ford Expedition, Jay-Z Blue On The Way


relationship between Ford and Hot 97 on air personality Funkmaster Flex continues

to flourish, as the two prepare to unveil their newest creation, the 2008 Ford

Expedition Funkmaster Flex edition.The

full-sized limited edition production SUV includes a variety of features such

as a 3D Carbon body kit with custom front/rear fascia and side skirts, two-tone

black and Colorado red paint with orange pinstriping, Funkmaster Flex badges on

fenders, Sirius Satellite radio, Funkmaster Flex stitched logo headrests, a limited-edition

Funkmaster Flex numbered dash plaque, 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels and

other unique features.The

vehicle is the latest endeavor between Ford and Flex, who has customized more

than 15 vehicles for Ford since he began working with the company in 2005."Once

Ford and I finished the concept Expedition, we knew we had something serious!

It was poppin'!" he said. "We then started showing it at auto shows,

to dealers and to my fans and realized we hit on some themes that we could turn

into a limited-edition production ride."The

Funkmaster Flex Edition represents a way for Ford to position itself for continued

growth in the vehicle personalization marketplace through its alliance with Flex.


auto maker's research found that nearly half of all new-vehicle buyers are adding

unique touches to their vehicles.

Ford and competitor General Motors (GM), the two largest auto makers in the United

States, both seek to tap in to the lucrative urban automotive market.In

Jan., GM announced a deal with rapper Jay-Z to create a custom color called "Jay-Z

Blue," which the auto maker hopes will resonate with a more youthful audience.Mike

Jackson, GM's Vice President of Marketing and Promotions, told that

the auto maker was in the process of planning the "Jay-Z Blue" rollout."The

idea of having a color option available on GM vehicles called Jay-Z Blue is a

big idea," Jackson told "We are still working through

the creative execution of how we're going to do it. We are working through the

details of what brands, what models, how we position it, how we communicate it.

It will be available on a number of limited edition GM vehicles."The

news comes as both auto makers revealed today (Apr. 2) that sales continue to fall.


month, Ford's sales dropped 14 percent, GM dropped 3.2 percent and DaimlerChrysler

AG's Chrysler's sales fell 5.5 percent. Shareholders

of DaimlerChrysler are currently exploring the option of selling the Chrysler


2008 Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition is slated to hit car dealerships

this fall.