Between now and mid-October, Fiesta World Tour 2010 will cross the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, China, Southeast Asia and finally Australia. This is an epic around-the-world expedition to mark the launch of the Ford Fiesta in the U.S.
Media from the UK, U.S. and Australia are the drivers of the first leg of the journey, which stretches from Los Angeles to New York city. During this two-month long global expedition, invited journalists will produce feature stories that reflect the more surprising and not-so-well-known elements of each region.
On the itinerary for day one was a stop at Hollywood’s stunt driving school, a visit to Jay Leno’s garage and an egg cook-off on the sizzling hot Fiesta bodywork in Death Valley where temperatures were over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
The expedition will cover more than 15,000 road miles on four continents and through 20 countries. It is an acknowledgment of the global nature of the Fiesta, which is sold all around the world and will celebrate its one-millionth sale in September 2010.
Some of the more intriguing stories on the American leg include spending the night with the team that keeps Las Vegas’s neon lights burning, visiting an artist in Texas who creates beautiful works in the dust on the windows of cars and checking out a company in Tennessee that converts old airliners into exclusive private homes.
After finishing the American leg in New York city, the tour will cross the Atlantic to kick off the European leg in Shannon, Ireland. Journalists will pay a visit to the village of Lisdoonvarna, which hosts a 150-year old annual matchmaking festival. They’ll talk to local matchmaker Willie Daley, who claims to have ‘matchmade’ 10,000 couples.
Once the expedition reaches Dublin, it will head across the Irish Sea to Wales. The tour will press on to England and eventually mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel.
Stories during the expedition’s run through central Europe will include a lap of the legendary Nurburgring – 14 miles of weaving and diving circuit cut through a dark forest. This track is so challenging that Sir Jackie Stewart called it ‘the Green Hell.’
As the expedition heads ever further east, the stories will become ever more exotic, including a visit with a belly dancing cab driver, a race between a sprinting camel and a car and a look at how Saudi women are influencing car buying choices, even though they aren’t allowed to drive.
The next leg of this epic expedition will start in Shenzhen, China, where journalists will experience one of the largest and most eccentric electronic gadgets market. You can find such items as a solar powered vest to recharge your devices or a mobile phone that looks identical to a pack of cigarettes. There’s also the amazing tale of the businessman who had a quarry painted green to improve his feng shui.
The expedition will continue its trek through China and then on to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Stories will reflect the region – monks who bless cars, elephants that paint and, in Singapore, the world’s most educated cab driver who holds a Yale PHD.
The expedition’s final leg will be in Australia, where stories will surround iconic locations such as Darwin, Ayers Rock, Bathurst and finally, Sydney.
To make the most of the Fiesta’s global presence, each leg of the expedition will use locally built cars – on the European leg, journalists will be piloting left-hand drive Fiestas built in Cologne, Germany. Those cars will travel with the expedition until it reaches China, where a new pair of Fiestas will replace them there and again in Thailand. The last swap will happen in Darwin, Australia.