Ford introduced a new slogan that will reflect the company’s resurgence from its dark financial troubles, a slogan to motivate it to build the best cars and trucks in the world. Problem is, a forgotten Japanese company beat them to the chase first. Automotive anoraks unite!
A company that has always been known for its rally cries, Ford’s new slogan replaces “Drive One” in America—a sly homage to the legendary “Have You Driven A Ford Lately?” seared into our collective 80s pop-culture consciousness. But Ford claims that “Go Further” represents “the culture or the DNA of the company,” according to Jim Farley, global head of sales and marketing, because Ford is “at a different point now in our company’s history.”
There’s just one catch: Isuzu had used virtually the same slogan years ago, back when it still built and sold cars here. Remember Isuzu? It came out with the bizarro-world VehiCROSS, the Judge-Dreddlike Axiom, and the surprisingly fun little Impulse, before they gave up on this whole car-building thing. Their slogan was “Go Farther,” reflective of its SUV and commercial-only lineup. Registered to Isuzu of America in 1997, the trademark expired in 2009, the same year it pulled out of the American market. But not before the company gained some mileage with it in print ads like the one shown above, because truth in advertising has never been so succinct.
Nobody’s suggesting that the entire Ford marketing division has a hankering for weirdly-styled Japanese soft-roaders. (Unless they built the 2006 Iosis X concept, or this.) But it’s an eerie coincidence to see Ford picking up the slogan mantle from a company that was also known for its trucks and couldn’t hack it in the American market. Does this mean Ford is looking to resurrect the VehiCROSS? Maybe hire a goofy, middle-aged car salesman in a cheap suit? What’s an Isuzu? All these questions are ones we’ve sent to Ford PR post-haste, and we are not expecting an answer.