A visit by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to Ford’s stand at this year's Mobility Roadshow at Donington, near Derby, was the royal seal on a record event for Ford. Sponsored by Ford, a service called MAGIC was on hand to bring free motoring and mobility information to Britain's elderly and disabled community.
The new Focus C-Max, Ford’s latest Multi Activity Vehicle (MAV), on show for the first time in the UK, generated a lot of interest amongst visitors to the Ford stand, not least from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who visited the Ford stand on the first day of the Roadshow.
“Prince Phillip was particularly interested in the C-Max,” said Lindsay Black, Ford's Motability manager, “and had a lot of questions about the vehicle. He was intrigued by some of the adaptations fitted to the Ford cars on display.”
The MAGIC team arranged a record 640 test-drives over the weekend, with some vehicles, such as the Ford Fusion, Fiesta and Focus, fully booked up by 11am each day. The latest Durashift EST transmissions in the Fiesta and Fusion also proved a popular choice for test-drivers looking for a semi-automatic car.
The MAGIC skid car also attracted record numbers of people, keen to try out the converted Ford Mondeo which shows motorists how to deal with a skidding car in a controlled, safe way.
MAGIC ambassadors, including top UK wheelchair athlete Jason Richards, former Paralympian and mobility expert Paul Moore and disabled diving instructor Fraser Bathgate, were on hand to meet members of the public.
MAGIC stands for Mobility and General Information Centre. It was set up by Ford to provide free information on driving with a disability to all disabled people in the UK, regardless of what make of car they drive or want to drive.
To date, over 275,000 people have contacted MAGIC requesting information about a wide range of topics including:
- The Motability Scheme
- Where to get current information on disability benefit entitlements
- Mobility assessment centres
- Vehicle adaptation companies
- Ford dealers, specialist holiday companies, Ford vehicles and comparative data on other manufacturers' models