When searching through magazines, every now and then we’ll see ads promoting a carmaker’s commitment to mobility solutions for people in wheelchairs or who face other mobility challenges.
Today we’ll focus on a trio of such ads, one from each of the traditional “Big Three” American brands.
We’ll start with Ford and this ad from a July 2007 magazine:
In case you don’t want to read all the tiny print, it’s all about a Ford program that provides a bit of financial support to anyone who wants to have their Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle modified for better accessibility. Ford doesn’t make the modifications themselves, but providing some cash to help people is definitely a step in the right direction.
The one part of the tiny print that we do care about is this bit:
Wow. That’s a long URL, but it gets the point across, I suppose.
And where does typing those 20+ characters in a web browser take you today?
More than a decade later and www.fordmobilitymotoring.com now directs people to www.fordupfits.com/accessibility/accessible-vehicles. It seems Ford is still offering the same program to offset the costs of modifying their vehicles so it’s good to see that they’re redirecting the old URL to the new site. Well done.
General Motors had its own take on mobility solutions, bringing together a team of engineers and designers to come up with solutions to make operating a vehicle a little easier.
Four of the people on that team were featured in a four-page ad in a December 2004 magazine.
There are a couple of places in the ad that reference gmmobility.com:
That’s certainly a little tidier than the Ford example from above. But what we really care about is whether this site still exists today.
And it does! Well, sort of. Like the Ford example above, GM has its mobility options on a different domain these days, but at least the old domain (gmmobility.com) redirects correctly to the new one (https://www.gmfleet.com/vehicles/upfit-applications/mobility-vehicles) – though it loaded extremely slowly for me and I had the refresh the page a couple of times for it to actually work.
Like the Ford site, GM offers a very similar program for reimbursing some of the expenses associated with modifying their cars. Maybe it’s interesting and maybe not, but the ad from 2004 has a few references to GM’s “Sit-N-Lift” seat but I see no mention of that on the current site.
Still, excellent job GM web managers!
Finally, we get to Chrysler. Back in July 2006, when this ad appeared, Chrysler was still part of Daimler-Chrysler:
Like the other brands, Daimler-Chrysler was offering some cash to help cover the cost of modifying your new Dodge, Chrysler or Jeep.
To learn more, you could visit dc-automobility.com:
Chrysler is no longer part of Daimler, and is instead now part of Fiat (and is apparently going to soon be part of Peugeot). So what happened to the old URL?
Ouch. That’s not good. We were doing so well there with the other manufacturers I was hoping we’d get a perfect score here.
Sadly, no. Not only does dc-automobility.com not redirect to anything relevant, at the time of this writing, nobody owns the domain. So it’s up for grabs in case you want an obscure piece of Chrysler history.
Since mobility solutions are really important, it should be noted that Fiat-Chrysler does still offer a similar reimbursement program like the others. It took some digging to find it, but there’s more information online at www.fcausdriveability.com. Well, at least that URL works today — we’ll see how it holds up in the years to come.