Ford dealership in S. Calif. faces backlash over ‘smoking hot’ sales promotion

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A Ford dealer in Southern California faces severe criticism for smoke-free & # 39; promotions on new vehicles launched during the deadliest forest fires in the state's modern history.

The controversy began when Simi Valley Ford sent a promotional email to subscribers on Saturday.

"Well, we did not understand, but these deals are smoky, look at it!", Said the ad.

The digital ad was illustrated with red and orange leaves and contained a variety of vehicles that were part of the promotion, including 2018 models from the Ford Escape, EcoSport, Edge and Fusion. The e-mail also contained promotions for used cars & light trucks.

"Our dealers work hard to communicate openly in their community, but sometimes bad decisions happen," said Ford spokesman Wednesday. "We will continue to work with our dealers to ensure that they all represent the Blue Oval in the best possible way." We were deeply disappointed in the passing of the judgment. "

To support the people affected by the fires, the car manufacturer launched an incentive program for customers and released $ 100,000 to help with emergency relief and recovery in California, the spokesman said.

Simi Valley Ford is owned by Larry Hibbler. The dealer company apologized Wednesday in a Facebook message: "Recently we expressed ourselves in a way that does not match our values. We are sorry, Simi Valley is our home and, like all of us who live here, we will continue to help during these difficult times. "

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Dealership came under fire on Facebook, with users posting comments such as "Absolutely Disgusting!" and "Shame on you!"

According to CNN, 50 deaths are linked to the campfire in Northern California, which broke out last week. Woolsey Fire in Southern California killed two people, CNN reported.

The dealership of Simi Valley is about 30 miles north of the Woolsey Fire burn zone, according to a Californian fire map. Approximately 480 structures were destroyed and 86 damaged by that fire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported Wednesday. The forest fire is about 47 percent, according to the report.

Simi Valley Ford did not respond to a request for comment.