EDDIE BAUER ITEMS FIND HOME AT FORD DEALERSHIPS

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Ford Motor Co.'s Ford Division plans to expand its link with the Eddie Bauer brand in the 1997 model year, with the retailer of outdoor and lifestyle products producing a line called Expedition Goods to be available through Ford dealers.

ON MARKET IN OCTOBER

The line is part of the marketing program to support the Ford Expedition, a new, full-size sport-utility vehicle scheduled to go on sale in October.

Initially, the Expedition Goods line is scheduled to include products such as hats, duffel bags, polo shirts, fleece-lined jackets and vests, and even a pocketknife, said Chloe Mueller, corporate licensing manager for Eddie Bauer Inc.

The products will carry an Expedition lifestyle logo, and will be sold only through a special catalog available at Ford dealerships or from dealership inventory.

"We're just extending our cross-line merchandising one step further," said Robert Girard, brand manager for the Expedition and Ford Explorer sport-utilities.

Until now, purchasers of Ford's Eddie Bauer editions received a piece of luggage as a gift.

800,000 AND COUNTING

During the 13-year Ford-Eddie Bauer relationship, Ford Division has sold more than 800,000 Eddie Bauer models of the Explorer and Bronco sport-utilities, Aerostar minivans and F-150 trucks.

But for '97, the Eddie Bauer option will be available only on the Explorer and Expedition.M

Mr. Lapham is executive editor of Automotive News.

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