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Ford Motor Co. is giving a $50 Ford gift card to buyers of the 2011 Ford Fiesta who have had to wait longer than expected for their vehicles to be delivered.

Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski confirmed that the company was giving the MasterCard gift cards to customers who ordered the new Fiesta, calling it “a token of our appreciation for their patience.”

Ford couldn't disclose how many cards it is distributing, but said retail customers who reserved or placed an order for the new Fiesta would receive one.

Fiestas have been slow to get to dealerships after a hurricane that hit Mexico in June crippled rail lines used to ship vehicles made at Ford's plant in Cuautitlan, near Mexico City. Ford has sold 4,377 Fiestas this year, including 3,349 last month.

“We've got about 6,500 to 7,000 in transit to dealers. In a couple to three months, we ought to have the availability to support the kind of demand you see in a B-car category,” Ford sales analyst George Pipas said in a conference call with journalists last week.

Kozleski said Fiestas have been delivered to Ford dealerships in every state in the continental United States.

It's unclear the extent of the shipping delays. But at last week's unveiling here of the 2012 Mustang Boss 302, President of the Americas Mark Fields acknowledged that the rail lines used to ship the cars were still damaged.
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