Students celebrate their Fiesta

Art major Tim Chantarangsu and fashion merchandising major Jonathan Nafarrete (both juniors) were given 2011 Ford Fiesta cars by Ford.

Cal State Long Beach students Tim Chantarangsu and Jonathan Nafarrete were each handed a set of keys to a Ford Fiesta, a fuel-efficient car that is not currently being sold in the United States.

Both students were chosen from more than 4,100 contestants who participated in the Ford Fiesta Movement by sending in YouTube videos depicting why they would make great “agents.”

These agents, including Chantarangsu and Nafarrete, get to drive the European version of the car in the U.S. for six months for free, fuel included. They both had the opportunity to choose the decals and color of their respective vehicles.

Chantarangsu, a junior art major, said his video entry for the contest showed what kind of a driver he would be if he had the Fiesta.

“I was giving them a bunch of reasons why I would be a good driver with their car, and I was saying I want to show people that Asian people can actually drive,” he said. “In the video, I run over my girlfriend on accident, just trying to be crazy.”

Nafarrete’s video entry was a plea for the Fiesta as a step up from his previous mode of transportation.

“I have an electric scooter. I live in Belmont Shore, and that’s how I get around,” said Nafarrete, a junior fashion major. “I did the video MTV Cribs style, like ‘this is my ride,’ showing my three inch DUBs, panning around and stuff like that. Basically saying this is why I deserve a Ford Fiesta.”

Ford looked for students who were well-connected and imaginative.

“The selected agents are all very creative, diverse and above all very well connected within the realm of social media, [and] this includes Tim and Jonathan,” Ford Fiesta Movement publicist Nancy Limón said via e-mail.

Of the contestants, 100 people were chosen, with 28 of them being residents of California.

Both men will travel to different destinations in the Fiesta and perform special “missions” each month, which is a condition of the program.

These missions will then be documented through a variety of social media platforms. Missions are to be chronicled through social media outlets, like YouTube and Facebook, to make it possible for people across the world to learn about their adventures in the vehicles.

“The missions vary,” Chantarangsu said. It’s a different theme every month and there’s 100 different missions because there’s 100 different people in the movement. This month I have to blindfold a friend of mine and drive him somewhere, that’s it.”

Nafarrete said agents have the opportunity to get creative while they record their missions.

“Their whole point is that you have free reign on what you want to do,” he said. “They give you an assignment and you shoot it the way you want.”

Nafarrete said the Fiesta is widely popular in Europe.

Nafarrete said that the car “is the 2011 model that they’re bringing over in advance, so only these 100 agents get to drive it around and its just a really small, compact car and it’s kind of similar to the Toyota Yaris.”