The nation's former First Lady, who famously romanced Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger, has teamed up with bosses at U.S. carmaker Ford to star in the new brand-promoting video.

Ford France's external relations director Fabrice Devanlay tells Reuters the company's bosses are aware they might divide car fans by hiring ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife to front their new campaign, but he insists it's worth the risk.

He says, "Sure there's a risk, because she is marked by the political side of her marital status, but her international celebrity is an incredible driver for the visibility of our campaign."