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William Maley

Ford News: Whats In Store for Ford's Product Plans

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Last week, Ford CEO Jim Hackett unveiled his plans for the company. One key part of his plan is moving $7 billion from the development of cars to trucks. What does this entail? Car and Driver have done a bit of digging and has brought forth some answers.

Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets tells the magazine the company will focus on its regional strengths for future products. For the U.S., this means developing “authentic, off-road capable” vehicles according to him. That includes the upcoming EcoSport crossover, Ranger pickup, and Bronco SUV.

Ford is planning to focus on utility vehicles in other markets as well as they have found success with “styled, on-road performance" crossovers. Europe will begin seeing models that are “urban-utility products.” For Asia (in particular China), Ford will focus on the "C-plus" larger midsize segment and three-row SUVs.

As for cars, Farley said Ford will be repositioning products in certain markets to "lower-volume, higher-revenue sub-segments." For example, the Fiesta and Focus will become more upmarket.

Source: Car and Driver


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The growth of off-road trucks and SUV/CUV's makes one think America is giving up on having nice roads and just letting it go backwards with broken dirt roads like Russia.

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Moving Fiesta or Focus upmarket is a terrible idea.  No one wants a $30,000 Fiesta, they buy the Fiesta or Focus because they can't afford a Fusion or can't afford a premium small car like a Mini or Audi A3, etc.  There are entry level buyers out there.

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I could see making a nicer trimmed Focus or Fiesta for the upper end of the market, but I can't see abandoning the low end of the market, particularly when they'll still need to build them low end for lower income markets. 

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8 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I could see making a nicer trimmed Focus or Fiesta for the upper end of the market, but I can't see abandoning the low end of the market, particularly when they'll still need to build them low end for lower income markets. 

But who wants a $35,000 Focus Titanium?  They can go buy an Acura ILX, Volvo S40, CLA, A3, 1-series, etc.  And get a nicer car, from a better brand at the same money.  This is why the Taurus SHO didn't sell, the Fusion Sport I never see either, because at $45k, no one wants a Ford Taurus when they can get an Acura or Lexus.

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Just now, smk4565 said:

But who wants a $35,000 Focus Titanium?  They can go buy an Acura ILX, Volvo S40, CLA, A3, 1-series, etc.  And get a nicer car, from a better brand at the same money.  This is why the Taurus SHO didn't sell, the Fusion Sport I never see either, because at $45k, no one wants a Ford Taurus when they can get an Acura or Lexus.

I agree with you.... I'm just saying, if Ford wants to go that route, they shouldn't abandon the lower end also. 

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1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

I guess they are giving up on the lower end of the market, not enough profit.  

Remember when they had Mercury?  This is what the mid-market was for: to absorb those that did not want Ford but found Lincoln to be too expensive.  Ford could do one of two things: either make the Focus and Fiesta the same cheaper cars but build them in lower-cost markets, or simply cancel them both citing poor profit margins and build something else.  No idea which way they should go (let alone will go).

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10 hours ago, riviera74 said:

Remember when they had Mercury?  This is what the mid-market was for: to absorb those that did not want Ford but found Lincoln to be too expensive.  Ford could do one of two things: either make the Focus and Fiesta the same cheaper cars but build them in lower-cost markets, or simply cancel them both citing poor profit margins and build something else.  No idea which way they should go (let alone will go).

Mercury also had another purpose... not only to just be slightly nicer than a Ford (towards the end, that was hard to find)... but also to give Lincoln dealers some volume to work with.   Take the Escape v. MKC for example.  Base price for an MKC is right where the max price for the Escape is. Having Mercury in there to separate them would insulate the luxury Escapes from the base models, selling them at Lincoln dealers would give those franchises some breathing room.  They don't need to have a very wide range of costs.  Keep the packages simple, one engine the 2.0T, AWD standard, nicer interiors, but not Lincoln level.  It would allow Lincoln to move up without ford leaving behind customer wouldn't dain to fall back to a Ford branded car.   Kill the Taurus, bring back the Marquis and LTD on the Continental's frame.  LTD can to police/fleet duty, Marquie is for Avalon, Maxima, and high end Accord intenders. 

 

sigh.... I've gotta get back to writing Op Eds

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6 hours ago, smk4565 said:

Moving Fiesta or Focus upmarket is a terrible idea.  No one wants a $30,000 Fiesta, they buy the Fiesta or Focus because they can't afford a Fusion or can't afford a premium small car like a Mini or Audi A3, etc.  There are entry level buyers out there.

Yep, they just hand that sale over to another automaker not stupid enough to do that...people still want value in this segment.

Adding more trim levels might be a better idea....

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I think Ford's plan is 3 cars in the US, Focus, Fusion, Mustang and that is it. Fiesta will be sold in Europe, Brazil, China, etc.  Lincoln will probably keep MKZ and Continental based on Fusion but I doubt they ever see a 3rd offering.

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I am having a hard time not laughing out loud when I think "upmarket Fiesta".   The upmarket subcompacts are CUV's on the same platform..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, smk4565 said:

But who wants a $35,000 Focus Titanium?  They can go buy an Acura ILX, Volvo S40, CLA, A3, 1-series, etc.  And get a nicer car, from a better brand at the same money.  This is why the Taurus SHO didn't sell, the Fusion Sport I never see either, because at $45k, no one wants a Ford Taurus when they can get an Acura or Lexus.

Why would it cost 10k more than it does now? Yeah, it'll be more pricey but I don't think their intentions are to mess with faux luxury car territory. 

19 hours ago, smk4565 said:

Moving Fiesta or Focus upmarket is a terrible idea.  No one wants a $30,000 Fiesta, they buy the Fiesta or Focus because they can't afford a Fusion or can't afford a premium small car like a Mini or Audi A3, etc.  There are entry level buyers out there.

People pay for the garbage that the Germans put out in the 30k range so what's different? Also, there's no way there will be a 30k Fiesta. 

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The difference is that the perception of German brands is better than that of Ford.  There is a reason even VW can charge a premium over the direct competing car or CUV from Ford.

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Guest DetroitMuscle

Hi content, premium small cars are becoming very desirable. Ford seems to notice. I think they should go all in on it.  I think low-cost CUVs should also be an option, perhaps even replacing small cheap cars.  People end up in tiny little cars often because that's all they can afford. And that because they desire it 

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