Crossover

Don’t Worry, Ford Isn’t Abandoning Affordable Vehicles

But most of them will be crossovers.

Last week, Ford shocked the auto industry with the bombshell that it’s scrapping most of its cars in the US to focus on producing SUVs and pickup trucks, since they tend to be more profitable than sedans and small cars. Don’t think, however, that this means Ford will stop selling affordable cars altogether. Speaking to The Detroit News soon after the announcement, Ford president of global markets Jim Farley, has promised the company will stay committed to selling entry-level vehicles.

“Affordability is really always a part of our brand promise. The price point that’s affordable to most Americans is still important. Our ambition is to grow (our lineup) and hit all the price points. The only thing that’s changing is how they’re going to look,” Farley said. In other words, Ford will still sell entry-level vehicles, but most of them will still be crossovers. Farley gave the EcoSport SUV as an example of a current affordable Ford, which starts at $19,995. It may be affordable but it’s still more expensive than a Fiesta, which is the cheapest car in Ford’s current line-up costing $14,205.

The Focus also starts at $17,950, but these cheaper models will no doubt be replaced with the Focus Active and Ford’s upcoming entry-level SUV known currently as the Baby Bronco. It will certainly be interesting to see how Ford intends to fill the gaps left by the Fusion, Fiesta, Taurus, C-Max and Focus sedan in the US market. Speaking of the Fusion, reports have suggested the sedan could return to Ford’s line-up with a completely new silhouette. Backing this up, Farley said the company has “some great ideas on how to give Fusion customers a great new product.” Other unannounced models will also plug the gaps.

Tim Hovik, the owner of SanTan Ford near Phoenix, also said his dealership has sold “a ton” of Fusion sedans. He believes offering entry-level models is important to attract first-time car buyers who are more likely to buy future Ford models. “You still need an entry-level vehicle,” he said. “In the past we’ve always thought of that vehicle as a (sedan). It doesn’t necessarily have to be a car. There are still an awful lot of car customers, but not everybody in the car segment wanted a car. I think you’re going to see buyers look at price points instead of if the vehicle is a sedan.”

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