Ford Looking to Smaller Vehicles for Growth in U.S.

A new report from Ford serves to underscore what will likely be a continuation of the trend toward smaller vehicles in the United States. Ford says it plan for future growth in the United States is centered around four key vehicle segments: subcompact, compact cars, small utility vehicles and midsize sedans, together, what Ford calls the ‘super segment.’

These four vehicle segments, taken as a whole, represent just over 50 percent of total new vehicle sales in the U.S. As recently as 2004, super segment sales were only 35 percent of the market. Ford expects more growth in the super segment, as baby boomers continue to downsize their vehicle purchases and first-time millennial buyers enter the market. Combined, baby boomers and millennials account for more than 160 million people in the U.S.

“The super segment is where Ford plans to grow in North America,” said Amy Marentic, group marketing manager, Global Small and Medium Cars. “Escape and Fusion have gotten off to very strong starts since being all-new last year, and we expect continued strong interest in both.

Combined sales of Escape and Fusion totaled 51,985 vehicles in February 2013, edging out combined sales for Toyota Camry and RAV4 (44,599 sales) and Honda Accord and CR-V (48,667 sales). Escape has been the best-selling small utility in the U.S. for the past two months.

From January through September of last year, Focus was the best-selling vehicle in the world (end-of-year data from all regions have not yet been reported), while Fiesta was No. 5 in global sales and the best-selling subcompact car in the world.

Year-to-date Fiesta retail sales are up 24 percent from a year ago while Focus is up 3 percent. Year-to-date retail sales of Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX in California, the biggest small car state in the country, are up 43 percent this year, in addition to a stellar 54 percent sales increase last year.

by CollisionWeek: www.collisionweek.com/cw/news/2013/0325-ford.asp

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