For years, Ford trucks and SUVs like the F-150 and Explorer were the bread and butter for the automaker here in the states. While the Ford F-150 still continues to be a cash cow, Ford has made a 180 degree turn and now is refocusing its energies on passenger cars like the Taurus, all-new Fusion, Fiesta, and the Focus. Reasons vary but the most likely culprits are gas prices, federal regulations, and simple consumer taste.
Such factors differ elsewhere in the world. Case in point: China. At the Beijing Motor Show, Ford has returned to the old paradigm of SUVs and thrown its crossover offshoot in the mix. The automaker announced it plans to introduce at least 15 vehicles by 2015 to the Chinese market with many of the vehicles either SUVs or crossovers. These vehicles include the subcompact Ford EcoSport (pictured); midsized Ford Kuga (that’s Escape to you and me) and Edge; and the full-sized Ford Explorer. Ford predicts demand for such utility vehicles will grow around 10 percent per year, and Chinese consumers buying more than two million SUVs in 2011. Ford does sell cars in the country and plans to introduce an all-new Ford Focus ST sometime in the near future.
Automotive.com’s take: That’s all fine and good, and obviously Ford should go where the money is. Hopefully though, it will have learned enough from history to know that even if SUVs and crossovers are the hot ticket now, expensive gas can change consumer tastes fast, and automakers need to be able to make a fast pivot to keep up.
Source: Detroit Free Press