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Roland

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  1. Actually, early indications are that Gen Z are more frugal and practical than Millennials and are preferring cars in the used market. https://www.autonews.com/sponsored/decoding-gen-z-car-buyer Ford wants to serve up CUVs to these buyers and market them as more practical than cars, but these buyers don't want to pay a premium for "practicality" that they don't need 99% of the time just so Ford can pad their margins. Does it have enough room for their friends and their stuff? Does it have the technology that they want? Is it cheap to run? Check, check, check, and check. Fusion owner ends up in a Corolla. This is Ford's future history happening now. Other reports bear this out. Focus buyers are largely moving to the competition, many of them to remain with cars. Results for the Fusion may be a bit better since buyers are already at a higher price point. But it's still not going to be good. Not saying that the CUV trend won't continue for a while. But there is a bottom and Honda, Toyota, et al are taking advantage to consolidate their strength with young buyers. My generation grew up in station wagons and we liked them. But they fell out of fashion. The next generation grew up in mini vans and liked them. But they fell out of fashion. Young people may embrace the things that made their parents cool but they want to differentiate themselves from the things that made them staid and boring. You and @Assimilator are arguing that the CUV is the ultimate and final form of automotive evolution which will never fall out of fashion. That's silly. Fashion will continue to change just as people's perceived needs and preferences continue to change. I'm not arguing that Ford needs to keep making unprofitable vehicles. I'm arguing that if Ford can't be profitable in the same segments as their competition then those same economics will eventually catch up with them in the segments that they're retreating to. Honda and Toyota are already sell more Civics, Corollas, Camrys, and Accords than Ford does Escapes - nevermind Rav4s and HRVs. And this is while Ford is still dumping Fiestas and Fusions.
  2. No, sorry. I don't buy that Ford is just writing off half a million passenger car buyers a year and not trying to move them into something that they're still making. And I don't believe that all of those buyers - or even a substantial portion - are just waiting for the opportunity to move into a CUV. People may think that they're not trying to impress anyone but consumers are conscious of what they think their buying choices say about them. A wagon might fit their needs and be more efficient but wagons are unfashionable. A minivan might fit their needs and be more practical and more efficient, but minivans are unfashionable. I'm not even saying that it's Ford's responsibility to convince these people that there are better options. I'm saying that Ford makes this same mistake over and over. This is a fashion trend. They can't run from entire segments because they can't compete economically and think that those same economics aren't going to catch up with them across the board. And every time they go through this cycle, they come out with a lower market share. I expect that will be the outcome again.
  3. Absolutely. But this is also why people are foolish to think that the CUV trend won't reverse because they're not as vulnerable to fuel price increases as the full sized SUVs were. Wagons became unfashionable. Minivans became unfashionable. It will happen again because CUVs are just pointy mom vans. The response I see that Ford will be able to respond quickly this time because they have world platforms is laughable. That's what they say ever time. The Ranger took forever and it's nearly indistinguishable from what already existed. The Bronco is taking forever. Ford is still glacially slow even when they have an existing platform.
  4. I hate CUVs because they're ugly, inefficient, ill handling vehicles that dominate the market because the buyers think that jacked up station wagons with body cladding are somehow more expressive of their personal style or rugged individualism than the wagons, minivans, and SUVs that they replaced. The whole world is driving AMC Eagles and they're oblivious to how stupid that is. I hate them because manufacturers like Ford are pushing them on consumers who don't want them because they can't compete in the segments that those people want. I hate them because manufacturers like Ford are stupid enough to believe that this isn't a fashion trend that will swing on a dime, just like it did with minivans, just like it did with big SUVs. "But they can always bring the cars back," say the apologists. The last time Ford let their product mix get this far out of wack it took a decade to fix and they had to mortgage the company. All the attention to saving their asses in that moment meant that they still couldn't fix the systemic problems that leave them unable to compete in those segments that they worked so hard to fix. So less than a decade later the only treatment that they can think of is to amputate. Now they take on the Japanese and Koreans as the one legged man in the ass kicking competition. But they're confident that the corner that they've backed into is safe and they can always get out of they need to. All of that said, people are free to buy what they want, just as I'm free to think that their choices are foolish. I'll shop with the makers who serve the segments that I'm interested in. Someone here responded to a similar remark with a "Bye, Felicia." That's pretty funny in a forum dedicated to a manufacturer who has been loosing market share for decades. While you're being flip, get comfortable with these. "Sayonara, Totyota." "Ciao, FCA." "Annyeong, Hyundai."
  5. Why would not putting the name on an SUV kill it? You guys have been arguing that the real Mustang isn't going away and that this won't impact it at all. Now you're saying that if Ford doesn't put the Mustang name on an electric mom van that it's going to end up a distant memory? Can you at least keep your story straight? Look, BEVs don't bother me - that has nothing to do with it. I'd be thrilled if the Mustang Mach E were a proper electric pony car. That would have been a perfect opportunity to Ford to showcase their technology and beat Tesla to the punch at something. Instead they decided to build this Tesla Model Y copycat and they figure they can just slap tri-bar tail lights and a Mustang brand on it to tart it up. It makes it painfully obvious that they're desperate and grasping. You'd think that the roles between them and Tesla were reversed. But I suppose in a way they are. Tesla is living in an investor fantasy world where profits can forever wait for tomorrow while Ford must deliver results now. But if Ford's auto experience were the advantage over Tesla that they claim they could have built them on the same platform, launched the Mustang then quickly teased and followed up with the mom van. But of course that won't do because Ford is now run by bean counters now and it's much cheaper to just slap a Mustang badge on the mom van. Ok, sorry to have disrupted the Jim Hackett School of Short Sighted Management and Brand Destruction Fan Club with the petty concerns of someone who evidently cares too much about the Mustang and it's maker. Ford is working to cure that. I won't keep disrupting your big launch party.
  6. Again, sharing a styling language isn't a problem. The fact that Porsche has one of the most distinct styling languages across their entire line doesn't make a Panamera a "4 door 911". 911 owners have always known lesser models that closely shared their styling or heavily used their styling queues. This is an imagined issue by people who think the Panamera is a "four door 911". For decades 911 owners have happily parked next to thousands of lesser cars that share their Porsche badge - but never their 911 badge. They did have an issue with Porsche making something other than sports models. Porsche handled brilliantly by trading on the brand values of their Make and not the brand name of their Models. Obviously we're not going to agree on this, so I won't belabor it any further. Time will tell. Whether you agree with that analogy or not, you can't pretend that this reaction is new or unexpected. There are many instances through the years of Mustang loyalists defending the brand. When Ford first teased the "Mach 1" name for this vehicle the outcry was loud and immediate. John Clor of Ford Performance told MCA members that Ford had heard Mustang enthusiasts loud and clear. John Clor in Mustang Times over a year ago: They threw us a bone with the Mach E name, smiled in our faces, and stabbed us in the back. Logical? Of course it's not logical. Brand loyalty to a particular brand is not logical, it's about passion. I guess I should be happy that Ford is trying to be make it easy for me to forget that passion, be logical, and go buy something else.
  7. Yeah, I've talked to lots of guys like that. They probably believe it. It may even be true. And then one day they're in a meeting and someone has run the numbers and it's not. It's tough for all of us. Sorry, there was just nothing we could do. I mean, we've still got a Mustang, right? And what's the point of a halo car for a company that doesn't make cars anyway. Sorry, any faith you're putting in Ford's current leadership is sadly misplaced.
  8. Given that they allowed this move, I think your faith is misplaced. For all we know they've already acceded to the death of the real Mustang and this is a move to keep the brand alive. If Ford can't make money on cars that sell 200k units when they're competitive then they're not going to make money selling 50k Mustangs which is where they're going to be once they've sucked the value out of the brand.
  9. And that's assured for how long, Kreskin?
  10. Porsche didn't market the Panamera as 911 influenced. They simply designed a sedan in their styling language with their brand values and people made that association. "Lately" as though this is some new sensitivity. 30 years ago Mustang fans wouldn't stand for a FWD sports coupe (the Probe) branded as a Mustang. Now it's "panties in a wad" because someone dares to point out the abject stupidity of putting the brand on an SUV.
  11. A Panamera is nothing more than a 4 door 911? How does that work with the engine at the opposite end? No, it's not the same at all. First, Porsche had an order of magnitude greater brand equity than Ford (because Ford destroys every brand they build). Second, Porsche didn't slap an iconic model name on a completely unrelated model in a totally different segment. They didn't call their sedan, CUV, or electric vehicle a 911 Carrera S, C, or E. They generally didn't even mention the 911 in their marketing. Instead they traded on the Porsche brand and emphasized how these new segment entries brought Porsche brand values to those segments. Even the biggest Porsche sports car purists couldn't deny that Porsche delivered on those values and in the end they did nothing to sully their iconic brands. Unlike Ford who has now burned the Mustang brand. A Mustang is not an SUV and an SUV is not a Mustang. If you survey the automotive forums around the Internet this is widely being laughed at or viewed with horror. Even the people who express interest in the new model commonly do so in spite of the branding and not because of it. Some of those who like the whole thing admit to liking it purely in a trollish sense.
  12. SUVs are not pony cars. This taints the Mustang brand. Seeing electric mom vans complete with plastic cladding running around looking like a fat Elvis version of the Mustang is going to be tough to stomach. It's a stain that you can't wash off. It damages the appeal of the vehicle that it's mocking. It's like meeting an attractive woman and then seeing her parents and noticing that she shares features with her fat, ugly dad. There's not enough eye bleach to unsee that. As much as I try not to be brand conscious when I'm making purchase decisions I can't deny that it exists and has an impact. When I bought my Mustang the Mustang was an icon and Ford was a positive based on decades of experience with their cars. Now Ford is a truck company that sees no future in cars and Mustang is a muddled brand with no real meaning that Ford can stamp on anything that they consider "exciting." My last purchase decision was a near thing. Since then the competition has improved or at least not gotten worse while Ford has become a bizarro world parody of every bad marketing decision they've ever made. There's little doubt that my purchase decision would go another way today. So that's one. And I seriously doubt that it's the only.
  13. Roland

    Focus ST

    Same short sighted blunder as before. Bleeding market share to focus on the cash cows. Last time around Toyota, Honda, and Nissan ate up ten points of their market share before they got the ship righted. What they found out the last time around was that abandoning segments takes them off people's shopping list. When a kid has to buy a Hyundai or Honda starting out he may never bother going to the Ford store when he decides it's time to buy one of those cash cows. When domestic manufacturers lose customers to these brands they are very difficult to bring back. Ford is throwing away customers that it may never get back.
  14. Roland

    Focus ST

    I've heard that all before. In five to ten years they'll be scrambling to bring back their passenger car line. Again. Fashions change and today's SUV or crossover is going to be tomorrow's mom van or station wagon.
  15. Just a year ago Ford was touting the fact that their sporty Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion models attract a younger, more affluent buyer that tends to opt for imports. http://www.torquenews.com/106/ford-focus-fiesta-and-fusion-sporty-models-attract-younger-buyers This whole misbegotten scheme has already gone off the rails. Ford is in a denial phase where they think the problem is the coverage. http://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-responds-to-criticism-over-passenger-car-plans-100492.html
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