business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Following years of declining car sales, Ford this week announced that it plans to do something truly revolutionary - it is going to stop making virtually every traditional sedan in its stable, such as the Fusion, Fiesta and Taurus. The two models surviving are the Mustang and a new Focus crossover that it plans for next year.

According to the Washington Post, “The changes will … allow the company to devote more resources to SUVs and trucks, vehicles that have surged in popularity as consumers continue to lose interest in passenger cars, which no longer have a monopoly on good gas mileage. Ford also plans to bring 16 battery-electric vehicles to market by 2022.”

Full disclosure: I have a Mustang convertible. I’m glad they’re not messing with that iconic line of cars.

The changes do not affect Ford’s Lincoln division, which will continue to manufacture sedans. (For now, I’d guess.)

The Post goes on to say that “the push toward SUVs is being driven by a growing number baby boomers and millennial car buyers, both of which favor SUVs over cars and make up a majority of the car-buying market, according to experts. Experts say consumers are drawn to SUVs and crossovers for their versatility. The vehicles offer more space, a higher ride off the ground and the ability to accommodate families … Ford is not the only company reacting to the growing appetite for bigger vehicles. With their emphasis on outdoorsy Jeeps that sit high above the road, Fiat-Chrysler has invested heavily on SUVs. General Motors has also reacted to changing market trends, offering customers a growing number of crossover SUVs in recent years.”

I think this is fascinating, because it demonstrates the importance of being willing to walk away from a legacy part of one’s business if it has grown out of touch with or irrelevant to the needs and desires of one’s customers.

Think there is an Eye-Opening metaphor in there somewhere?
KC's View: