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Ford, GM, and FCA Have Few Entry-Level Vehicles

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We’ve talked a few times over the last several months about the constantly increasing price of new vehicles. When Ford discontinued its cars in the United States, other than the Mustang, it hoped most buyers would simply pay more for the SUVs and crossovers that it wanted to sell. While some buyers have done that, others have been pushed to automakers such as Hyundai and others.

Hyundai has seen sales of its cars increase since Ford pulled out of the market. Another challenge for Ford and the other big three automakers, including GM and FCA is that none of the big three have much in the way of entry-level cars. Ford did away with its entry-level Fiesta and Focus cars with the most affordable vehicle in this lineup now being the Ford EcoSport crossover that costs $21,090 after the delivery charge is added in.

FCA has not one vehicle in its lineup priced under $20,000. Chevrolet has two entry-level vehicles that are below the $20,000 price point even with delivery fees added. Those vehicles include the Chevrolet Sonic at $17,595 and the Spark at $14,095, both including their delivery fees. Other than those two Chevrolet vehicles, the entry-level market is dominated by Asian automakers such as Hyundai. Hyundai recently rolled out a subcompact SUV called the Venue that is packed with features like automatic collision-braking and remote smart app connectivity that starts at $17,350.

While Ford wants to sell crossovers and SUVs, it can’t compete on price with many Asian automakers in that segment. Hyundai Vice President of product development Mike O’Brien says that the automaker feels the entry-level market is key to bringing new customers to the brand. Ford and the other big three used to feel the same way, but they don’t want the entry-level market as much as they want the mid-range and high-end markets today. Many feel that Ford will one day regret ceding the car market to Asian automakers and Chevrolet. Should the tides turn from crossovers and SUVs back to sedans and small cars, Ford could be years behind the trend in a time when its sales are already hurting.

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Source: Detroit News

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Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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Comments

  1. Michael G

    You’re just reporting what I and many others said about the American manufacturers upper management poor decisions in this and other blogs. American car manufacturers can’t stop making cars and expect to survive. GM used to understand how it worked. Go from introductory vehicles at Chevrolet and move up if you could to Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac. Ford hoped people would go from Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln. Capturing brand loyalty from the start of careers, and having aspirational vehicles to move up to. Even if people could not move up to the more expensive lines they could start with small inexpensive conveyances, and get larger vehicles. Bad advice has ruined American automobile companies as the foreigners have swept in to take over.

    Reply
  2. BRAD BAREFOOT

    Quite true, I’ve remarked for close to 10 years that the great looking Ford wagons sold in Europe “WOULD” sell great here. In 2012 Ford was suppose to bring the Grand C-Max Van to the US, but the regular C-Max came instead. I bought the C-Max Hybrid in 2013 and haven’t regretted it for one second. Hey Ford … I still want a Grand C-Max !

    Reply
  3. jeddj45

    3 ways ford could(‘ve) easily gotten out of this situation
    1. More variety in the offerings, I mean come on europe has a better line up than ford. Have variety, have an equal amount of car, SUV, and truck offerings and don’t just stick to one or two types of vehicles.
    2. Updated design. Literally I say the only reason your vehicles didnt sell well was because the look of the interior and exterior were outdated designs from the early 2000s. Bring your newer designs to other parts of the world, then you will be able to fully compete, don’t be Chrysler.
    3. Better appeal to your current and newer customers. Come on ford, your founder was an innovator, follow his legacy and think of better, more innovative ways to attract and appeal to old and new customers.

    Reply
  4. Martin Scott

    I agree 100 percent. Soon it will be entry level chinese cars. Why not just give away your business. Uncle Hackett will hack up Ford but good. Maybe he’ll hire furniture designer to design cars.

    Reply
  5. vbondjr1

    I’ve said this before several times Ford was absolutely dumb for getting rid of their cars, Chevrolet as well. If Ford was any kind of smart, their global platform would include the Sierra on a small, FWD based platform, the Capri, Falcon, Mondeo and Explorer on the CD6 platform, the Ranger & Bronco on their platform, the F150/Expedition on their platform and the HD trucks on their platform along with an Electric EVOS, Mach-E and Atlas pickup truck. They’d get rid of Lincoln and just have the Vignale trim as the top of the line luxury for Ford.
    If GM was smart, they’d merge Holden into GMC as the revised Pontiac brand, drop Chevrolet, drop Buick and drop Cadillac, leaving the Denali as the top luxury line. GM has already said they’re going to drop down to 4 vehicle platforms VSS-F (Front wheel drive), VSS-R (rear wheel Drive), VSS-S (unibody crossovers) and VSS-T (body on frame vehicles). The VSS-F platform would have a Pontiac Torana, the VSS-R platform would have the Pontiac Monaro, Pontiac Commodore and Bonneville, the VSS-S platform would have the GMC Trailblazer, and the VSS-T platform would have the GMC Canyon, GMC Blazer, GMC Sierra, GMC Sierra HD, GMC Yukon and the GMC Suburban. Along with that, the electric Hummer line of a pickup truck and a few different size electric SUV vehicles. The Corvette would live on under the GMC name with an Electric variant and a hybrid twin turbo V6 variant.
    FCA has been the smartest of the three American companies with the way they went about doing things with their lineup, but the problem is, their lineup is showing its age. The smart thing to do would be to Drop Chrysler altogether, kill the Charger and Challenger, and revamp the lineup starting with a Fiat 500 based Dodge Aspen small car, an Alfa Romeo Guilia based Dodge Barracuda fastback coupe, a Maserati Quattraporte based Dodge Road Runner and a Maserati Levante based 3-Row Durango. As far as the trucks, a small Dakota, a Ram 1500, and Ram HD pickup trucks cover everything needed to be competitive in the lineup. As far as the Jeep Brand goes, Jeep covers a wide range of categories such as daily drivers, off road luxury and luxury performance. Vehicles like the Renegade and Cherokee are big sellers for jeep as far as the commuter & daily driver market and the Grand Cherokee performs on the Luxury, and performance platform. With new vehicles coming out such as the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, Jeep has the full luxury and full performance luxury market completely covered. Of course the Wrangler and the Gladiator have the off road covered so that takes care of just about everything except electric, and I’m sure a Fiat Based electric drive system for the Renegade and Cherokee wouldn’t be hard to do. This gives Ford, GMC, and Mopar a complete lineup that covers the full spectrum of auto categories, allows for global coverage, gives a balance of Electric and conventional vehicles, gets rid of all V8 powered vehicles for turbo-4 cylinders, twin turbo V6 and twin turbo V6 hybrid powertrains and still allows for performance and fuel efficiency across the board.

    Reply
  6. Floyd

    What American Manufacturers, particularly, the auto manufacturers, always fail to understand is…they listen to the shareholders not to their customers which, in particular, Ford and GM have done…in spades.

    I own a 2003 Ford Focus ZTW. It has been reliable but it is 17 years old. What do I buy, American, to replace it? Nothing that is affordable, unless, I lease and not buy. I’ve owned Fords since 1986 and as I write this, it is September of 2020.

    I can no longer afford to buy American; hence, when the ZTW dies, I will either buy a Kia, Rio, hatchback or a used Subaru Impreza?

    A sad commentary of America’s Manufacturers who are always, penny-wise, dollar foolish. God-forbid if America ever suffers another fuel shortage…it will be the demise of American manufactured vehicles and the Asians will move in just as did in the 1970s when America sold off its audio Manufacturing.

    It is said that America qucikened the end of WWII by dropping the two Atomic Bombs upon Japan; 75 years later, the Asians will drop a more lethal bomb…an atomic financial bomb!

    Reply

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