By on July 24, 2018

2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial Edition

In these United States of America, there is one vehicle that is the undisputed heavyweight champion: the Ford F-Series truck. If you came to TTAC today looking for groundbreaking news, well, this ain’t it. The F-Series has been the best selling vehicle in America for roughly 167 years. I’m relatively certain that Lee Harvey Oswald escaped from the Washington Hilton in an F-150 crew cab when he shot Lincoln. (If you’re a history buff, you just threw something at your computer screen.)

Except that there’s one area of the country where that isn’t true at all. In fact, in this hugely popular and wildly growing area, the F-150 doesn’t even crack the top ten. The Volkswagen Jetta outsells the F-150 in this burg. True story.

Of course, that’s bad news for the Ford brand as a whole in this town, because if you aren’t selling F-150s, you aren’t selling Fords. As a result, in this metro area, Ford is outsold by Toyota, Chevrolet, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, and Lexus. Yes, I said Lexus.

You wanna know the name of this town? It’s Miami. Although you might think of Miami as an urban city where trucks are rare, in reality, Miami-Dade includes a significant amount of farmland and swamp country. And you know who doesn’t have a problem selling trucks in Miami-Dade? Chevrolet. The Silverado is solidly in the top models sold when it comes to Miami-Dade county registrations for the last 12 months and Ford shoppers, as a whole, are only 3 percent more likely to live in a suburban area than the average auto shopper.

And in an America that is increasingly looking a lot more like Miami, that could mean real trouble for the boys in Dearborn.

Why does Ford struggle in Miami? The answer could have something to do with the Hispanic population’s perception of the Blue Oval. Miami is 50 percent Hispanic, and according to recent studies conducted by automotive research firms (they’re all behind paywalls, so you’ll just have to trust me), Hispanics are 19 percent less likely to own a Ford than the general population.

This doesn’t have anything to do with car ownership numbers overall — they are 3 percent more likely to own a Honda and a whopping 36 percent more likely to own a Nissan. Ford also tends to overperform with higher income households, with 35 percent of its shoppers having household incomes of $100k or more. Only 15 percent of Hispanic households fall into that profile.

Why don’t Hispanic car buyers like Ford, though? Many of the Hispanic customers I speak to on a daily basis in Miami are very concerned with reliability, and they tend to perceive the Japanese and Korean brands as being of higher quality than Ford — they even prefer GM to Ford in most cases. There’s also a surprisingly high level of discrimination toward Mexicans by South Americans, and many of the Colombians, Nicaraguans, and even Cubans I talk to don’t trust the “Mexican Fords” (which doesn’t explain why they prefer the Silverado over the F-150). Hispanic shoppers also tend to be more reliant on the recommendations or advice of friends, and for all intents and purposes, Ford is invisible in Miami. If your neighbors don’t own any, and you rarely see them on the streets, you’re much less likely to buy one when it’s your turn to go shopping.

With Hispanics becoming more evenly distributed throughout the U.S., this could become a massive problem in a short time frame for Ford. Significant amounts of Hispanic population growth are occurring in places with previously low Hispanic populations. Areas of the country that have traditionally been solid Ford country might start shifting toward other brands.

Of course, it’s not just middle America and rural areas that have growing Hispanic populations. Cities like Miami, Houston, San Diego, Dallas, and others with high numbers of Hispanic residents are among the fastest growing in the country. And while Hispanics make up about 18 percent of the population, they are over represented on dealership lots, as they make 25 percent of the car purchases.

What can Ford do to combat this? Plainly stated, they have to make better, more reliable cars, especially at the entry-level price points — you won’t find Fiesta or Focus anywhere near a top 10 market ranking in most heavily Hispanic markets. According to JD Power (more paywalls), reliability is on the upswing for Ford, but it still lags far behind Toyota and even Kia. Better marketing wouldn’t hurt them, either. Many of the Ford dealers I talk to complain that Ford uses “Mexican Spanish” in their Spanish language advertising, which turns off South and Central Americans.

However they choose to address it, Ford needs to realize that it has a Hispanic problem quickly, before this rapidly growing minority becomes the majority. Otherwise, the F-150 won’t be the King of the Hill for much longer.

[Image: General Motors]

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132 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: In a Diverse Future America, Ford Is In Trouble...”


  • avatar
    R Henry

    “What can Ford do to combat this? Plainly stated, they have to make better, more reliable cars, especially at the entry-level price points — you won’t find Fiesta or Focus anywhere near a top 10 market ranking in most heavily Hispanic markets.”

    Not sure I am with you here good Sir Jack. If the story is about the Ford/GM rivalry, and GM’s victory over Ford being attributed to perceived higher quality of GM products….that is a bit of a head scratcher.

    You mention Fiesta and Focus. Are Sonic and Cruze any better in terms of actual quality? I think not.

    The issue is brand PERCEPTTION. Ford has an image problem, not a product problem. These are two different things, though the solution must address both.

    • 0 avatar
      DEVILLE88

      GM did have a much better rep than Ford in regards to hispanics. Chevys were the poor mans Cadillac. Ford were not considered to be looked at as such. They just appealed to a different kind of client (Country Squire anyone)i’m refering to before the Japanese invasion or Euro as well.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      No, Ford does have worse quality ratings than GM -especially for small cars. That is one of the reasons Canadians also avoid small Fords like the plague.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      “Are Sonic and Cruze any better in terms of actual quality?”

      The Cruze is about equal to the Focus, although it doesn’t have the Focus’ automatic transmission problems. The Sonic is decidedly “meh,” but definitely more reliable than the Fiesta, Focus and Cruze.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “You mention Fiesta and Focus. Are Sonic and Cruze any better in terms of actual quality?”

      Yes absolutely they are. Focus and Fiesta owners who chose automatic transmissions (the majority) suffered the disastrous DPS6 dual clutch auto trans. They won’t be back to buy more and they’ll tell their friends.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    As a Puerto Rican raised in NYC in the 60’s i can tell you that the truth is most Puerto Ricans back then chose Chevy’s hands down. my parents owned over 20 Chevy’s and one Ford. the rest were lttered with 3 Caddy’s 2 Olds 1 Pontiac. And that doesnt include what i have owned throughout the years.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Why would Hispanics have a negative perspective of Ford? Is it because Ford saved itself and the rest are benefiting from Government Mooching? I can understand the false perception of Toyoduh and Honduh quality (long resting on their laurels and not providing as reliable service in the last decade).

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      His Hispanic example are Puerto Ricans in Miami, hardly applicable to the rest of the country, especially the West Coast or Texas.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      “…Ford did receive $5.9 billion in government loans in 2009 to retool its manufacturing plants to produce more fuel-efficient cars, and the company lobbied for and benefited from the cash-for-clunkers program — contrary to the ad’s testimonial that Ford is “standing on their own.”

      https://www.factcheck.org/2011/09/ford-motor-co-does-u-turn-on-bailouts/

    • 0 avatar
      DEVILLE88

      The fact that the goverment bailed out GM and Chrysler has nothing to do with my choice of vehicles. I bought more Pontiacs after they got chopped than i did when they were around. I personally respect Ford for saving it’s own ass. But some people have loyalty wether to what their parents drove or what they liked as children and young adults. Toyota’s are infinately reliable as was Honda until recently. I fail to see what significance a company that saved itself has over a company that needed help…………..at least in this conversation.

    • 0 avatar
      vehic1

      Ford didn’t get the direct bailout – but it benefitted indirectly, since it’s suppliers would have gone under without that $$$.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      The suppliers that were bailed out would have dragged Ford down, too. The whole ‘didn’t get bailed out’ line is PR flack for knuckleheads.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    I don’t know about Miami, but if you go to San Diego county, one of the biggest purchasers of F150s by city, we have a large Hispanic community, and a lot of them drive F150s.

    Go to Mexico down pass the border, and you will see tons of Lobos (F150s), Mexicans have an affinity for the brand and truck.

    Considering the market share and sales of the F150, I think your Miami example is less a trend and more of an anomaly.

    • 0 avatar

      Except that I’m using nationwide data. Hispanics are 19% less likely to own a Ford than the population at large. That’s national data, not Miami-Dade.

      • 0 avatar
        SD 328I

        You mention this study, but not link? Really curious to how this study was done.

        • 0 avatar

          Study was conducted by AudienceSCAN and is powered by Polk registration data. If you want to pay for the report, you can read it, too.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            the trend in TX, CA, etc actually support the article’s point, especially if you read the whole article:

            “Better marketing wouldn’t hurt them, either. Many of the Ford dealers I talk to complain that Ford uses “Mexican Spanish” in their Spanish language advertising, which turns off South and Central Americans.”

            Southwest hispanics are largely Mexican with some central americans sprinkled in. The situation on the east cost is more complicated and these groups all bring their historical grudges and ethnic resentment with them.

          • 0 avatar
            SD 328I

            You want me to pay for the report you are citing but have no proof of?

            You need to show your data Baruth, especially if it’s the crux of your whole article.

          • 0 avatar

            You’re confusing “news” with “Op-Ed.” I’m sure you’d like me to link to this study. So would I. I would also like to hear more about all of these Puerto Ricans in Miami, too. Unfortunately, it’s only available to people who have purchased it, which I have. Sorry about that.

          • 0 avatar
            gmichaelj

            1. If you can’t provide any corroborating evidence, then we do “have to take my (your) word for it”. As a consultant, I can’t imagine going to a client and telling him to take my word for it.

            But I guess us readers will have to pay for the “The Truth About Cars”

            2. Miami-Dade sounds to me like an anomaly

            3. People changed their minds about Kias over a relatively short period of time, I’m sure the same could happen for any brand.

          • 0 avatar
            gmichaelj

            What is up with the login here? Ugh!

            I cant imagine going to a consulting client and telling him he’d have to take my word for it, and expect I’d get paid.

            Anyway, I guess you are saying that we readers will have to pay for “The Truth About Cars”?

            Surely there is some corroborating evidence you can provide. Otherwise how do we know you are not a Fake Expert? Take your word for it?

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        I’m a data scientist in the industry, who has been fortunate to speak at NAIAS among many other conferences. (Unfortunately thats hard to prove, but if you want me to validate it i’m sure bark and I can find a way to do it.)

        What I want to be careful we aren’t doing is mixing causality with correlation. This is done way too frequently.

        One of the worst stats I ever heard is that young people LOVE the pontiac aztec. The justification is registrations by young people is disproportionately high. The researchers totally failed to account for the fact that Pontiac Aztecs had pretty much the lowest resale value for the mileage and quality of any car out there… young people were buying it because its the best car they could afford, not because of some hidden love for them.

        Ford owners skew both OLDER individuals and WEALTHIER individuals. In fact, younger populations in general avoid ford, and they are not successful on the low end of the market. Hispanics in Miami-Dade also skew younger and less wealthy.

        A proper study would need to isolate hispanic origin from income and age in order to draw the 19% statistic. The most similar data I’ve seen to what is presented in this article is unfortunately, more correlation and not causality, in that poorer, younger people who happen to be hispanic are less likely to buy ford.

        Now again, there could be truth to the fact that Hispanics are less interested in ford… but I certainly know for a fact that younger and less wealthy individuals avoid ford. In fact, Chevy vs Ford is better predicted by age than virtually any other factor, with almost 20 years separating the average age of each make’s buyer!

        I love the conversation about stats and the potential ramification of the stats, but I had to throw out this glaring piece.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          That’s a very good explanation, thanks.

        • 0 avatar

          Income is absolutely a factor. I think a lot of people skipped the “Ford also tends to overperform with higher income households, with 35 percent of its shoppers having household incomes of $100k or more. Only 15 percent of Hispanic households fall into that profile.”

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          While it may be true that Hispanic buyers are less interested in Ford due to price, there’s still the fact that buyers tend to stick with the brands that they align with early in their lives. This still spells trouble for Ford if those buyers stick with Chevy as their incomes increase.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Mark

        1.4 million Buicks sold worldwide

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The F-150 was the best selling truck in 31 states in 2017. The top three were TX (96,098), CA (48,254), and FL (42,636). The respective percentage of Latinos in those three states; 39%, 39%, and 25.6%. Yeah, Ford’s in big trouble.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    “And in an America that is increasingly looking a lot more like Miami”

    Just plain hogwash.
    The poorest story by a baruth …ever.

    this is the kind of stuff stupidly passed around gossiping chickens on a bus.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    While Baruth finds a link to support his story that Hispanics are 18% less likely to not buy a Ford, which I can’t find myself on the net.

    Here is one that is interesting: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/317143/fords-focus-on-hispanic-market-for-f-150-pays-off.html

    “From 2010 to 2017, Hispanics were responsible for 22% of the total incremental growth of the F-150. Additionally, from 2016 to 2017, the F-Series gained Hispanic sales and increased share among Hispanics in the full-size pickup segment.”

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Ford has until 2045 to figure out how to appeal to this looming majority demographic ;)

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Use some critical thinking. Why would Ford bother to spend money marketing its SALES JUGGERNAUT to Hispanics? Hmm, could it be that Ford identified a market segment where it is weak?

      Hey, that seems like valuable information for a business to know. I wonder how Ford identifies things like that? Maybe they even pay real money for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        According to USA statistics, the fastest growing demographic isn’t Hispanic but is Asian. 2045 is the year stated where “whites” will become the minority. “Identity” politics interestingly enough carry more weight on the conservative side of the spectrum. People aren’t inherently more “racist” but when confronted with perceived threats like “minority status”, job loss to “foreign” workers either immigrant or off-shore, they are more likely to respond in a defensive manner that falls along more stereotypically racist lines. It is a fear response that served mankind well when confined to small tribes struggling for survival but fails miserably in a “diverse” society.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I wonder if that fear is also because there’s something a bit worse about the way minorities are regarded in this country. Hmmm…

          • 0 avatar
            Charliej

            Whites are scared to death that the ex minorities will treat them the way the minorities were treated. And it may happen, who knows. If it does happen I want the whites to think of all the lynchings that blacks had to contend with. I also want them to remember the discrimination that the Asiatics had to endure. And the hate that whites have for Hispanics is on full display now. As an old white dude turn about is fair play. I will never know what happens as 2045 is when I will turn 99. Of course my grandfather did live to 103 so maybe I will get to see white dealing with discrimination and unfairness.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            @Charliej Congratulations, that’s he most ignorant post of the day. You’ve won a year’s supply of Jolly Time popcorn and a can of Turtle Wax.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Sub-600 – “ignorant” by definition is “lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.”

            ” Are white people actually under attack?

            After all, in the U.S., whites have historically been viewed as perpetrators of bias, and racial minorities as the victims.

            But perceptions of this relationship have shifted. According to a recent survey, the majority of whites – 55 percent – now believe that whites experience racial discrimination.

            What’s more, whites believe bias against their group is increasing, while believing bias against blacks is declining.”

            http://theconversation.com/the-dangerous-belief-that-white-people-are-under-attack-88622

            @CharlieJ’s comment isn’t the one that is exhibiting ignorance.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “@CharlieJ’s comment isn’t the one that is exhibiting ignorance.”

            Beyond the opening sentence, if I’m reading his comment correctly, he seems to be saying that it is “fair play” if white people in 2050 are discriminated against (or possibly lynched?) because of things that occurred in 1920 or 1940 or 2018.

            Personally, that’s not a stump I want to plant my flag in.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Charliej is upset by discrimination and bias yet he hopes to live long enough to see people fall victim to bias and discrimination, if not physical harm. His position is ignorant, repugnant and has nothing to do with automobiles.

          • 0 avatar
            tnk479

            I agree, Charliej’s comment is repugnant and reflects an almost infantile level of moral thinking. Frankly, we can aspire to a better future than that. Unfortunately, it’s sadly common among his generation, but, I think I know why. In my experience, the biggest racists are usually the ones saying things like Charliej. They are compensating.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Charliej thank you for letting everyone know your a bigot. Whites are easily the most discriminated race today. I don’t expect people from your generation to care since you have never had to deal with being denied acceptance to places based on being white, being targeted based on being white, or being denied employment based on being white. Your generation has yelled from the rooftop the ridiculous assertion that America was founded on Racism and somehow believe that America invented slavery. Obviously ignoring the fact that slavery is still happening. (Wouldn’t be good for people to know that since it would hurt your argument)

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Kyree and Charlie state the obvious, and the proud racists promptly reveal themselves.

            That said, I loathe the notion peddled on some campuses that only whites can be racist because they have all the power (there are plenty of ways to discriminate against others interpersonally even if you’re disadvantaged structurally, especially if you’re the majority in a sub-population like a neighborhood or workplace, and that can include denial of material benefits like housing or jobs), or that when a nonwhite person acts in a racist way it’s just internalized racism from whites (we are personally responsible for our bad behavior: the white devil didn’t make us do it). Every single one of us has some racist beliefs, whether we are aware of them or not, and every one of us can do better.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I’ve reread CharlieJ’s post a few times. The response to it is exactly what I was pointing out in my post. His comments outline a potential problem with “whites” being in a minority position. The response from several bloggers are expected and fit the pattern.

            @HotPotato sums it up nicely, “Every single one of us has some racist beliefs, whether we are aware of them or not, and every one of us can do better.”

  • avatar

    “Better marketing wouldn’t hurt them, either. Many of the Ford dealers I talk to complain that Ford uses ‘Mexican Spanish’ in their Spanish language advertising, which turns off South and Central Americans.”

    Saved for the next-to-last paragraph, that is the only statement in this article which makes any sense. It is also pretty easily fixed by Ford marketing.

    Just about everything else that Bark M. wrote is, as my Argentinian friends like to say, “fakakta.”

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Only 9.5% of the U.S. Latino population is Puerto Rican, hardly enough to move the needle as far Latino truck sales go. Miami is an outlier. Ford will survive, lol.

    • 0 avatar

      Good news! Only three percent of Miami is Puerto Rican.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Yeah, and the largest Puerto Rican population is in NYC. That must account for the poor F150 sales on the upper east side of Manhattan and the Bronx.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        @Baruth, then why didn’t you just go with the title “3% of Miami is Puerto Rican”? It would make as much sense as the rest of this drivel of a freaking word count exercise.

        Ford only did the obvious given the market situation in the US, I wish GM well in selling all of the Cruzes they can, but they might as well plant them on a Kia lot and put money on the hood. GM has blown enough smoke up Wall Street’s ass that they actually believe GM is a tech company, which is utter crap in every sense of the word. Mrs. Barra is watching the clock and will be long gone before people realize there aren’t going to be Bolts driving around everywhere without a steering wheel.

        Try a little harder next time.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Seems like it was only yesterday that one of the baruth bros was telling us that we should worry about Chevy- not ford – because a 1%er octogenarian he knew wouldn’t consider buying a traverse.

    Perhaps these stories merely reflect the biases of the authors? Which one has a Chevy, and which one has a Ford? Hmmmmmmm…..

    • 0 avatar

      Your hypothesis is because I own multiple Fords that I’m anti-Ford?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      You’re certainly one to talk about biases and twisting facts to fit a narrative. You scrounge the internet looking for negative news about Ford to troll me with, as though because I like some Ford products and own two that I’m fiercely loyal to them and any bad news crushes me in a personal way. Nope, sorry, I just don’t buy into all your doom-and-gloom selective fact reciting and b.s. about how every Ford barely lasts 3 years before its broken down to where its not worth fixing, but that has less to do with Ford itself, and more to do with your trolling.

      Also, your hypothesis might hold up if this was the brother who owned a Chevy and not the Ford(s?). Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Si Ford esta muerto en Miami, entonces esta muerto en America. Adios Ford.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    No worries. As soon as Miami and the rest of the world understand that Ford had to discontinue passenger cars in order to renovate a train station for its hipster programmers/autonomous/mobility employees, market share will skyrocket.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think the auto industry is going to look completely different in 30 years. Marketing to Hispanics is probably the least of Ford’s worries. I think the lower and middle parts of the business is going to get sucked up into self driving ride share services eventually. Most people in anonymous pods that go from one fare to another because its more economical than owning. Its the high end of the market that will survive and be profitable. The people who can afford $100k+ cars and trucks. Sort of a critical point in automotive history being on the verge of autonomous vehicles and electric vehicle revolution. I think most automakers are focused heavily on making it to the next chapter more than making sure you are adequately represented in the Miami market.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      To an extent it’s already getting to that point. People who can ill afford it are financing pickups with over 100K miles for five years. I think lenders will continue this trend until they get too many defaults or people get tired of beating themselves up. Probably the former.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Just build products and create a company image that appeals to a wider demographic.

    This is one area American business can do well.

    And if Ford fails there will be something to replace it. That’s the law of the jungle.

    Ford’s F Series dominance has had a helping hand for 50 years now.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “The Volkswagen Jetta outsells the F-150 in this burg. True story.”

    This Bud’s for you, Miami!

    Sincerely,
    FreedMike, Jetta owner

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Lmao. Is this article 2-ply? Because I could use it later. We know, you like your GM. Good for you. BTW, Florida is a sh!thole.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    No surprise that there is disdain for “Mexican” Fords. I work with an enormous amount of Hispanics and one thing is sure: Hispanics have a hierarchy and Mexico is on the bottom of the list. Frankly, the most racist people I know are Hispanic. No, there is not a lot of anti white, or black racism from Hispanics but within the different Latin countries, wow.

    Regarding Puerto Ricans in Miami, there are not a lot of them. Orlando is where all the people I know that are Puerto Rican go to retire…

    Frankly, there is nothing more beautiful than an attractive Latina!

    TTAC – Fix the login…it took 6 tries before I could comment on this page. Not an uncommon occurrence

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Asia is pretty much the same way. From what I can tell, Japanese are probably at the top even though everyone hates them, with Filipinos somewhere near the bottom. It’s pretty opaque to me, same with the Hispanic hierarchy.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Oh no, Mexicans can list *plenty* of people below them on the list. Salvadorans, for instance, or Guatemalans. And many aren’t hot on black or Jewish people either. Turns out everybody can be racist, including people of color. On the flip side, Argentinians and Chileans think they’re the royalty of the Spanish speaking world. (BTW, what is with older white people calling every brown Spanish-speaking person “Spanish”—do they realize Spaniards are white Europeans?).

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @HotPotato – “do they realize Spaniards are white Europeans?).”

        Maybe they need to stop watching reruns of “13 Hours” and watch “The Gladiator” a few times. ;)

  • avatar
    TW5

    Ford has a problem in the Southwest and the Rocky Mountain West, which manifests itself naturally as a problem with Hispanics.

    Ford ads are Dennis Leary fast talking through a series of jump cuts listing a bunch of boring facts about notional masculine productivity. The Ford King Ranch is the only homage to the West, and it’s already been hijacked by marketers to become the irrelevant trim for the few cattle barons who still exist. King Ranch trim was once mandatory in Texas, but I can’t remember the last time I saw one.

    The Ford marketing people can’t compete with the RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn or the Chevrolet Silverado High Sierra etc. Maybe you would prefer a Scottsdale or Cheyenne? Dodge and Chevrolet have spent more time, imo, marketing in the West and South of the border, particularly in recent times.

  • avatar
    AVT

    A few thoughts I have on this topic. First, since I can’t actually read or infer how the data was collected for the survey, does the current administration’s stance on immigration in any way impact the trend of a growing Hispanic population in the us? Does it infer from population growth models and assuming that subsequent generation(s)/populations will identify as Hispanic? Does this survey just cover the region in which the vehicle registration data was collected? Further, does pricing or trim level availability affect these sales. If the dealer knows the majority of his sales go to 100k+ income bracket buyer for a given radius or area of operation, stocking higher trim, higher price cars would be more logical and profitable. Sure you may lose market share but in the end, the dealer, not ford, is operating in the way it best sees fit. If higher price vehicles bring in more profit, they don’t have incentive to deal with lower price ones, because that potentially less profit when they submit their order sheet to the factory. If a different dealer decides that by doing business with lower trim/priced cars because the demand for that market still is their, they could potentially monopolize that entire market or at least get a large chunk. Regardless of advertising or perception, car manufacturers don’t control that as much as the local dealer you shop at does. Ford doesn’t own the dealer, it just licenses them the right to operate under the brand umbrella under contracted terms. Let’s say hypothetically, ford came out with a new ranger tomorrow that absolutely blew away the competition. But your friend(s) and yourself had nothing but negative perception about the dealer/brand (or network of dealerships) would you buy that ranger? As for perception; the question of why this perception of said brand occuring? Is it due to vehicle problems that were not serviced correctly, bugs that came with the vehicle since purchase, or the buying experience itself? A bad vehicle can definitely taint a brand perception, but to the extent the difference in sales compared to a competitor is that vast? If that’s the case, wouldn’t the dealer just stop stocking the model as the end result is its costing them business or its not economically viable to do so? Like the case was for many Mazda cx-7 owners, the dealerships stopped stocking them in any meaningful quantity as the vehicle lost them customers with the turbo and engine problems. Lexus dealers did the same thing with the gx rollover issue before well before Lexus the manufacturer even put a sales stop on the vehicle. I’ll admit, I prefer my gm’s to ford’s, even though I own an mkt, but I’d need both more empirical data and a better distinction between fault of brand or fault of dealer before I started drawing conclusions that this indicates trouble for ford on a level that significantly (statistically) impacts their ability to be a profitable or viable company. Because at the end of the day, that’s their object, and to heck with the rest of it.

    • 0 avatar
      AVT

      Also, with regards to the advertising, is it being sponsored at a national level by ford itself, regional level through a dealership network or franchise, or local level through local dealer?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I’m not going to get into a specific rebuttal of Mark’s premise as I don’t have access to the proprietary data (Mark bases his premise on that data but then defaults to a position that it’s only for paid subscribers in the meta-auto-sales-marketing-industry) claims he’s using regarding his extrapolation of Ford’s supposed predicament based on registration data in Miami-Dade County, and as people will accuse me of “having it in for Bark/Mark” no matter what I say.

    With that said, I will say the following:

    Trying to extrapolate anything on a nation-wide, forward-looking model based on vehicle registration in Miami-Dade County is odd.

    I can think of no area in the United States that is more ethnically diverse, international in aesthetics and spending trends, and incredibly INTERnational, than Miami and its surrounding orbit, with the exception of Manhattan (and even then, I believe Miami is more international), and that includes the broader Miami-Dade county area (and furthermore, this includes New York City and its 5 boroughs).

    I spend a lot of time in Miami-Dade, and in Florida in general (by necessity, not because I’m a fan, as I’m not at all), and you will literally routinely meet people of 20+ ethnicities and 50+ nationalities/citizenship in the populated cities of Florida (from central and south America, Canada, the UK, Israel, the UK, Lebanon-Jordan, Germany, Turkey, Spain, the Slavic nations, etc.; and yes, these people have 2nd and 3rd and 4th and more homes/condos there, and buy and register vehicles there).

    There is much hustling and scamming going on in that area, and it’s common knowledge that it’s a haven of dirty money, laundered money, illicit activities involving every international flavor (e.g. extensive washing of money through high-rise and ocean-front property deals)

    People in populated cities in Florida, many in Miami-Dade, do not buy or drive or rent pickup trucks of any kind in anywhere near the % that people in almost any other area of the USA do, with the exception of NYC proper, Seattle proper, etc.

    Here is a list of cities and municipalities in Miami-Dade:

    Miami,
    Miami Beach,
    Hialeah,
    Homestead,
    Kendall,
    Coral Gables,
    Doral,
    Miami Gardens,
    North Miami,
    Miami Lakes,
    Cutler Bay,
    Aventura,
    Florida City,
    North Miami Beach,
    Sunny Isles Beach,
    Opa-locka,
    Key Biscayne,
    Palmetto Bay,
    South Miami,
    Bal Harbour,
    Miami Springs,
    Miami Shores,
    Pinecrest,
    Hialeah Gardens,
    Bay Harbor Islands,
    Sweetwater,
    Fisher Island,
    North Bay Village,
    Surfside,
    Biscayne Park,
    Tamiami,
    Golden Beach,
    Indian Creek,
    Fountainbleau,
    The Hammocks,
    West Miami,
    Country Walk,
    Golden Glades,
    Virginia Gardens,
    Kendale Lakes,
    Westchester,
    El Portal,
    West Perrine,
    Glenvar Heights,
    Leisure City,
    South Miami Heights,
    Ives Estates,
    Medley,
    Ojus,
    Richmond West,
    West Little River

    p.s. – I agree with Bark, 100%+, that Ford has worse quality than Kia (not joking or trying to inflame, it I honestly believe that Kia builds generally more reliable vehicles than Ford when their whole lineups are considered).

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    p.s. X 2 – Both Baruth bros remind me of the character Tom Buchanan from the Great Gatsby, who was ominously warning Nick and Daisy of the imminent fall of “the white race” in the 1920’s:

    “”Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard? This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.”

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    In most contexts it’s a mistake to think of the Hispanic population as monolithic. In the American Southwest, for example, there are two main groups: recent immigrants (mostly from Mexico); and those whose families have lived in the region since Spanish Colonial times and thus are not “Mexican” except in the sense that, as one sometimes hears, “The border crossed us!” upon the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. The latter are thus much more “American” (meaning the US) than my own ancestors, who arrived from Europe in the late 19th/early 20th century.

    I have no idea whether these two particular groups of Hispanics differ in their respective purchases of Ford and Chevy pickups, but if the overall “Hispanic” sales numbers were broken down by the various component subgroups, the numbers might be informative as to the reasons for the phenomenon discussed above.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      And those Hispanics sure aren’t afraid to turn their noses up at each other. (Coming from a guy who married into a mixture of Native American, Old Spanish Colonial, and 2nd/3rd generation Mexican Americans.)

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Navajo are not “Hispanics”.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Never said they were. I was conducting an inventory of diversity. ;-)

          My larger point was that the “we didn’t cross the boarder, the boarder crossed us” crowd is perfectly willing to discriminate against anyone whose been here less than 100 years. I worked with a guy who was from that haughty old stock Spanish who refused to translate for parents who needed it.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            “..perfectly willing to discriminate against anyone who’s been here less than 100 years”. I briefly relocated to California in the early ‘80s and was asked more than a few times “What generation Californian are you?”, lol. Humans will establish a hierarchy whenever they can. Anyway, Ford will manage to get by, lol.

        • 0 avatar
          King of Eldorado

          True, and I don’t see that anyone suggested otherwise. But you reminded me of the word “mestizo” — meaning a person of mixed Native American/European ancestry that was in common usage when I was taking 6th-grade social studies 50+ years ago. I haven’t heard that term in many years, and I have the sense that it might be questionable usage these days.

          Your comment also reminded me that when I — a then-recent transplant to NM — worked for the decennial US Census in 2000, I was informed that Native Americans can have Hispanic surnames but identify as Native Americans. In my recollection, that was said to be more common among members of NM’s ~20 Pueblo Indian sovereign governments than among Navajos.

          Anyway — back on topic — it’s complicated!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’m not Hispanic, Latin, Mexican, or anything but WASP, but I haven’t owned a Ford in 22 years, and have no interest in buying anything they offer today.

    The last Ford I drove was a 15 Focus rental with 22k miles, and its DC automatic transmission was so bad I thought the engine mounts were broken. It was by far the worst-driving car I’ve ever been in. If that’s representative of Ford quality today, no thanks.

    Today’s other Ford article (about their $4 billion investment in AV technology) highlights Ford’s detachment from the market – Hispanic or otherwise.

    PS: Bark, ignore the ravings around here about your paid-access data. That’s how it works, and I appreciate that you reported on it so I don’t have to subscribe. Sheesh.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      +1 on that last bit. You can tell who’s never had to work with data in their career. Who knew it had value?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      SCE, I’m going to put you on the spot now.

      You’ve both agreed and disagreed with me over the years, on a variety of topics, too varied to enumerate now.

      I like you and believe that you’ve always spoken in good faith based on your honest beliefs, whether we’ve agreed or not.

      So, regarding Ford, tell me what parts, if any, of the following statement I wrote under another article today as a comment, that you agree or disagree with:

      “With one or two exceptions, the F150 being one (it’s not great, but it’s competitive and obviously popular), Ford and Lincoln design and make garbage vehicles with awful reliability, sold by a network of slimy, shady dealerships (again, with few exceptions, that prove the general rule).

      Anytime people who are fanbois of a certain brand hear and/or read anyone knocking their preferred vehicle or manufacturer, their biases kick in, and they claw and scratch and hiss, regardless of the truth being spoken/written.

      Ford would be much wiser to take this 4 billion and allocate it towards their design and engineering departments to develop better executed, far more reliable vehicles, and to also make a substantial investment in the quality of their dealership network, and the competency and professionalism of the people who work at those facilities, as well as dramatically improving customer satisfaction scores.

      They, instead of doing this idiotic autonomous vehicle campus and program investment (which is idiotic), could literally shove 4 billion dollars up their collective a$$es, and it would yield just as good a return.”

      Thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The Ford dealership I’ve used in Christiansburg, VA and Champaign IL have been competent.

        No sleazy tactics at either one that I’ve detected — just by-the-book car dealers.

        While I’ve owned 3 used Fords, I don’t currently own one. (It’s Honda and Mazda at the moment.) I’m waiting to see what Ford’s next generation of electrified vehicles looks like before I buy a new Ford, because electrified drivetrains are something that I personally prefer.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @DeadWeight:

        Honestly, my direct experiences with Ford have been pretty sparse for the last two decades, with the exception of the rental I described. My coworker bought a new Fusion 1.6T a few years ago that suffered a variety of problems.

        The infamous Windstar axle failure happened to a friend on the road, and Ford ultimately wrote them a check to condemn the car.

        The Focus EV had a problem with shutting down while driving.

        But I suppose every mfr has their problems, but it’s stories like these that keep me away from Ford.

        I passed through the local Ford dealership a few years ago and was literally hounded by the salesman the second I entered. It was so irritating that I didn’t stop moving before I walked out the opposite door a moment later.

        As an observer, however, Ford just doesn’t make anything interesting to me. I can find better value elsewhere.

        As for the AV program investment, I agree with you completely. It’s apparent that the marketing people have the ears of management more than the legal department, in this instance. But Ford’s not alone on this fool’s errand, as you know.

  • avatar
    megaphone

    Pickup trucks and SUV’s are currently popular but won’t be for long in large parts of the country. My Millennial age daughter and her other college age friends wouldn’t consider a Ford or any other vehicle unless its a small hybrid with a reputation for value/price or in the northern climes where she goes to school a Subaru once they bring back the hybrid Crosstrek. They want fuel efficient cars that are small enough to park in the city. For them environmental concerns are the first criteria. they are the future.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      That’s Ford for you, dump the C-Max just in time for millenials to start wanting to buy hybrids.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The C-max never recovered from the misleading MPG stickers.

        It was a nice car, but the numbers on the window stickers are REALLY important to hybrid buyers. Which is why Ford bothered to lie to them on the window sticker. Which is why hybrid buyers mostly buy Prii and EVs, instead.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        I loved my C-Max, but holy crap, Ford quality. So many recalls and TSBs to do at every service that we never even got to some of the car’s other problems. And why should engine mounts, transmissions, wheel bearings, and structural rigidity be shot at under 100k miles?

        Ford has perceived quality down from the test-drive perspective: the cars have beautiful, quiet, carefully built interiors made of high quality materials, and the cars (not trucks) drive like fine Euro makes.

        In short, I abandoned a lifetime of German car ownership for what I thought might be a more reliable Ford, only to
        learn that Ford truly is the new VW in every way. (Albeit Ford offers more technology and worse body assembly).

  • avatar
    Charles Varkuss

    Puerto Rican’s from the island are very loyal to their Toyota’s, Mitsubishi’s and Nissan but they are open to try other brands. Regardless, they always gravitate back to a Japanese brand due to the perception of high quality.

  • avatar

    So my conclusion from all that I read here is that rich and well to do people (who make over $100K a year) buy Fords and poor people and losers buy Chevies or Hondas. Then why it is bad for Ford? I think just opposite – Ford is doing well attracting customers with higher income and credit score.

    Regrading the whole country (United States) becoming Miami clone – that is a very sad turn of events. Many people will leave country if this will be the case heading probably to Mars or other Earth like planet in other planet systems in our Galaxy. I hope BFR will be ready by then to help us to explore new frontiers.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I live in a place that’s almost as international as Miami (college town), and I won’t go back to Rural America (where I grew up).

      I really like living in a place where the world comes to me. It’s much cheaper than vacationing overseas, and I almost always learn something when I talk to some.other parent at the playground.

      Compared to that, it takes 2-3 generations to establish residency in Rural America. I was almost there, because my dad married a local woman in the town where I (mostly) grew up. But, even though I kinda made a place for myself, I really just didn’t fit in in Rural America — and I fell in love with the cosmopolitain-small-town college town life when I went to college.

      I’ll happily embrace a United States that looks more like Miami. And if you leave the United States because of immigration, you don’t understand the American story very well. Good riddance!

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        America wasn’t founded by immigrants, it was founded by settlers. Go sell your diversity nonsense somewhere else. The F-150 will continue to sell and Latinos will purchase them, despite skewed data.

        • 0 avatar
          Blackcloud_9

          And where did the settlers come from? Perhaps other countries? It wasn’t like, *Poof* here they are, ready to “settle” the country.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Honestly, what’s the difference between a settler and an immigrant? I assume you mean that a settler is claiming land for his home country while an immigrant is changing countries, but we know how that turned out: some “claimed this land” for England, others claimed it for Mexico, etc., but in the end we became one united country beholden to no colonial master.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “America wasn’t founded by immigrants, it was founded by settlers.”

          I wonder how the aboriginals felt about all of this?

          • 0 avatar

            Aboriginals were settlers – they came from Asia. But there was no progress until settlers from England came by.

            Home Sapience also came to settle in Europe from Africa and after that “Aboriginals” a.k.a. Neanderthals ceased to exist. I wonder why.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “But there was no progress until settlers from England came by.”

            All depends on one’s cultural definition of progress. I’m betting that any aboriginal will state that getting forced onto reserves and forced to abandon their culture wasn’t very progressive!

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Sub-600:

          I’m just telling you how I like to live — which happens to be in diverse small towns full of the highly educated.

          You’d have to pay me very handsomely ($300k-ish/year) to move back to the the homogeneous and poorly educated rural town where I grew up. That place has no real jobs for someone like me (there’s no tech industry), and the locals there don’t much care for nerdy tech-boys — unless their computer happens to be broken. I fit in better with a crowd immigrants than I do in my own home town.

          This isn’t “diversity nonsense”. This is just how my life has worked out, and where I found a real enduring home. But my experience here does effect how I see the issues our nation faces.

          If you have a problem with my immigrant friends/colleagues/neighbors, though, you have a problem with me!

  • avatar
    FWD Donuts

    Time for Ford to debut the F-150 Frito Bandito edition with bullet proof glass and a washable bed as hauling tons of weed, guns, women, and blow is a messy racket.

  • avatar

    When Ford finally phases out all their cars they will be unpopular everywhere.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    A touchy article which has drawn out quite the crowd today. The alt-right and the leftists are both pouring out the vitriol of their various dogmas. Regarding the article the basic theme is correct. Hispanics generally shy away from purchasing Ford products. This doesn’t mean that you will not see the occasional Hispanic in a King Ranch but yes by and large Ford is not thought of much by Hispanics. BTW do we have any moderates on this site who live in the real world and not through the eyes of people whose only job is to divide and distract you from what really matters?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @cartunez – “Hispanic” is a rather broad category.

      “The U.S. Census Bureau defines the ethnonym Hispanic or Latino to refer to “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race”[37] and states that Hispanics or Latinos can be of any race, any ancestry, any ethnicity.[38] Generically, this limits the definition of Hispanic or Latino to people from the Caribbean, Central and South America, or other Hispanic (Spanish or Portuguese) culture or origin, regardless of race.”

  • avatar
    desmo21

    GM has come a long way in advertising with Hispanics. The Chevy NOVA translated to NO GO in Spanish and did not sell well with Hispanics. I live in South Florida and F150’s are commonplace. The high end LIMITED and KING RANCH F150s and 250,350 Super Duties are in high demand.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    This is hands down the worst article in ttac history.

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