Oh No! Maybe There's Some Loyalty to Sedans After All

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
oh no maybe there s some loyalty to sedans after all

After Ford’s decision to cull all passenger cars except the Mustang, Blue Oval brass felt confident that existing and upcoming Ford trucks, SUVs, and crossovers (or crossover-like vehicles) would be more than enough to keep current car owners in the family.

That’s probably wishful thinking. A new survey of Ford sedan owners shows that the allure of other brands — those that still sell sedans — is enough to lure plenty of them away from the Ford flock.

The Cox Automotive survey, first reported on by Automotive News, reveals a fractured community of sedan owners. Half of the Ford sedan owners surveyed said they’d switch brands and purchase a new or used vehicle from a rival automaker when it comes time to ditch their car.

Though Ford owners weren’t a large wedge of the survey’s respondents, their answers show that Dearborn can’t count on light trucks to keep the family in one piece. Higher margins and new-to-the-brand buyers are good, but CEO Jim Hackett specifically said his company wouldn’t abandon car owners. Instead, Ford plans to reinvent the car.

“We don’t want anyone to think we’re leaving anything,” Hackett said in May.

Of the Ford sedan owners in Cox’s survey, only 10 percent said they’d swap their car for a Ford SUV or crossover at trade-in time. Five percent said they’d purchase a Mustang, while only 3 percent said they’d get behind the wheel of a truck. The majority of sedan owners surveyed said they opposed Ford’s decision to ditch all but one of its passenger cars.

Give this finding whatever weight you feel it deserves, as Ford wasn’t exactly facing skyrocketing sedan sales when it sent in the executioner. Quite the opposite. Still, no automaker wants to see customers jumping ship.

However, exactly what vehicles will replace these entry-level and low-end products still isn’t clear. Without something new and semi car-like to show off, what are existing owners supposed to look at and pine for? Right now, Ford’s main focus lies in launching the upcoming Bronco SUV, unnamed “Baby Bronco” crossover, and Ranger pickup. Rumors exist of a five-door, high-roof vehicle bearing the Fusion name — likely a slightly lifted, crossoverized vehicle in line with the future Focus Active.

According to Ford, seven of the nine new nameplates it expects to add over the next five years are light trucks, and the remaining two might be electric in nature. That doesn’t leave the automaker with a lot of product to woo, say, a Fiesta or Fusion owner with.

[Image: Ford]

Join the conversation
2 of 84 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 27, 2018

    What I hate most when team is fully dedicated to the new product, spends days and nights to overcome challenges and meet deadlines and suddenly higher management comes and orders to stop development, "drop everything you are doing", mothball the project (normally forever) and start working on the new project. Until the same thing happens with the new project.

  • Akear Akear on Aug 27, 2018

    The heat was too hot in the kitchen for Ford. Seat, PSA, Mitsubishi, and Skoda were just too much for Ford to handle. Ford - what a disgrace!

  • Analoggrotto By the time any of Hyundai's Japanese competitors were this size and age, they produced iconic vehicles which are now highly desirable and going for good money used. But Hyundai/Kia have nothing to this point that anyone will care about in the future. Those 20k over MSRP Tellurides? Worn out junk sitting at the used car lot, worn beyond their actual age. Hyundai/Kia has not had anything comparable to the significance of CVCC, 240Z, Supra, Celica, AE86, RX-(7), 2000GT, Skyline, GT-R, WRX, Evo, Preludio, CRX, Si, Land Cruiser, NSX etc. All of this in those years where Detroiters and Teutonic prejudiced elitists were openly bashing the Japanese with racist derogatory language. Tiger Woods running off the road in a Genesis didn't open up a moment, and the Genesis Sedan featuring in Inception didn't matter any more than the Lincoln MKS showing up for a moment in Dark Knight. Hyundai/Kia are too busy attempting to re-invent others' history for themselves. But hey, they have to start somewhere and the N74 is very cool looking. Hyundai/Kia's biggest fans are auto Journalists who for almost 2 decades have been hyping them up to deafening volumes contributing further distrust in any media.
  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)