Yes, Ford is jumping on the “design them for the kids” bandwagon with the new Verve Concept. This new design trend of small cars with high-tech gizmos, premium (looking) materials, futuristic design, and an overall “cool-factor” was started by Toyota’s Scion division. It seems the huge success of Scion has eventually caught the eye on other manufacturers, now including Ford. The small car trend is also being heavily pushed by rising gas prices, which are also sparking a lot of sales for crossovers.
The Verve is set to launch in the States in 2010 with this four-door model, and possibly the European 3-door version, depending on public reaction, which has so far been been at the better end of “meh.”
“Millennials will be the defining group of customers in the future, driving all types of consumer trends,” said Jim Farley, Ford\’s group VP, Marketing and Communications. “Ford’s European-based cars are a great fit for this generation of drivers, who have grown up with the Internet and mobile phones as necessities, not luxuries – believing that bigger isn’t necessarily better, precision is everything and technology rules.”
Every day, 11,000 “Millennials” (ages 13-28) become driving age, and so far almost half of this group has chosen the small car segment as their first car, so as a rising market it’s very important for manufacturers to hit the nail on the head here in the next few years. The expected rate of growth for small cars is set to be 25% by 2012, to a record 3.4 million units. Ford plans to have multiple small cars on sale by 2010, with the Verve being the leader of the pack.
So it seems Ford doesn’t really know where they’re going with this, only that they want a few small cars being sold in the US in the next few years. The problem is that they don’t know what people want. Take the Mondeo for example – I think the Mondeo has a good chance at success here in the States, If it were marketed correctly. Yes, they released the US version called the Mercury Mystique, but we all know anything marketed under the Mercury line never had much of a chance, and the Ford Contour (also a US Mondeo) didn’t break any records either. But look at the Mondeo Now. Wow! And it just won Top Gear’s 2007 Family Car of the Year. It’s a shame we’re missing out on that, but I guess Ford knows best.
Oh, right, this article was about the Verve Concept…