Recently, Ford Motor Company shed some light on their SUV strategy, and highlighted their promising future sales projections in that segment. While American automakers have traditionally cornered the truck and SUV markets, it appears Ford now has a leg up on cars.
According to the New Vehicle Customer Study by MaritzCX, Ford’s sporty car customers are now younger and more affluent on average. Generally speaking, younger customers are drawn to Ford’s more athletic and sporty car variants.
The Ford Fiesta ST is a perfect example. The average Fiesta buyer is 45, but the average age of a Fiesta ST customer is about 35. A similar pattern emerges with the Ford Focus; 46 is the average age of a Focus buyer but the Focus RS and ST are 41 and 36, respectively. Even the larger Fusion follows the metrics with Fusion Sport buyers being an average of three years younger than a traditional Fusion buyer at 48.
Ford is concentrating on younger, repeat buyers here, citing a special interest in Millennials. The generational cohort accounted for a 45 percent increase during the first three months of 2017 in Ford’s more sport oriented car models.
“With repeat customers making up around half of industry sales, capturing younger buyers while they still have many vehicle purchases remaining in their lives is good for business,” said Corey Holter, Ford Car Group Marketing Manager.
According to Ford’s metrics, Millennial customers have some buying power when it comes to this segment. The average Fiesta buyer has a household income of $59,000, but for the Fiesta ST, that figure jumps to $102,000. The average Focus buyer brings home $63,000, while Focus ST and Focus RS customers show much higher household incomes at $108,000 and $169,000, respectively.
Ford also credits their EcoBoost line of engines and the “hot hatchback” movement for the sales increase. Hatchbacks are generally thought to be more stylish and versatile, whereas EcoBoost engines are designed to deliver more power and greater fuel economy.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.