Ford Eyes Two Demographics Amidst Global SUV Growth

Recently, we featured an infographic detailing total automobile sales last year. While trucks still held the top spots, it was clear SUV demand rose all over the world. Ford Motor Company is adding four new SUVs in the next four years, believing the market is ever ripe for the picking.

“As members of the 80-million-strong millennial age group enter their prime child-rearing years, a leading indicator of more SUV sales, nearly 80 million aging baby boomers continue to prefer their SUVs,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service.

Ford says their research indicates once Millennials move from single to married, their interest in SUVs goes up significantly. While that may indeed be true, the Pew Research Center shows a declining trend in marriage. Perhaps that is why Ford is seeking out Baby Boomers too? The combination of these generations – Millennials who have yet to marry but will eventually need a vehicle to accommodate their family and the Baby Boomers who wish to enjoy retirement in a comfortable, daily driver – is seen as a potential gold mine for Ford.

“It’s a demographic double whammy and it all points to one thing – more SUVs for the foreseeable future,” LaNeve said.

My longtime Ford “go-to” vehicles were the F-150 and Mustang. F-150 because I always had one and it got me through the snow and a Mustang because that was always the dream car. Today, it’s my Fusion Titanium but the Ford Explorer rocked me back on my heels at NAIAS 2016. I’m on the cusp of the Generation X/Millennial eras but as Danielle and I talk increasingly more about having a family, an SUV seems to always fit the bill.

Although it wasn’t that long ago high gas prices forced many away from SUVs, Ford does not seem overly concerned.

“Some SUVs now rival the fuel efficiency of V6-powered midsize sedans from only a few years ago,” LaNeve said. “Even if gas prices go up, refueling costs for owners of modern SUVs will be much less than they were during the last SUV boom.”

What do you think of the modern SUV? Would you buy one for you and your family?

*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.