Will Ford’s New SUV-focused Strategy Deliver Results?
People wanting to start trading could have a bit of a hesitation. But with commission free trading, trading stocks has been made lot more attractive for newcomers. But once you’ve gained experience and moved to greater stocks and trades, you need to observe the pattern of the companies whose stocks you’re interested in. Any moves they make could determine the performance of their stocks in the market. The fiercely competitive automobile market is an example.
The New Escape Is at the Heart of Ford’s Strategy Change
Ford ($F) seems to be making a strategy change. It isn’t anything dramatic, but the styling of the new 2020 Ford Escape SUV gives an indication of the design change the company is making. The new Escape looks less of an SUV and more of a compact car on steroids, specifically a Focus on steroids. Ford is doing that to appeal to customers who still love compact cars. Ford doesn’t want to focus more on sedans but rather on SUVs, and a compact SUV with a more hatchback design is expected to attract hatchback lovers too. That’s why the new design does away with the boxy lines and, instead, has more curved and rounded proportions, mimicking the Focus launched in China and Europe.
Even the outgoing Escape was based on the Focus, but Ford ensured its design didn’t quite show that connection. But the new Escape clearly reveals its origin. The Focus is no longer there in the US market, and SUVs are the primary focus of Ford. Prospective customers longing for the compact Focus or cars in that category should satisfy themselves with the rounded proportions of the Escape. This is Ford’s strategy to improve its profit margins. But will it work?
Another SUV on the C2 Focus Platform
For one, this strategy could even estrange hardcore compact SUV lovers. But Ford has a plan for that too, in the form of a compact version of the Bronco. The Bronco is a hardcore truck-based SUV, but the yet-to-be-launched baby Bronco is also based on the new Focus C2 platform. Still, according to a leaked image in the Motley Fool article by John Rosevear, the compact Bronco looks every bit as tough as an SUV should look like.
So Ford should be able to satisfy potential customers looking for a compact SUV, while those missing the Focus should settle for the more SUV-like but clearly Focus-shaped Escape. Rosevear reckons the baby Bronco could be called “Maverick.” But it could take late 2020 or early 2021 for the product to get to the US markets from its probable place of manufacture – Hermosillo, Mexico.
Higher Pricing Leaves a Massive Void
Ford seems to have its bases covered, but there is a catch in terms of the pricing. The new Escape costs significantly more than the departed Focus which started at $21,415. The new Escape has a starting price of $26,080. The only model that is close to the earlier Focus is the EcoSport crossover with a price tag of $21,090, which is smaller and generally not a popular model. Fortunately, Ford has the Fusion sedan but that too starts at $24,165. The new Escape is spacious, comes with high tech features and also has the option of a hybrid. But being significantly more expensive than the departed Focus, Ford has a void in that price range which, Rosevear fears, could lead customers to look elsewhere.
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