Ford Hopes Edge Will Wipe Sales Doldrums
Ford executives are hoping that the new Edge will be a strong player that can reverse the company's declining sales. The sleek teardrop-shaped crossover is made lighter, able and more fuel-efficient because it is based on the car concept not on the truck underpinnings.
Mark Fields, Ford's President of the Americas predicted that Edge would become a crossover hit. However, he further noted that in a market with numerous competitors and specialized vehicles, the Edge alone can't save Ford. "This is not the silver bullet that the company is looking for because in this day and age, you need to have lots of products."
To some Ford executives, Edge is considered as crucial to restructuring the workflow to help the company reverse its moribund market shares. The latter has slid from approximately 26 percent in the year 1995 to about 17 percent this year. Ford's market share has reduced by 8.6 percent through September compared to that of the first 3 quarters of the year. Moreover, the company has lost .4 billion in the first six months of this year.
Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates, said that Edge is essential to the company for it to recuperate, as it is plans to end the production of Taurus sedan this month. Ford Taurus is a midsize front wheel drive vehicle that replaced Fairmont-based rear wheel drive LTD model. Eventually, Taurus is to be replaced by Ford Five Hundred (crossover SUV), Freestyle and Fusion.
Edge, though, is not expected to replace the sales of Ford Taurus parts and models. Further, it is expected to settle in around 100,000 units annually. In the last year of Taurus production, Ford is expecting to sell about 175,000 units.
"I think the Edge is certainly the direction where the market is heading," Schuster said. "That type of product, the segment and the body style, fits well into the shifts going on in consumer tastes, essentially the new family vehicle, the replacement to the traditional sedan."
About the Author: Jay Stevens works as a consultant for an established auto parts store in the country. He has expertise in automotive technology and has extensive knowledge on the auto parts industry.