Why Ford is looking at writing epitaph of sedans, focusing on rise of SUVs

Ford recognizes the growing demand for bigger vehicles and says it is only natural for it to focus on where the interest is at.Americans are largely preferring larger vehicles with a greater road presence.
By : HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 12 Oct 2020, 03:57 PM
2020 Ford Explorer cars are seen at Ford's Chicago assembly plant. (File photo) (REUTERS)
2020 Ford Explorer cars are seen at Ford's Chicago assembly plant. (File photo) (REUTERS)
2020 Ford Explorer cars are seen at Ford's Chicago assembly plant. (File photo) (REUTERS)
2020 Ford Explorer cars are seen at Ford's Chicago assembly plant. (File photo)

In the sedans vs SUVs war, Ford appears to have clearly chosen sides in favour of the bigger and more dominant segment and the major reason for it could be the demand for the larger vehicles in its home market of United States. The demand for SUVs in several markets, especially in the US, has seen a significant rise in recent times and this means that the product lineup from the American car maker now is mostly all about such SUVs and pickups.

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In an interview to Ford Authority, Kumar Galhotra, President of Ford North American and VP of Ford Motor Company, said that the reason for the focus on SUVs instead of sedans is how the latter has been performing in the market overall. "The key here is, not just for us, the sedan segment itself has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline has been accelerating over the last few years," he reportedly said. The question then became, in that environment, of a finite amount of capital, where do we want to invest that capital? Do we want to invest it in a declining segment or do we want to invest it in a growing segment?"

(Also read: Ford sales top expectations in US as industry-wide deliveries surge)

Mustang and Ford GT are among the minuscule few offerings in the declining sedan segment even as the company doubles down its bet on new products like Bronco, Bronco Sport and Mustant Mach-E.

SUVs and pickups are where Ford's core strength are at while the likes of Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra and Sonata and Toyota Camry have dominated the sedan space. But that space is shrinking and it, perhaps, only makes sense for Ford to compete where it really can. A company official was recently quoted by The Detroit News as saying that the idea is to drive in affordable crossovers or SUVs, or both.

And Ford is hardly alone with this idea of betting big on bigger vehicles. Honda recently did a U-turn in order to give impetus to its truck and SUV offerings. Known for its efficient sedans with strong drive characteristics, the Japanese car company now seems to recognize that its products like the Ridgeline pickup have more of a fighting chance. That Americans are betting big on big vehicles with muscular styling and beefed-up suspension also means that several other OEMs are looking at swaying to the beats of the market demand.

First Published Date: 12 Oct 2020, 09:47 AM IST
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