The year was 1986 and the Ford Motor Company was in bad shape. Consumers were just not warming up to the LTD sedan and Ford needed something new. The Taurus was a revolutionary car that showed off how car American design could go. Buyers scooped the Taurus up for the next 34 years. Sadly, Ford is exiting the passenger car market this year and this is a big mistake. There is still a market for sedans and Ford is going to lose out tremendously.
The company’s Japanese competitors already have a stronghold on the market and once Ford exits it, it will be hard to build back consumer confidence. Exiting the sedan market could end up costing Ford a large amount of money.
Ford unveiled the Mach-E a few weeks ago and the vehicle is a unique piece of engineering. The problem is that it borrows its name from a historic nameplate that doesn’t need to be an SUV. Ford is trying to reinvent the wheel and the Mach-E should have a different name. The Mustang is a historic pony car and it has been for over 50 years. With that being said, the car doesn’t need to be something that it’s not. Ford is directing all of their energy into the crossover market.
But at this point does that mean getting rid of historic nameplates? The Mach-E should have been named something else and the Mustang should be left alone. The Mustang is one of the most storied nameplates in automotive history.
When the infamous original Raptor hit the market, it boasted a 6.0L V8 engine. This was a hefty powerplant that gave the Raptor some serious power. Ford, on the other hand, has been focusing on green trends as of late and the Raptor was relegated to a turbocharged V6 engine. Raptor aficionados who want to have V8 power have to go for the Hennesey aftermarket version. Ford should offer some type of V8 power on the current generation Raptor. This would be a stellar powerplant that a good portion of buyers would opt for.
When you are paying upwards of 70k for a new pickup truck, you want to have the option for a V8. There’s nothing wrong with the turbocharged V6, but for some buyers, the V8 is the preferable engine to have.
Believe it or not, there was a time when automakers would sell you a fully-loaded single cab truck. Why the market deviated from this is a mystery. But there is still a portion of buyers who want a single cab truck. Think about it, a Raptor single cab would be an awesome truck to own. The short wheelbase would make the truck very similar to the Lightning. Ford has offered single cab performance trucks before and the Raptor single cab would be it. The Raptor brand has become synonymous with off-roading, not to mention the fact that the truck is selling like hotcakes.
There has been the talk among the big three automakers in the last few years about bringing single cab trucks back. There is a strong consumer appetite for a single cab truck that has some nice features in it.
Ford’s exit out of the passenger car market hasn’t sat well with some loyalists. The Focus ST was a hot hatch that was fun to drive. Ford built on some of its European roots and you got a good driving car for a fraction of the price. The Focus ST was a winning combination of speed and agility which you don’t see often in domestic compacts. Ford has debated bringing the Focus back as a crossover, which is what Mitsubishi did with the Eclipse. But this is probably not something that consumers will vibe with.
The Focus ST was a well-rounded and affordable sports car. We have to wonder how long Ford will realize that exiting the passenger car market was a mistake. After all, the blue oval started out making passenger cars.
Ford has the Raptor and the Harley Davidson edition. But both of these trucks have a specific consumer base. The Raptor is more of an off-road truck then a performance truck, and the Harley Davidson edition is more for collectors who have a love for Harley Davidsons as well. The F-150 Lightning was a fixture of truck performance. The Lightning dominated the NASCAR circuit in terms of branding and the truck was popular with enthusiasts. Ford would do their customer base well by bringing the Lightning back. A modern Ford Lightning would even give pony cars a run for their money.
The Lightning pickup truck was perhaps one of the most iconic performance cars of the 90s. A modern-day Lightning would be a popular choice for many automotive enthusiasts.
During the 90s, the Ford Explorer was one of the most popular mid-size SUV models to feature a V8 engine. Nowadays, the vehicle relies on a turbocharged EcoBoost powerplant. But the V8 powerplant would be a popular choice for many consumers. There are distinct advantages to the V8 engine that can benefit the SUV. A V8 powerplant in the Explorer would help the SUV to compete with the likes of the Tahoe and the Yukon, both of which still offer a V8 engine. There are distinct advantages to a V8 engine. Ford could make the Explorer more appealing.
While it might not be feasible for the companies current focus, a V8 powerplant would be a great option for the Ford Explorer that would entice future buyers.
Although the Ranger is new for the American market the actual model has been around in Europe for years. The interior looks like something out of a Ford Fusion or Taurus. The basic overall styling has grown old. But Ford is taking a gamble bringing the Ranger back into the market so this is a more cost-effective way. The Ranger is still more refined than the previous model, but there’s a lot that could be made better.
Ford simply imported an existing model and added some trim levels to it that would appeal to domestic buyers. The Ranger deserves a lot better than this, especially with competition on the horizon from the Ram brand.
Ride in a base-level Ford vehicle and you are bound to see an analog display, something that has not been seen in cars for years now. The antique infotainment centers are relegated to the lower trim levels. This is something that Ford needs to change because the competition is becoming fierce. Most basic cars are offering notable features such as a touch-screen display and a back-up camera. The base-level Ford cars are going to need to start becoming better equipped if the company hopes to make it.
There is already a big risk leaving the passenger car market, and features are another big selling point.
There is no single cab model that you can get on the Ranger, and the regular cab model of the F-150 is limited to a work-truck configuration. With that being said, many buyers need some sort of an interior to work with. The current car is cramped in-terms of space, and this causes an issue in the long run. While Ford claims that the Supercab models are more than roomy enough inside, space is limited. The Supercab configuration could use a bit of tweaking to offer a comparable amount of space to the GM and Ram models.
Ford just has to get back to basics and start offering a competitive Supercab model. This will make sense for the driver and passengers.
Ford used to allow buyers to select from a wide range of powertrains on their vehicles. Nowadays, things have slimmed down. Ford is trying to get more out of four-cylinder engines than ever before. But this is limiting the average truck buyer who might need a more powerful option. The automaker claims that the turbocharged varients of its smaller engines are fine enough. Ford needs to offer more powertrain options to compete at a higher level.
Even in today’s day and age, not every pickup truck buyer is going to want to spring for a V6 or a four-cylinder engine.
In addition to talk of the big Bronco’s return, there has also been talking that Ford will try to resurrect the Bronco II. This would be a mistake because the market is already too flooded. The Bronco II wouldn’t bring anything unique to the table. The big Bronco is already going to fill a void that was left by the FJ Cruiser in the market, whereas the Bronco II would just be another crossover offering in a sea of flooded offerings. Crossovers are becoming so popular that every automaker wants to jump in, but the market is becoming saturated.
The Bronco II is going to be a mistake, so the company should just focus on the larger Bronco offering that’s coming out.
The biggest mistake that Ford is on the verge of making is electrifying the F-150. The trademark truck of the brand just isn’t ready for an all-electric offering. Think about the prior Silverado hybrid. It was a sad offering, to say the least. The electric F-150 will be the unpopular version of the Cybertruck. F-150 buyers are not interested in saving money on fuel, the majority of these truck buyers are using these trucks for heavy work. Ford needs to go back to the drawing board and make the F-150 a more comprehensive truck instead of copying new fads.
The electric F-150 isn’t going to be a popular option for several reasons, and this is something Ford should avoid.
The EPA (CAFE) standards have made it so automakers can actually make bigger cars more efficient, or so they say. This is the real reason that vehicles are getting bigger, and sedans are being phased out. In reality, Ford found this same loophole during the 90s when it marketed the original Ford Explorer. It would appear that the domestic automakers didn’t learn anything from the economic collapse of 2008. This was during a time when the SUV boom was happening the first time, and as soon as gas prices shot up, no one could afford them.
Ford is making a mistake by exploiting this loophole just to sell vehicles that have a bigger profit margin. Ford needs to work on building unique cars and trucks that people want.
The Ford Fiesta has been a decent-selling small car for the company. It offers a level of refinement and quality for the price. But Ford has lumped the Fiesta in with the rest of their vehicle lineup. The Fiesta will be going away after this year and Ford will have no compact cars on the market. In terms of affordability, the Fiesta is something that most first time drivers and budget-minded drivers can afford. The consumer appetite for compact fun to drive cars hasn’t deteriorated any. Ford is going to miss out on a lot of consumer market share by phasing the Fiesta out.
The Fiesta is also sold internationally and the car has proved to be very popular abroad. Ford is going to lose a good deal of loyal customers by exiting the compact car market.