The Ford Taurus is one of the most successful small cars in America. It has an attractive styling, comfortable ride and high quality performance. Since it is a family car, it was given an automatic transmission. The Ford Taurus holds four doors and starts at about 1.5 million dollars. Today, we will discuss some details on the Ford Taurus that helps us understand its design roots and how it evolved over time.
The Ford Motor Company made the proposal to all of its 62 dealers – including minorities owned and operated – in April. At that time, it had just completed building the Focus. Ford had just 2,787 independent dealerships on that date, according to the Automotive News dealer census. This represents a significant percentage drop from the number of Ford motor company dealers at that point in time.
The decision to phase out the Focus resulted in a significant reduction in overall inventories. This was a very positive step forward in the company’s plans, especially given that the Focus was a hit with both young and old automotive customers. Many older consumers were unhappy with the lack of power and performance in the redesigned Focus. The addition of dealerships helped with these concerns and it appears that Ford was aware of this when it announced its second phase of dealership development program.
So, how did this announcement affect the Ford Taurus dealer development program? In many ways, it is important to consider the way such decisions affect dealer goodwill. Even if a manufacturer decides to phase out a popular model, it can have a significant negative impact on overall sales. If a new model is successful, it can lead to double digit increases in total sales. For example, Toyota’s (TM) new RC-developed Prius is expected to increase more than fifteen percent over its existing sixth month sales.
When analyzing the impact of Ford’s decision to phase out Focus, it is also important to consider how many dealers will be impacted. Only 15 percent of all U.S. dealership owned vehicles are Ford. It is interesting to note that only five percent of all Ford dealership locations were affected by the automaker’s decision to discontinue the Focus. In contrast, close to half of all Toyota dealers are selling the Prius this year. It is not uncommon to find a Ford dealership in a high traffic, high value, car market such as an urban area. The high-end clientele that typically goes to a Toyota or Lexus dealership will continue to buy a hybrid or new-vehicle each year regardless of what Ford does.
Another interesting way to look at the impact of Ford’s decision is to consider how many people are buying cars in the spring and fall before they break down. If you add up all of the vehicle sales for the four calendar years and divide it by the number of vehicles on the lot and then add the yearly new car production, you quickly come to a number: close to one million vehicles. Ford made approximately three million changes to their lineup between January 2021 and February 2021. If every one of those people stopped buying cars and bought a hybrid, the annual dealership census would be nearly double today’s figure.
Women have historically been underrepresented in all facets of American business. They make up about half of all American car salespeople but only thirty-two percent of all dealers. This has led some researchers to believe that the historical gender disparity in auto sales may have something to do with the large number of female-owned and -operated dealerships in the country. While women are more likely to own a car now than in previous decades, they are far from equal in negotiating special financing options, purchasing power, and driving experience.
If the dealership census proves to be anything to go by, however, the future of import-badged vehicles could be bleak. While consumers continue to buy such exotic automobiles as Jaguar and Porsche, there may be fewer of them left if General Motors decides to pull the plug on its division. The dealership count of these exclusive brands may drop below twenty-five percent, if everything goes according to plan.