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Ford’s Shifting Gears, But Not In The Right Direction

I have committed myself to being a Ford fan for most-to-all of my driving career. My “attainable dream car” when I was younger was the Focus ST. After a few years of abusing my 2000 Pontiac Sunfire (which literally everyone seemed to own at one point in North America) I made that dream a reality. 

A used 2013 in Spirit Blue with matte black racing stripes, 18,000 kilometers with an aftermarket Injen cold air intake. For less than 30 grand, I was able to acquire my “attainable dream car” with 250HP and a manual transmission. For a 20 year old, you couldn’t ask for much more. It was never winter driven and kept on a hoist in a heated garage. It’s been 5 years of daily driving my Focus ST and honestly, I have nothing bad to say about it. Obviously my opinion is incredibly biased, but it’s honestly never caused me any grief. 

Recently, Ford announced that they will be cutting production of all cars in North America. Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the call but no amount of whinging will pull Ford away from their tenacious appetite for more SUV’s.

The next logical move for Ford was to create a “performance SUV” because that’s the world we live in now. The Edge ST was born and disappointment ensued. It was basically a re-branded Edge Sport from the previous year with an updated look. With Ford’s 2.7L Twin Turbo 6, the Edge ST puts down 335hp and 380lb ft of torque. They’ve made it sound a little more throaty and the suspension is a bit stiffer but it still handles like an SUV.

It’s not bad for a midsize SUV, but there lies the problem. 

It’s an SUV. 

If you’re young and looking for a fun, affordable car, the Focus ST was in a small category of perfect enthusiast cars. Fiesta ST (arguably one of the best hot hatches ever made), Civic Si, Golf GTI, Impreza WRX, Veloster Turbo. All these are part of a family that inspired a generation to think outside the box and modify their cars. All of the aforementioned cost less than 40K to boot.

I understand that the Explorer and Edge ST are not targeting younger generations looking for a fun, affordable car. That’s not at all what they are. At a sticker price of 58K+, no adolescent will put that kind of money down on an “sporty SUV”. As far as I’m concerned, the ST name was synonymous with affordable and fun. Not anymore, I guess.

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  1. So they are making a mistake because you don’t like the direction they are moving? Who do you think Ford making more money from, adolescents looking for a fun car or middle-aged affluent buyers looking to upgrade to the latest model every 2-3 years? Business is business, don’t get emotional about it because the corporations sure don’t.

  2. You can argue whether they are making a mistake or not by cutting car production in favor of SUVs and crossovers. However, if the public won’t buy cars in numbers that can make production profitable, they will not make them. And the public, at least in north america love SUVS and crossovers more than anything else by a long shot.

  3. Ford is keeping the Mustang and launching a Focus crossover.(Made in China? On the President’s tariff list?)
    But, they currently make more selling trucks and SUV’s. I guess the question is did the current SUV buyer start out buying Escorts or Focuses from Ford? Will their customer base die out in the long run? Or are they expecting to transition to self driving cars at a time when the driving enthusiast is no longer a factor.

    1. @Chuck, the Focus Active (the Focus crossover you mention) has been killed, now, too…

      If you want a car, Mustang will soon be your only option in North America…

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