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Ford's "Youth" Movement: Will It Get Younger Buyers To Buy?

Tuesday, 22 Jan 2008 | 9:03 AM ET
Ford
CNBC.com
Ford

Give the guys at the blue oval credit. Their new model and new technology push is getting the attention of younger buyers. I'm not ready to say Ford's line-up is packed with models the youngsters want, but there's definitely momentum building.

The latest survey of 4th quarter showroom traffic by CNW marketing shows almost every Ford car and truck line (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury) showed a lower age for those visiting the showroom. Only Ford truck's average shopper age was up, rising to 46.7 years. That's the good news for Ford. The bad news: The average age of those shopping Ford company vehicles (54.3 years) was older than GM ,Chrysler, Toyota , Honda ,Nissan.

But the fact Ford is bringing in younger shoppers validates that newer models like the Edge and Fusion are working. Also, the Sync (Microsoft ) technology which allows hands communication is a Ford exclusive getting attention. I expect Travel-link by Sirius Satellite Radio is another tech feature coming to Ford vehicles later this year that will attract buyers.

Don't get me wrong. I think Ford has a long ways to go, and too many holes and weak offerings (Taurus) that need work.

But give CEO Alan Mulally and his team credit for pushing the type of mass market technology in newer models that is at least getting younger buyers to visit a Ford showroom.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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  • Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based in the Chicago bureau and editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.

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