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Ford Pushing the Upgrade Advantage

This is proof that even in a down economy, if you've got a hot product it will sell. In this case it's Ford raking in greater profit per vehicle thanks to a line-up that is spot on with buyers and the company's vision when it comes to in-car technology. While the company is not saying what its current profit per vehicle is in 2010, the latest comments from Ford execs make it clear the profit train is still going strong.

The new 2011 Ford Explorer SUV touts a sleek newly designed look that the company hopes will attract new buyers to the venerable SUV line.
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The new 2011 Ford Explorer SUV touts a sleek newly designed look that the company hopes will attract new buyers to the venerable SUV line.

Yesterday Derrick Kuzak told reporters Ford had increased its revenue per vehicles by $3,300 to an average of $26,100 last year.

Not a bad improvement given industry sales plunged like a rock last year and many people put off buying a new car or truck.

But those who did buy are not skimping.

As we've reported about in the past, buyers may be lowering the price point of the car they want to buy, but once they pick it out, they are paying up forhigher trim levels and the latest tech packages. At Ford, that means its extremely successful Sync system is still connecting with buyers.

The value of this trend isn't just to Ford's bottom line, it also helps the resale value of the cars it's selling. That in turn makes new models more attractive to potential customers who will spend more knowing they'll get more back down the road. It's the profitable upgrade cycle CEO Alan Mulally has been pushing/preaching since he joined Ford in 2006.

Next week Ford will release its third quarter earnings. While the number is not expected to be the blockbuster we saw earlier this year, it will likely be another very strong quarter. That happens when you have buyers tacking another $1,500 to $2,500 onto every car, truck or SUV being sold.

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