THE TALON

Ford Motor Company Will Stop Selling Small Cars in the US

Trucks and SUVs will headline their future lineup

The+new+Ford+Fusion%2C+one+of+the+cars+being+phased+out.+
The new Ford Fusion, one of the cars being phased out.

The new Ford Fusion, one of the cars being phased out.

The new Ford Fusion, one of the cars being phased out.

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The major American auto brand Ford Motor Company announced last month that it would be discontinuing its entire lineup of small cars and sedans in the United States, with the exceptions of their performance models of the Mustang and Focus. This represents a growing shift in American car-buying ideology from the small, economical car to the the larger crossovers and SUVs. Their reasoning for this major shakeup is simple: SUVs sell, smaller cars and sedans just sit on the lot. With gas prices staying relatively low, and larger SUVs becoming more and more fuel efficient, this makes sense in a financial sense. But will it change the identity of the company?

One of Ford’s most iconic vehicles, behind just the Mustang and the F-150, is its Crown Victoria. It dominated police, taxi, and limo fleets around the turn of the millenium, as well as family driveways during this time. It was a practical, large, comfortable sedan that seemed, a decade ago, to have no ceiling when it comes to demand or practicality. Yet, Ford discontinued this car in 2011. Now, go to New York City and the taxi fleets are made up of Toyota hybrids, minivans, and SUVs. Go to any car dealership and front and center will no longer be the massive flagship sedan, but the midsize crossover that gets 24 miles per gallon.

The reality is, and statistics prove, that Americans simply want bigger cars.”

The reality is, and statistics prove, that Americans simply want bigger cars. They want to carry more cargo, more people, and go farther on a tank of gas. Many new car buyers have found that the ease of ingress and egress for SUVs when compared to sedans has them wondering why sedans were ever popular in the first place. Finally, the taller ride height of SUVs allow drivers to see more of the road in a way that feels safer and more dominant when compared to low driving sedans.

Some argue that this change is not focused on consumer demand at all, but instead a way for Ford to get through Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The argument is that Ford heavily marketed its SUVs, trucks, and crossovers, while neglecting its newest car models. There is also evidence to show that Ford used better build quality and materials on its larger cars to make them more desirable than the smaller cars. The benefit to Ford is that they do not have to worry about government regulations or taxes when it comes to fuel mileage of larger crossovers and SUVs compared to the strict regulations in place for smaller cars. This, along with relatively low gas prices allows Ford to produce more popular, less fuel efficient cars that cost the company less to produce.

Whatever the true reason behind the change by Ford, it is a monumental shift in car culture in the United States by one of its most iconic brands.

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