Ford Sees Effects of Buyer Shift Preferences

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Bloomberg News - November 15, 2012

Ford Motor Co. says its record profit mar­gins are shrink­ing in North Amer­ica as buy­ers down­size from trucks to small cars.

What does this buyer shift mean for dealers?

“We con­tinue to see con­sumers trad­ing down to smaller vehi­cles,” Mark Fields, Ford’s pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­cas, said yes­ter­day at the Bar­clays Cap­i­tal 2012 Global Auto­mo­tive Con­fer­ence in New York. “Less trucks, more small cars and those vehi­cles have smaller margins.”

The shift will reduce Ford’s North Amer­i­can mar­gins to 8 per­cent — 10 per­cent over time, down from 12 per­cent in the third quar­ter, Fields said. Ford’s mar­gins have risen as it rolled out new mod­els such as the 2013 Escape SUV, which is com­mand­ing $4,200 more per vehi­cle than the old model, Fields said. The redesigned 2013 Fusion is sell­ing on aver­age for $3,700 more than the 2012 model, he said.

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