Wall St Journal - May 1, 2007
..Sales of Ford cars and light trucks...fell by 8% last year and are
down by 15% for the first three months of this year. Ford brand sales
in 2006 were one million vehicles behind the brand's sales in 2000.
..Chicago-area resident Scott Young, who had been a loyal Ford
customer for more than 30 years, says he has been turned off by bad
experiences at dealers and quality problems he has had with Ford
vehicles. He says he will likely buy a Honda the next time he shops for
a vehicle. "I don't know what they could do to get me to change my
mind," Mr. Young said.
Barry Engle, Ford's North American marketing chief, says, "I want it to
be cool to buy a Ford again."
Engle's latest hook is a new ad campaign that kicks off today for
Ford's the F-150 pickup truck http://doiop.com/Ford_F150 - its best-
selling model and one of its most profitable. One of the new
commercials talks about safety and the F-150's five-star crash-test
rating, which takes a jab at the four-star rating of the Toyota Tundra
http://doiop.com/Toyota_Tundra - The ad doesn't specifically name
Toyota, but a Ford engineer in the ad says "some of the others didn't
do as well."
..Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Bill Kwong said the company is still
studying the four-star rating because internal tests showed that the
Tundra deserved five stars.
Sales for the F-series this year are down 14% through March, but [lead]
the new Chevrolet Silverado http://doiop.com/Silverado by about 20,000
vehicle sales, Autodata Corp. says. The F-Series has a significant lead
over the Tundra, which Toyota redesigned to be more competitive against
the pickups of the Big Three. But Toyota is pushing to more than double
sales in the segment.
The new F-150 ad illustrates the more aggressive "Us versus Brand X"
style that Mr. Engle is pushing at Ford...
=========Ford F-150: http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/index.asp
Toyota Tundra: http://www.toyota.com/tundra/index.html
Chevrolet Silverado: http://www.chevrolet.com/silverado /