Young buyers hungry for new technology and strong fuel economy are driving higher retail sales of the new 2008 Ford Focus.
retail sales have been up year-over-year for the past three months –
and February retail sales also are tracking above year-ago levels. The
small car’s sales were up 18 percent in November – the car’s first full
month on the market – followed by a 9 percent increase in December and
33 percent in January.
“Younger buyers are very
interested in technology like SYNC. In addition to strong sales, we’re
seeing the average age of Focus customers coming down,” said Samuel De
La Garza, Ford’s Focus Marketing manager. “These customers also seek
style, fuel economy and a high level of quality, reliability and
feature content – all of which Focus delivers in spades.”
Power sales data show that 32 percent of 2008 Focus year buyers are 16
to 35 years old. That’s up from 28 percent of 2007 Focus buyers.
you think about the significant small cars that have come into the
market during the past few months alone, a 4 percentage point jump is
meaningful,” said Ford Sales Analyst George Pipas. “This increase
suggests that younger buyers are starting to believe that it’s cool to
buy a Ford.”
Helping drive the trend: More Millennials who are
becoming drivers – and vehicle buyers. Born between 1980 and 1995,
approximately 70 million Millennials live in the U.S. Each day, more
than 11,000 of these savvy consumers reach driving age, looking for
stylish, fuel-efficient vehicles that feature the latest technology.
is ready with a mix of accessible vehicles – including Focus – that
feature industry-leading connectivity technology, improved fuel
economy, an array of safety features and creature comforts such as
Customers are noticing, De La Garza said.
only are Focus customers getting younger on average, they’re also
buying more feature content than they were even a year ago,” he said.
continues to be a customer favorite. Nearly 40 percent of 2008 Focus
units sold since introduction have been equipped with SYNC.
SYNC-equipped Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles sell nearly twice as
fast as those without.
This industry-first technology offers
unprecedented levels of connection, control, simplicity and
personalization for electronic devices. A microphone inside the cabin
allows consumers to use their mobile phones hands-free while operating
a vehicle. SYNC is also the only automotive application that offers
full hands-free, voice-activated command and control over portable
media players and USB storage devices.
capability allows consumers to access the songs, artists, genres,
albums, play lists and more through voice commands. Powered by
Microsoft and launched in the fall of 2007, the award-winning system is
available in 12 vehicles from Ford, Lincoln and Mercury.
good news, especially considering a study by the Consumer Electronics
Association that shows consumers increasingly want information and
entertainment devices to function inside vehicles; approximately
one-fourth of the driving-age population plans to purchase these types
of products this year.
In addition to SYNC, Ford’s
color-configurable interior ambient lighting system also appears to be
a hit with Focus buyers.
This mood-setting feature allows
customers to change the light color inside the cup holders and in the
front and rear foot wells. Vehicle occupants can choose from seven
different colors – red, orange, blue, indigo, violet, green and yellow
– simply by cycling through a dash-mounted switch.
today are smart,” De La Garza said. “They want – and deserve – cars
like Focus that are fun to drive and offer great features that leave a
smile on their faces, even long after they’re finished with their daily