Ford gets new and younger buyers thanks to the new Focus ST

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 12, 2013

As the Ford ST performance brand and the Focus ST are about to celebrate one year since their launch, it becomes apparent that Focus ST has been successful at attracting wealthier, younger customers into Ford showrooms. Since the launch through October, Ford has sold just under 12,000 units of the Focus ST in the U.S.

The states with the highest demand are Detroit, Los Angeles, Houston and Orlando. Of these customers, about 65% traded in a non-Ford vehicle to purchase their car.

This is the highest percentage of conquest sales for a non-hybrid vehicle compared to all other Ford cars and trucks. The brands that were most traded are Honda, Chevrolet, Mazda and Toyota. It’s also notable that 32% of Focus ST buyers are under 35 years old, compared with 22% of non-ST Focus owners.

Those who bought ST unit also have higher incomes, with an average annual salary of $127,000. Meanwhile, non-ST Focus customers earn an average of $67,000.

John Felice, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, said that dealers have told him that the Focus ST helps to drive up sales of other Ford models since they attract customers to enter showrooms. Often, they buy a different Ford model such as Fusion sedan or Escape utility.

Felice said that it has achieved the type of halo effect they hoped for upon investing in the ST brand. He cited that “terrific reviews” and word-of-mouth linked to the affordable top-performing vehicle have helped reel in customers. Recently, Ford launched the Fiesta ST -- the second vehicle from ST. It is equipped with a 197-horsepower 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and EPA-estimated highway mileage rating of 35 mpg.

This means that Fiesta ST doesn’t really have any direct competition in its price range. Focus ST, Ford’s first global performance car, combines sophisticated and sport-oriented technologies that had not been available for customers in North America. This sport compact has a refined but high-performance reputation that reinforces its image as the most complete compact car range offered in North America.

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