Ford Motor Co.'s sales and marketing chief said that since there are more options among brands that have more or less the same quality, the new-car buyers in the U.S. have become more demanding.
Jim Farley, global marketing and sales chief for Ford, said that the customers changed at the same time as the automakers moved to recreate themselves as a result of the economic crisis that pulled down U.S. sales by over 35% from 2007 to 2009.
At the 2011 Management Briefing Seminars, Farley told reporters that consumers have better credit and are richer so they can easily afford to pay higher for vehicles that have been fitted with the latest technological advances. Farley believes that “a new era” has been entered in the U.S. Farley explained that the products are “really competing on equal ground.”
He explained that the Detroit automakers had already lost their dominance even before the 2008-2009 auto industry crisis but the market has changed after the crisis as the strength of brands like Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors has risen.
In addition, Farley said that those who are looking to buy a car now are those who have the highest income and so they will be on the watch for the newest product.
July 2011 sales of Ford were higher by 9% compared to July 2010. Farley said that customers are presented with so many choices, partly because of the improvement in quality and the increase in sales of the Detroit 3.