Ford has been experiencing a decline in minivan sales over the past couple years and has now unveiled a new “people mover” vehicle which they hope will revitalize their auto sales. From what I’m seeing, Ford just doesn’t get it! Mini vans are as popular as ever, even considering the competition from SUVs. People are not buying Ford mini vans simply because they are inferior to the minivans produced by Ford’s competitors.
Repackaging a product, even for the auto industry, isn’t a new idea. Station wagons have recently become a hot item once again but are now called SUCs (sport utility cars). The Dodge Magnum, in particular, is being targeted toward a male demographic rather than being called a family vehicle. This is an example of successful repackage of an old item. The new “people mover”, aside from having a really bad “title”, looks like an over sized station wagon from the early 70’s. With only six seats I don’t quite see how this repackaging is going to win Ford any new customers.
Most minivans seat seven, if not eight. Same for the SUV. If families want something that moves people, the minivan or SUV is still the vehicle to get. There is no need for a repackaging the minivan as a people mover, Ford simply needs to build a better product. But these are desperate times for Ford, and desperate times call for desperate measures, regardless of how ill conceived they may be.