Ford readies anti-minivan for the under-30 set
Minivan sales have slowed due to a social view that it signals the driver has lost his or her individuality after becoming a parent, analysts and executives say. This distaste is acute among the younger generation known as the Millenials.
It's not the growth opportunity it once was, said Ford marketing manager Tim Stoehr. The current minivan formula has not evolved to match customers' changing needs.
Companies have tried to upend this image through styling and marketing. The dominant player in the minivan market, Chrysler Group LLC, launched a sportier version of its Dodge Caravan last year dubbed the man van that featured an all-black interior, wider tires and a stiffer suspension. Caravan sales were up 28 percent through October.
In 2010, Toyota launched a popular ad campaign for its Sienna centered around a rapping couple running errands in the suburbs in their swagger wagon. Sienna sales are up 3 percent this year.
But the minivans on the market do not offer what customers want in terms of price of fuel economy, Thai-Tang said.
Toyota, Honda and other minivan manufacturers have left today's customers behind with inefficient people movers that are too large and too expensive, he said.
The 2013 Sienna starts around $26,400 while the Odyssey starts around $28,500. Ford did not provide the Transit Connect's price, but said it will cost thousands less than the Toyota and Honda minivans.
Ford expects the Transit Connect will get 30 mpg on the highway. It has more than 100 cubic feet of cargo space and will
Be the first to comment.