(autoinsidernews) - Ford's upcoming 2007 Edge crossover is creating a huge buzz for the automaker. Despite not hitting dealer showrooms until next month, Ford says it already has 20,000 dealer orders. Crossovers are the auto industry's newest phenomenon, and automakers are expecting crossover sales to pass SUVs this year. And Ford is counting on the Edge to give the automaker a bigger slice of the segement.
We're off to a great start, said John Felice, general marketing manager for the Ford brand. So far, all of the results exceed our expectations.
However Christopher Cedergren, an analyst with Iceology, a Los Angeles research firm, cautioned that the early online buzz won't necessarily translate into sales. Those numbers don't jump out as extraordinary, but it is a very attractive vehicle and has the potential to do well, he said. The problem, however, is there are too many brands, too many products chasing too few customers.
Ford said the Automotive Lease Guide, which sets the residual values, has given the Edge the highest rating in its segment, with an all-wheel drive Edge SEL offering
a three year residual value of 51 percent. And retaining more value longer, means lower lease payments and better resale value, which, for obvious reasons, is important to consumers, reports Trend.
While Ford spokeswoman Lydia Cisaurk admits it's difficult to predict the long-term success of the Edge, the automaker is encouraged by the early interest and is optimistic.
Cisco Codina, Ford's top sales executive, had said that the Edge was the single most important launch for the company this year.
And Cedergren agreed with Ford, The way to steal customers from the Asian automakers is to build a vehicle that strikes an emotional chord with consumers. The Edge certainly does that.