(autoinsidernews) - Ford, which rode booming SUV sales to great success in the 1990s, only to be hit hard by the backlash against those vehicles, now is expecting Americans to downsize their car purchases for years to come. The automaker is now betting on crossover utility vehicles, like the all-new Ford Edge, and small cars.
We expect it to reach at least 3 million [industrywide sales] by the end of the decade and I think it will have long legs, Ford's sales analyst George Pipas said. If CUVs do become the dominant category by the end of the decade, small cars will not be far behind.
Ford executives have high hopes for the Edge calling it Ford's most important product launch of the year. Ford has not released sales targets from the Edge and its Lincoln MKX sibling, but the automaker is expecting the vehicles to drive showroom traffic, reports Trend. While the Edge and MKX arrive in November, Ford will not have a subcompact car ready for the U.S. market until 2009 at the earliest. Ford scrapped earlier proposed designs as too derivative.
He wants a car in that segment, Pipas said of Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas. I think we could have done it quicker but he wants a car that is uniquely Ford.