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Rise of the Small Car

Posted by: Alex Navrotski

Ford Sales Analysis Communications Manager George Pipas proclaimed the rise of the small car today at the Midwest Automotive Media Association November luncheon. Since his 2003 assertion that "The best days for traditional SUVs are behind us," Pipas has seen the popularity of cars and car-based crossovers skyrocket; 73% of new cars purchased fall into the category, while trucks, vans and SUVs have dwindled to only 27%.

Pipas thinks that small vehicles are the next big thing, and expects them to dominate the U.S. market by 2013. He downplayed the role of gas prices in the predicion, suggesting instead that the Millenial generation prefers the smaller vehicles (80% of Millenial first time car buyers went small), and that Baby Boomers with now empty nests will scale down their auto purchases.

Unfortunately, Ford is sorely lacking in small cars. Ford has only one small car model compared to Toyota's six, and accounts for only 7% of the small car segment to Toyota's 25%. According to Pipas, Ford plans to up their B and C cars globally, moving 2 million units of 10 models from their new C platform, and 1 million from a new B platform.

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