Hoping to breathe some life into struggling sales, Ford is planning on a global small-car program. Ford believes this will revive the company by reducing product development investment and increase sales by targeting 20-something year old women with stylish handbags. J Mays, Ford’s design chief, believes that while producing the new small sub-Focus global car, Ford should considerfashion’s influence on car design.
“Although a handbag is an incredibly small thing, they (20-something year old women) are willing to shell out the bucks because it’s part of the way they see that they can be stylish,” Mays told Automotive News.
Mays wants Ford’s “B-Cars” (another term for small-cars) not to be seen as cheep and cheerful, but rather he wants them seen as automotive equivalent of stylish handbags. For example, making the Ford Ka (pictured above) as appealing as a Prada handbag putting it up to par with BMW’s MINI or the SmartCar ForTwo. Ford even has a hypothetical target customer named Antonella (no not the American Idol hottie), who is between the ages of 25-30 and lives with her Parents in Italy.
When the B-Car makes its initial debut, the design will provide an outlook of Ford’s worldwide design direction. Having major inlfuence from their European designers, the B-Car will be stylish and affordable with smart use of colors and materials, such as an iPod-white interior trim.
Not only that, Ford will make the B-Car more appealing to each regions taste. For example, as handbag designers customize the design, color and materials to fit respective local tastes, Europe will get a hatchback while the United States and China get sedans. Each region will also get customized mechanical elements to meed local needs.
Our suggestion to Ford: Base the B-car on your very own Volvo C30 hatchback, cut down the aggressive styling, don’t worry about power, don’t base it on the Ford Ka (pictured above), use Kylie Minogue to market the car, offer a bunch of colors and variants, make it more affordable, emphasize safety and make it more appealing to women.
[tags]Cars, Car, Auto, Automobile, Vehicles, Technology, Auto News, News, Ford[/tags]