Blog: Dave LeggettFord at Traverse City; Davos for autos

Dave Leggett | 14 August 2008

I often wonder whether going to Traverse City in August would be a worthwhile use of my time. There are certainly some grand fromages circulating there and it is reputedly a good event for networking at. Maybe next year. Does much hard news come out of it? No, not generally, but some use it as a convenient platform to speak to the industry about corporate direction. One such this year was Ford's Mark Fields who spoke about Ford's strategy to shift into small cars in North America.

I reckon the Focus-sized C-car platform is indeed the right one to concentrate on for NA. Sure, there will be an increase in sales of Fiesta-sized cars in the US but the US is not going to transmogrify (I could use the word morph but I haven't used that particular word for some time and I am rather fond of it) into a European segmented market. For all sorts of reasons that I don't have time to list here, the US light vehicle market is changing and changing fast, but it will remain different from Europe's in terms of segmentation. US consumers' needs and circs are different to those of European consumers.

US: Ford outlines NA small car strategy

And here's an interesting link to something written by a friend who attended one of the sessions. The final para very succintly lays it on the line for Detroit - OEMs and suppliers. And if you are unaware of the wonderfully named 'Rocky Mountain Institute' and the Hypercar, read on...

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