Interesting Insights: Ford To Make Allowances To Satisfy Regional Tastes

For ages, automotive enthusiasts in the U.S. have been clamoring to get their hands on European-market Ford vehicles such as the Focus (RS!), Mondeo, and Transit. Fortunately, Ford has implemented the now-notorious strategy that unifies its product portfolio on a global basis.

“We’ve also seen as customers become much more Internet-savvy,” said Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth. “They know what’s for sale around the world. Many of them were asking, ‘Why can’t we have the (European-market) cars in North America?”

But a unified product lineup doesn’t necessarily mean that all products will be available in all markets. Booth noted that allowances will be made to fulfill regional consumer preferences. For instance, the wagon variant of the recently-launched Ford Focus global compact will not be sold in North America.

“That’s really a European-market preference only,” Booth says. As are diesel engines.”

“Those are the things that generate some of the lack of commonality.”

The Motrolix Take

“Make locally, sell globally” goes the ancient business adage. An in the case of Ford’s global strategy, the goal is to make globally while selling globally, with a local twist.

Sure, some vehicles — the Focus Wagon — won’t have enough appeal in certain markets to make a business case for making the model available (in North America), but a plan that calls for global vehicle development will undoubtedly result in a better product. Compare that to the days when Ford engineered, designed, and manufactured two (or sometimes three unrelated) models in the same segment to sell in the world’s major markets, and it’s easy to see why The Blue Oval is doing so well today.

Now if only Ford globalized Lincoln…

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.


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