Ford Taurus

CNW Marketing Research's Art Spinella, like Krebs, is also excited about the new Ford Focus and new Ford Fiesta, declaring them to be a significant improvement over the vehicles they are replacing. "Based on our six-month after-purchase survey, the recommendations to friends and family for those vehicles are so far and away compared to anything that they've had for years and years."

Spinella thinks that Ford has done a terrific job of transforming itself into a fun and modern brand; not just by styling its vehicles in this way, but also by being able to appeal to the youth market, defined as those who are 40 years old and younger.

Ford has been able to do this by, for example, building a presence on social networking sites such as Facebook and mobilizing their users for product promotions. Also, Ford has undoubtedly done "a masterful job selling technology," especially with the Taurus. It's been able to play into "the selling of technology that's appealing to younger consumers," Spinella explained.

The company, instead of selling its new Ford Taurus as, say, a car, decided instead to promote the Sync, voice-controlled, hands-free, in-vehicle entertainment and communications system instead. "Oh, by the way, if you want it, it's in the Ford Taurus," has been Ford's approach to selling the vehicle.

The goal is to appeal to consumers for whom buying cars is not higher on their priority list by tapping into the stuff that they really want, Spinella explained. "In that case, it would be technology today." The last time any automaker adopted this strategy in any significant way was Toyota ( TM), back in the eighties, Spinella said, noting that Toyota had tapped into the "feel good attitude" of the era.

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