Blue in Philly, Diesel in Denver: Study Shows Top Markets for Ford Vehicle Colors, Options

October 13, 2009

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Shopping for a blue Ford in Philly? An F-150 in Houston? A Super Duty diesel in Denver?

You’re not alone: According to Ford sales data, Philadelphia is the company’s top market for blue cars, Houston leads the country in percentage of pickup truck sales, and Denver is the top market for vehicles equipped with diesel engines and four-wheel drive.

Ford analyzes sales data for insight into consumer preferences by region, helping the company ensure ample supply of popular vehicles, colors and options for different parts of the country. Not only does correct vehicle mix result in better sales performance for dealers, it also has a positive effect on customer satisfaction when buyers can find what they want quickly.

Much of the Ford data followed logical patterns, but there were some results that weren’t easily explained. For example, white is most popular in Phoenix, where the color’s reflective properties are a boon to car seats and air conditioners – no surprise there. But the second most popular market for white Ford vehicles is Memphis, Tenn., for reasons yet to be determined. Is it the heat, or is it due to the fact that one of Memphis’ largest employers is FedEx – known for its stark-white vehicles and aircraft?

The color red is most popular with customers in Cincinnati, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. One possible explanation: Customers who live in regions with longer winters and drearier weather prefer brighter and more cheerful colors.

“If you have to suffer through a long, cold winter, a little splash of color can brighten the mood,” said Susan Swek, Ford group chief designer, Color and Materials Design.

Red might also reflect Midwestern optimism however, since New York City, an area not known for its mild winters, is in the bottom three markets for percentage of red Ford vehicle sales. Instead, New York tops the lists for black and gray.

Data on drop-tops

Customers in Los Angeles are most likely to choose a drop-top like the Mustang convertible, with Miami close behind. But customers in decidedly less balmy New York and San Francisco also are in the top five metro markets for percentage of convertible sales.

When it comes to vehicle size, Seattle customers choose the highest percentage of smaller cars such as the Focus, while Houston is at the other end of the spectrum as the leader in both pickup and sport utility sales. In fact, all five of the top markets for trucks are also the largest markets for SUVs, with Memphis, Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul rounding out the list.

“The Pacific Northwest has embraced green as a status symbol and it comes through in their choice of smaller vehicles and fuel-efficient powertrains,” said George Pipas, Ford’s manager of sales analysis. “Larger vehicles are still the norm in the southern plains, Texas, and the Rocky Mountains.”

Personalities and powertrains

While Denver is big on diesels, San Francisco and Seattle are the top two metro areas for percentage of Ford Escape Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid sales. L.A., Washington, D.C., and Boston make up the remainder of the top five hybrid markets.

When it comes to conventional gasoline engines, the top V-8 markets are Houston, Memphis, Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul. On the other end of the spectrum, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia all are among the top four-cylinder markets. Despite its reputation for V-8 power, Detroit is the top market for V-6 engines.

Knowledge of preferences helps Ford prepare for customer needs

Ford’s extensive sales analysis on vehicle configurations has been combined with customer and dealer comments in various geographic regions to optimize the model mix. Ford has developed “Rapid Spec” packages that cluster popular options, and provide customers with a higher level of vehicle content and value.

“Concentrating on delivering the combinations our customers want most can yield benefits across the board,” said Brad Munn, Ford’s cross-vehicle product strategy manager. “It’s a win for our customers, our dealers, and our product development and manufacturing operations.”

And the Top Five are…

The charts below represent the top five markets for various Ford, Lincoln and Mercury colors, features and options in 22 major U.S. metropolitan areas.


       Black                   Blue                          Brown

    1. New York                Philadelphia                  Boston
    2. Los Angeles             Washington                    Minneapolis
    3. Chicago                 Boston                        Phoenix
    4. Miami                   Seattle                       Chicago
    5. Detroit                 Detroit                       Pittsburgh

       Gold                    Gray                          Green

    1. Orlando                 New York                      Boston
    2. Miami                   Boston                        Seattle
    3. Pittsburgh              San Francisco                 Philadelphia
    4. Denver                  Los Angeles                   Pittsburgh
    5. Washington              Pittsburgh                    Washington

       Red                     Silver                        White

    1. Cincinnati              San Francisco                 Phoenix
    2. Minneapolis             Phoenix                       Memphis
    3. Detroit                 Los Angeles                   Los Angeles
    4. Kansas City             Charlotte                     Denver
    5. Pittsburgh              Washington                    Dallas


       Four-cylinder     Six-cylinder     Eight-cylinder     Hybrid

    1. Boston            Detroit          Houston            San Francisco
    2. Pittsburgh        New York         Memphis            Seattle
    3. San Francisco     Chicago          Dallas             Los Angeles
    4. Washington        Kansas City      Denver             Washington
    5. Philadelphia      Philadelphia     Minneapolis        Boston

    Drive Configurations

       Four-wheel drive (4WD)              All-wheel drive (AWD)

    1. Denver                              New York
    2. Seattle                             Boston
    3. Minneapolis                         Denver
    4. Boston                              Seattle
    5. Pittsburgh                          Philadelphia

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 201,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company

Source: newswire

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