Ford cares about your feelings.
I recall reading a report a few years ago about Ford’s styling team using a new concept car strategy. The goal of this strategy is to avoid disappointments in the transition from dreamy show car to boring real cars.
Limiting this unpleasant feeling is important for car brands, especially if a concept is very well-received. Car mags love to describe in all the gritty details how much the show cars have been watered down in order to make production.
It turns out, avoiding this disappointment is really difficult and takes a lot of planning. Essentially, the steps are as follows:
– Step 1: broad, futuristic package concept about 5 years before real car debut
– Step 2: final car is completely styled, focus group tested, shown to dealers, etc about a year before it arrives on showroom floors
– Step 3: about six months before the real arrival in showrooms, display a glitzy “concept” version of the production car, featuring special tech, huge wheels, and the ideal trim package to show off the vehicle’s style
– Step 4: sell millions, make billions!
The Ford Edge is currently between steps three and four.
It looks great, and will hopefully be a cool and sporty sibling to the family-focused, seven-passenger Explorer Sport.
Official Details from Ford
With Self-Parking Technology and Obstacle Avoidance Capability, Ford Edge Concept Is Tomorrow’s Utility Today
Ford Edge Concept revealed today at Los Angeles Auto Show offers strong hints at the technology, dynamic design and premium craftsmanship that will define the company’s next global utility vehicles
Advanced, automated driving technologies include self-parking and obstacle avoidance systems currently under development by Ford; these technologies preview a future of semi- and fully autonomous driving options, delivering tomorrow’s technology today
Sleek exterior design communicates athleticism, confidence and capability; interior finished with premium materials and craftsmanship surpassing segment expectations
Ford utility vehicles will be America’s best-selling utility brand for three straight years in 2013, outpacing the nearest competitor by 32 percent through October of this year