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Ford Unveils North American Version of Verve Small Car Concept

Ford Motor Company is revealing the third version of its small car concept vehicle Verve at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The four-door shown in Detroit is the basis for the production vehicle that will be sold in North America.

Verve concept.

Ford also is displaying the European three-door version unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt show (earlier post) as a possible additional small car for the North American market.

Momentum in small-car sales is outpacing overall industry growth worldwide. Globally, small car sales have grown from 23 million units in 2002 to an estimated 38 million in 2012. That’s nearly 45% of the total expected 85-million unit industry, a level never before achieved. In the US, sales of small cars likely will grow by 800,000 (25%) to a record 3.4 million units by 2012, according to Ford.

Small cars and crossovers are the only vehicles with projected near-term growth in the US.

Ford is targeting the Verve at the buying group dubbed “Millennials”—young people aged 13 to 28 years. Today, this group stands 1.7 billion strong worldwide and will represent 28% of the total US population by 2010. Every day, 11,000 Millennials in the US come of driving age. When it’s time to buy their first car, nearly half of this group shops the small-car segment, says Ford.

Ford will apply a “fuel-efficient” four-cylinder engine in the Verve.



U.S. auto makers have had a tough time making small cars over the years. A lot of their decision makers will tell you that Americans do not want and will not buy small cars. The trend seems to be small outside but big inside. Lighter more nimble and efficient cars can sell, if they are safe and affordable.

Lou Grinzo

I love it when the US car companies whine about how US consumers "don't want small cars", as sjc pointed out.

There have been several times recently when Toyota sold more Corollas in a month than all the cars (not trucks) Chrysler sold in the same month. I guess all those people, plus the ones buying Civics and Elantras and Yarises and Fits and who knows what else, don't exist.


Lou - but F150 annual sales nearly equals combined Corolla and Civic annual sales.

(Jan 07 to Oct 07)
F150 589,000 (with a 12.5% year over year drop)
Corolla (and Matrix) 318,000 (4% drop)
Civic 279,000 (up 2.2%)


Consider this: Audi sales of all models for 2006 were under 100,000. The F150 could outsell Audi in a single state (TX).


Seeing how the F150 gets half the mileage of a Civic or Corolla, you can see where some of that 20 million barrels of oil goes every day.

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