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.
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.