Is the Ford brand really that bad?
The automaker decides to drop its name and logo from its newest sales pitch.
Ford knows it. But Ford has been overhauling its lineup, adding new technologies and new designs. The quality is improved and the new models look good. If only people could get past that blue oval.
So Ford is experimenting with a new strategy. Why not take the name and logo out altogether? That's the basis for a new TV ad campaign that doesn't mention the company at all.
Check out this commercial. It almost seems to introduce a new car company, showing cars with some slick features, such as voice-activated technology and a spiffy car-parking system. The ad sends viewers to the GoFurther.com website, and it's only when you get to the site that you see the Ford logo.
The idea is to make people rethink their perceptions of Ford. You might have hated the brand in the past, but it's different now. It's almost a return to the company's "Have you driven a Ford lately?" slogan. (Check out this amusing commercial for a reminder.)
Ford has been doing very well financially. It earned $29.5 billion in the last three years after losing about the same amount from 2006 through 2008, Bloomberg reports.
The new ads came out of Ford's own test clinics, Bloomberg reports. People were more enthusiastic about new models until they found out Ford made them.
"As soon as people see a blue oval they jump to immediate conclusions as to preconceived ideas about what the company does, what it stands for," a Ford marketing executive told Bloomberg. "We still have a gap and an opportunity to change that perception on the coasts."
Ford doesn't sell well on the West and East Coasts. Drivers in those markets prefer a Toyota (TM) or Honda (HMC), Bloomberg reports.
Ford is still keeping the logo on its vehicles. But it's trying to overcome a hard industry reality. Once people have a bad experience with one brand, they sign off altogether. They aren't about to put tens of thousands of dollars into another car from that company. Ford suffered from negative quality perceptions for quite a while, and even though the quality has improved, it's going to take a lot of work to reverse that damage.
Ford is doing a better job of quality control than they might have had in the past.
Still, American car companies have a ways to go, and must do better with better products to win back customers from foreign car companies.
1st new Ford was a 1971 Galaxie 500, 5 Fords later, still more impressed
It's too bad that we bicker about which American cars are better or worse and join in on condemning a company when it is obviously trying to alter perceptions which may be based on narrow-minded opinions of the vocal few. There have been far too many poorly made vehicles produced and knowingly sold to us over the years by most, if not all automakers, foreign or domestic.
I remember in the 70's & 80's, seeing in my employer's parking lot all the nearly new, but rusted through, tiny, Japanese economy cars that we were desperate to buy just for their fuel economy. (point a finger at OPEC here, to be fair). We paid a high price for those gas savings by buying another import hoping that the rust problems were cured in the ensuing years. American automakers were asleep at the wheel then, the imports were not innovative, they were simply SMALL, lightweight cars. These were NOT well made cars. A simple matter of physics propelled them into the hearts and wallets of the unsuspecting, desperate-for-relief, American consumer.
That American automakers took so long to respond to this onslaught was absolutely their fault, but not entirely. The quickly changing emmission and safety regulations of the newly formed government agencies (EPA & NHTSA), made it impossible for the engineers to immediately devise, satisfactorily test and implement adequate systems to satisfy these ever changing regulations. It took many small improvements to get to where we are today. I was there and payng close attention to these developments. Everyone in the R&D of American auto industry and their suppliers were working diligently to improve our cars. The automakers could not just simply stop making the big, inefficient cars and just make clones of the imports. That would have led to the demise of the Big Three.
Today, most American cars are, and have been for many years, equal, and yes, superior to most of the imports in the same market segment. It took hard work from dedicated American workers to accomplish this, and it saddens me to see so many people dismiss one of our country's greatest, and lately, more ethical, economic assets, Ford Motor Company. I would buy an American auto over an import because I know that we must understand that this global economy has ripped too, too many good paying jobs from the hands of American families, never to be replaced by any employment close to what was lost. Do you understand what happens when a nation's tax base shrinks? Just look around you.
The logo I can't stand is the Chevrolet logo, the gold colored ribbon looking thing. Looks cheap, and what does it do to resemble an automobile or manufacturer? I would never buy a Chevy with that ugly thing on the grill!. If I bought a truck it would be an F-150 or a GMC, in that order. By the way, I have had Ford, Mercury and Mazda cars for years (Mazda MX-6 GT Turbo one of my favorites for 14 years!). Mazda had very comfortable cloth seats, felt and fit like a Recaro racing seat, with many manual adjustments (much better that electric ones). Now driving 2 BMW's and a Jaguar, as I am older and can afford luxury cars. But my next car is going to be a Ford, since the dealer is local and has a great dealership. Much easier for service than driving 45-60 minutes for the BMW or Jag shop. Keeping one or both of the BMW's "forever", Jag is my daily driver and still a great car.
My new car is Ford Fiesta Titanium
Ilike the model,Ilove,,,,my car.
I've had equal numbers of Ford trucks and Chevy trucks over the years and have come to find out that the Fords are MUCH more reliable. I have beeen driving my current F150 for 12 years now and have done nothing but put tires on it and replace the battery twice. Can't even come close to saying that for the GM products I've owned. All the "techy" stuff everyone wants and say Ford is out of touch with is the same crap I'm constantly replacing on my wife's GMC Envoy. After all the others took your hard earned money to pay off the fat cats I find it interesting that anyone would still follow those car manufacturers. I'll stick with Ford.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.