Not the Way to Go to Market

The Wall Street Journal had an article this week [subscription needed] about the soon-to-be launched Ford Freestar. Steve Lyons, VP of the division, says “it will take a generous dose of discounts to lure increasingly import-friendly minivan buyers”. On the typical minivan shopping list, Ford thinks they are somewhere between #3 and #5. To move up on the list, they are considering the standard $1,000 cash back or some sort of low-cost lease. To combat this in the future, Lyons says that Ford is going to design vehicles to be “more import-like” and “Camry-Altimaish”.

My questions for Mr. Lyons at Ford:

  • Why are you launching a self-acknowledged mediocre product?
  • Why would you tell the world that they can expect a check with their brand new minivan?
  • Why do you think the answer is to make your products more like someone else’s?