Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford - Economic Recession

The collapse of the economy in 2008 did a number on Ford and GM (General Motors), as most clearly evidenced by the fact that GM almost went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the US Government just to remain solvent. Ford, too, might have gone under had it not been for excellent sales in Europe and a cadre of loyal F-150 customers who continue to make it the most popular vehicle on the market. Factor in high fuel prices and cheap imports fueled by the weak Euro and Yen and it's clear to see that Ford and GM are up against the ropes.

As such, each company has come up with their own strategy for getting back on their feet. Ford has focused on specificity, increasing its focus on providing specific cars to specific markets. The F-150 is aggressively marketed and sold in the United States, especially in the south, mid-west and southeast, where heavy-duty trucks are prized for their off-road capabilities and large carrying capacity. In more congested areas such as California and New England, Ford pushes their popular Fiesta, a car originally developed for the European market that was made famous by rally and gymkhana artists for its small size and excellent handling characteristics. 

Chevy, meanwhile, is dipping its toe back into subcompacts, something it hasn't done since the 1970s and 80s. Its forays back then were halfhearted and incomplete, and the cars they produced were decidedly unpopular. Chevy has learned from its mistakes and paid close attention to its competition, producing very small light cars such as the Spark. Originally intended for the European market, the Spark is small, fuel efficient and inexpensive, intended to compete with Volkswagen and Toyota for the small hatchback market. They have also introduced the Volt, which is a new spin on the hybrid. It allows the driver to choose whether they are running solely on electricity, or are using the onboard fuel-powered generator to charge the electric engine. It’s an interesting concept that hopefully will inspire the next generation of fuel sipping cars.

Dodge, being a producer of heavy trucks and sports cars, is in more of a bind. They do not want to dilute their brand by producing small micro-cars, but they know that not everyone wants one of their large pickup trucks or SUVs. Therefore they have reintroduced the Dodge Dart. Though the original Dart was maligned as underpowered and poorly designed, the modern Dart is a four-door sedan capable of competing with the Volkswagen Jetta and the Toyota Camry. Dodge has also introduced a new Challenger that is an affordable and gas-sipping muscle car, thanks to its unusually low weight and simple construction. Dodge hopes that by making more "European" styled sports cars with better turning and handling capabilities, as well as a better power-to-weight ratio, they can offer lots of speed at low prices and without guzzling gas.

These strategies tending towards lower weights, lighter construction and more efficient engines are long overdue, and were only able to be postponed while SUV sales propped up the companies. As such, it appears that these changes won't just benefit the companies in the short term, but it will prepare them for the challenges going forward into the 21st century. As cars get smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient, some even using alternative technologies, it appears that Chevy, Ford and Dodge will be in the forefront, producing the cars that people want to buy and making their employees, investors and customers happy.

Author Bio:

Natalia Jenkins is a writer for Osseo Auto. She loves writing on cars, history and reading classic books. She also is secretly a car aficionado. Osseo Auto is a leading Chevy car dealership in Wisconsin that sells new and used cars in Eau Claire and La Crosse.


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air ride kits said...

The different companies' strategies varies. It means the car industry is still well regulated.

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