Discounting and Ford Performance Vehicles do not go together. That's the message from the company's new general manager, Rod Barrett. Barrett says price cuts are unlikely in an effort to keep sales bubbling along before the new Falcon FPV range arrives next year.
“Our biggest challenge is to build momentum towards the launch of the Orion without devaluing the brand at all,” he says.
“The success of the GT 40th-anniversary model shows the success we can have with limited-edition models as part of our ongoing product strategy in the lead-up to the Orion.
“We don't intend to discount on the runout of our current models. I don't believe the words FPV and discount go together.”
Barrett says FPV will manage the runout of its existing range through special-edition models including the just released F6 R-Spec Typhoon.
The next two will arrive in time for Sydney's Australian International Motor Show in October. It is believed there will be a Cobra and an FPV turbocharged Territory.
Barrett also revealed the new range of FPV Falcons; GT, GT-P, Force 6, Force 8 and F6 Typhoon will go on sale within weeks of the new Falcon.
And he says the company wants a range of four-cylinder performance cars, suggesting RS-badged Fords could join the FPV line-up.
“If it has a Ford badge on it and can become a performance vehicle, there's no reason we shouldn't look at it,” he says.
FPV needs to dispel the myth that it is just about Falcons, he says.
With Australian production of the Focus starting in 2011, he says there is an opportunity to “think outside the square”.
The arrival of the mid-size Mondeo later this year is also an opportunity. Ford of Europe has badged Focus and some Mondeos as RS models and these badges could end up here.
Barrett says FPV aims to double sales within a few years, from its 2006 sales figure of 2044 cars.
“I'm first to admit FPV faces challenges,” he says. “I bet all manufacturers in the lead-up to the introduction of new models face challenges and there's no denying it's going to be a tough period, but I believe I've joined at the right time.”