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Monday, May 09, 2005

Polling the Customers

I saw a news item recently that Ford has posted a "build your Fusion" web site (here). What is new about this is that the Fusion is not in production yet--Ford is polling the customers, to see what build combinations are most popular.

My biggest disappointment with the Fusion is that it will not come in a V6 + manual combination. If you want to row your own, you have to buy the 2.3L I-4, which will not be exactly sporty--I would guess 0-60 times in the 9s range. Mazda was caught off guard when many more customers than expected, seeking zoom-zoom, wanted to buy a Mazda6 with a V6 and manual transmission.

Ford has added a "Future Options" screen to the site. They offer a list of possible future equipment, such as AWD, V6 manual, navigation system, stability control, etc.

This is a great idea. All carmakers should set up web sites where potential customers can configure their preferred combination. If they do this well enough in advance, say when a concept is unveiled at an auto show, by the time production comes around, they will have had time to adjust the product.


Big Ford Fan said...

You're right that is a cool idea and more companies should do it.

I hope you don't mind, I'm going to post that link on my page, but I will tell people where I found it.


Anonymous said...

Actually, they have several options at the end that are currently not available. They ask you to check off what you would want, because this helps them plan future changes to the Fusion. One is a 6cyl. with manual. Of course I checked that off, as well as an input for a digital music player.