Remember Ford’s http://www.focus24/7.com attempt to sell the new Focus to young “trendy” buyers? Unless you’re a geek of such things, you probably don’t. Over a decade ago, when the internet was young and Facebook wasn’t born yet, Ford built that website to try to make the Focus the “in” car for young buyers. The Focus became one of Ford’s best sellers… And the median buyer was a 62 year old woman.

Undaunted, for the (re)intro of the Fiesta a couple years back, Ford outdid themselves with a hundred young and of course trendy “Fiesta Agents” on trendy missions to all the trendy places, splattered over every social media yet invented. Heck, the agents even had to submit u-tube videos with their applications. Haven’t seen the stats yet, but behind the wheel of just about every Fiesta I’ve seen was a “woman of a certain age”.

So here we are, on the threshold of the restyled 2014 update of the 6th generation Fiesta, and Ford is giving “social media” another try. Heck, their copy of a ’69 Mustang still sells well, so why not? And predictably, with similar results, ‘cept the median buyer will now probably be aged 65…. Maybe Ford should co-market with Medicare Supplement plans?

Ford isn’t alone in this stupidity- GM paid a blogger to drive a new GM car every month and brag it up while she toured around the country, her fake admiration of the suburban was hilarious. Over at Fiat’s Mopar division they’ve got the “Jeep Girls”, whose response to a blizzard is to take in a symphony performance… Any self respecting CJ driver knows “blizzard” is an excuse to “break trails” for the less fortunate 2WD owners and drag a few out of the snowbanks!

I’m beginning to suspect that Detroit faces the same demographic disaster as the republican party- aging buyers headed for the great highways in the sky while turning off younger buyers with $20,000+ subcompacts that will be liabilities in a decade. And why even make a major effort to sell new cars to young folks, given that today’s average college graduate makes but $32k a year and already carries $30k in college debt. Yea, there sure gonna be buying lots of $20+k new cars with all that debt load and low income… Not! No wonder only 1% of new car sales are to buyers under 25, and only 10% to buyers under 35!

Given those demographics, Ford might want to loan those Fiestas to retirees with an unlimited expense tab for coffee and a stack of Fiesta brochures instead of a bunch of twenty-somethings with a smartphone in every pocket. And if they want to motivate those young folks that are suffering with decade old Focuses, a “campaign” to debug those lemons, free online access to manuals, and parts and labor discount cards good at the friendly local Ford dealership would be more effective…

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