How Is This Ford Focus Cornering Wealthy Car Buyers?

Ford Focus

When considering the demographics of typical Ford (NYSE:F) buyers, it’s interesting to note that the average income breaks six figures. In the case of the compact sport-hatch Focus ST, that number reaches a stunning $127,000 average income, according to a statement by Ford. Even more encouraging for the automaker is the rate at which the Focus ST is making Ford buyers out of car owners who are new to the brand.

Seeing affluent car buyers flocking toward a compact starting at $23,625 means an automaker is doing several things right. In the case of the Focus ST, part of the allure is the punch — courtesy of 252 horsepower on 270 pounds-feet of torque in the 2.0-liter EcoBoost model with manual transmission. Since the average Focus ST buyer has cash to burn, they are upgrading with deluxe interior packages and 18-inch Y-spoke wheels, among other things.

“It’s having the kind of halo effect for other vehicles we’d hoped for when we invested in the ST brand,” said Ford’s John Felice in a company statement. “As an affordable high-performance vehicle that can serve double duty as a daily driver, it has no equal.” While it’s typical for an automaker’s team to gush over its own products, Ford’s sales data shows several encouraging trends.

On top of the startingly high income of average Focus ST buyers (nearly double the income of standard Focus buyers), Ford said about one-third are below the age of 35. On top of that, two-thirds of these young and well-to-do buyers are trading in cars from other automakers to get inside the Focus ST. Clearly, the goal of any automaker is to start down the road with consumers while they are young in hopes they will be lifelong customers.

For Ford, that may translate to Lincoln sales down the line if they can hold the attention of Focus ST buyers through the years. As Ford showed with three Focus ST models on display at the SEMA show this week, the high-performance car is capable of causing a buzz among enthusiasts  who want to give it the aftermarket treatment. Tying the enthusiast market to wealthier buyers in L.A., Orlando, Houston, and Detroit is a great strategy for Ford moving forward. The next challenge is equaling the promise of the Focus ST in future performance models.

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