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FORD EDGE CROSSOVERS FLYING OFF DEALER LOTS

By Robert Musial, FCN



It seems customers like the Ford Edge so much, they'll even drive through a blizzard to buy one.

That story, and several others, underlines the sales success of Ford's new crossover. In its first full month of sales in January, the Edge had sales of 5,586, easily eclipsing the first month sales of the popular Ford Fusion sedan (4,078 in October 2005).

Sales consultant Susan Blue says she's still amazed by the customer that braved 18 inches of snow and blocked roads to pick up his new Edge a few weeks ago.

On that whiteout Saturday afternoon, a prospect Blue had talked with earlier in the week said he would come by -- to buy.

"It was bad out," said Blue, who works at Don Seelye Ford in Kalamazoo, Mich. "There was a snow advisory and a snow alert, and I couldn't even see the used car lot from the office window."

Nonetheless, after 45 minutes on the road in what should have been a 15-minute trip, Blue's customer pulled up in his trade-in -- a 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT coupe with only 11,000 miles on the odometer.

"He saw the Edge ad on TV, but he seemed nonchalant when I talked to him earlier, so I was surprised when he called that day," said Blue. "He was bound and determined to get an Edge."

The deal was quickly done, and the customer was instantly rewarded. Driving his new all-wheel-drive Edge, he shaved 15 minutes off his ride back home on snow-clogged streets.

Since then, he's called Blue twice and written a letter to say how pleased he is with his new purchase. And she's sold two more since then.

"It's a hot, hot product," she said.

Sheehy Ford in Gaithersburg, Md., also reports an Edge conquest sale involving the trade-in of an upscale foreign model, in this case BMW's luxury crossover, the X5.

Sheehy's customer liked their BMW but decided to test drive an Edge after the TV ads caught their attention. After the test drive, they chose not to buy another BMW and got the Edge. They also said they're considering buying a second Edge when their lease on a BMW 7 series luxury sedan expires later this year.

At the Grand Ford dealership in East Liverpool, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania and West Virginia border, sales manager Rob Migliore thanks the Internet for their first Edge sale.

The dealership received its first Edge on a Monday morning and sold it that afternoon to a customer who drove an hour and a half from Uniontown, Ohio, to buy it.

That customer had been online at the interactive Edge site and "built" the car they wanted. With a few clicks, they learned that Grand Ford was the closest store with "their" Edge -- a pewter SEL with the Vista Roof.

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Although the Edge could be better in a few areas, I think it is a good vehicle that is one of the most attractive in its class (only behind Mazda). Hopefully Edge sales will increase a lot in the next few months to meet Ford's expectations.
 

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Although the Edge could be better in a few areas, I think it is a good vehicle that is one of the most attractive in its class (only behind Mazda). Hopefully Edge sales will increase a lot in the next few months to meet Ford's expectations.
One area..weight. If this thing weighed 4000 instead of 4500 it would be the class leader going away.
 

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One area..weight. If this thing weighed 4000 instead of 4500 it would be the class leader going away.
I'd argue the interior needs to be improved some, but yes, weight is the main problem, which also affects gas mileage. I haven't gotten an answer for how much the glass roof adds to the Edge, but it seems like it would be quite a bit. I love the glass roof in the Edge so I'm glad Ford offers it.

It will be interesting to see how the Edge competes with the '08 Murano and '08 Highlander. I already think the Edge looks a lot better than the '08 Highlander, but I haven't seen the next Murano.
 

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I'd argue the interior needs to be improved some, but yes, weight is the main problem, which also affects gas mileage. I haven't gotten an answer for how much the glass roof adds to the Edge, but it seems like it would be quite a bit. I love the glass roof in the Edge so I'm glad Ford offers it.

It will be interesting to see how the Edge competes with the '08 Murano and '08 Highlander. I already think the Edge looks a lot better than the '08 Highlander, but I haven't seen the next Murano.
Looking at the very evolutionary changes in the Altima I don't expect a much different car than the current one. As for content, the Edge is up to date with technology and will be leader once SYNC hits the market.



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I like the Edge. I saw it at an auto show last year and thought it looked a bit porky, but I've changed my mind. Like the Fusion, I think Ford deserves great success with it.
 
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