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Mirroring its One Ford corporate strategy the blue oval has brought all of its global racing and motorsports divisions under one roof. The company’s SVT, Team RS and Ford Racing subsidiaries now operate under the unified banner of Ford Performance.

This new go-fast division is directed by Dave Pericak, former Mustang chief engineer and a veteran of the Dearborn-based car company. Speaking at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit earlier today he gave members of the media a glimpse inside this new organization.

He said Ford plans on bringing 12 new performance models to market by the year 2020, giving enthusiasts a broad array of hopped-up vehicles to choose from. But Pericak posed the question, “Why all the investment in performance.” Surprisingly there are several reasons.

“This is very profitable for us,” said Pericak. “The sales of performance vehicles [have] been growing.” But there’s more to it than just more money and greater volume. “It’s [also] about attracting new customers to our brand,” noted Pericak, adding that high-performance models help them retain existing owners and attract new ones, especially younger motorists.

“The STs [Fiesta and Focus], ever since we introduced them the sales have been out of this world,” said Pericak. Some 65 percent of these customers are conquests, that is, new to Ford. Additionally millennials are buying ST models at twice the rate of the overall brand. In fact, 50 percent of Fiesta ST customers are younger than 35, a coveted demographic; additionally many are quite affluent ...
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