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I think the vast majority of people have no idea which wheels are driving the car, and therefore don't care.

So I'd disagree with you when you say people will go out of their way to buy RWD. BUT, that said, it depends on the segment. Some segments, FWD would be unacceptable. Others (most vehicles, as evidenced by what sells) it's not a big deal, and people don't care.
Maybe the majority of people driving FWD might not know or care, but I believe the majority driving RWD do know, and do care.
 
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Maybe the majority of people driving FWD might not know or care, but I believe the majority driving RWD do know, and do care.
The problem is, the ones that don't care vastly outweigh the ones that do.
 

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Enthusiasts like me who like driving and take their skills seriously have no trouble adjusting to driving in all conditions. I live in the NY metropolitan area where stop and go traffic is boringly common but driving around with RWD and a manual transmission is second nature; no problem. For many years on snowy days, the vast majority of the cars that I have seen skidded off the highways have been AWD SUVs. Drivers unable/unwilling to adjust to conditions.

That said, it's true that most drivers have no clue which wheels are driven on their appliance. Their purchasing decisions are make by following marketing pitches or by what their friends and neighbors are driving. I think that the luxury and performance markets are more knowledgeable about their cars. When BMW announced the FWD 1 series and when Mercedes Benz announced the A class, there was consternation among the ranks of marque customers. In the end, Those two companies simply expanded their market base by attracting new customers; the old customers continued to buy their RWD favorites.

Now you don't think that I am making the point that Lincoln could expand its customer base by offering RWD models do you?
 

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Living in Northern climates, I specifically buy both my kids Fusions instead of Mustang, because they are NOT RWD. Years ago I let my wife drive my Lincoln LS, but after the first snow fall, she said never again. So no RWD for her either, ever again.

That's just my experience.
I live in the Chicago area. I owned a towing company for 23 years, during which time I've owned 18 Tow trucks. I only ordered 1 with 4X4. All the rest were RWD. In my 37 years of driving, only 3 vehicles were FWD. In the last 10 years, all of my vehicles were RWD. It's not as needed in winter as many think.
 

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I live in the Chicago area. I owned a towing company for 23 years, during which time I've owned 18 Tow trucks. I only ordered 1 with 4X4. All the rest were RWD. In my 37 years of driving, only 3 vehicles were FWD. In the last 10 years, all of my vehicles were RWD. It's not as needed in winter as many think.
Not needed? Of course not. Neither is snow tires or even good tires that are not bald. Few things are needed, in fact, just to drive.

But one can't argue that it helps immensely.
 
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