Unveiled Monday to polite applause amid the usual Detroit smoke and glitz, this strange beast with the strange name (vertrek is Dutch for departure) will, if built, surely inspire verbal abuse galore. Like, “I got vertrekt into buying this car.” Or, I can’t get this #@!!% vertrekt hatch open.”
The front end looks like it came off a Freightliner. The rear end has too many creases and folds. The dash looks like a giant bird swooping in to eat you. See photos after the break.
Of course it’s cheaper to build one car on one platform. The question is whether you can satisfy two different kinds of customers who have typically demanded two quite different cars. The Kuga is a small hatch, fun to drive, and looks more than a little like the Vertrek. The Escape is… well, you know what that is, and it has now clearly reached the tired and boring stage.
So Ford explains its decision to mash up the two cars this way:
“Customer demands are converging globally toward a compact sport utility vehicle that is stylish and great fun to drive while at the same time providing the package, capability, engaging technology and fuel economy they expect,” said Jim Farley, group vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “The Ford Vertrek concept will allow us to hear directly from these customers about trade-offs they are prepared to make as we look to deliver a future production model that brings to life all these attributes.”
There, that’s perfectly clear, isn’t it? Customers, in Farley’s view, don’t tell Ford what they want; they report what trade-offs they are prepared to make.
That’s a helluva way to do market research on a new car, Jim.
Are you prepared to make trade-offs to get into a new Vertrek (or whatever they call it)?