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DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. may cut prices on its Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans, even though they were introduced just last fall.

Prices of key competitors' minivans have dropped, forcing Ford to consider following suit. Toyota started the price cutting when it introduced its redesigned Sienna last spring at a base price nearly $1,000 lower than its previous version. Then in February, the Chrysler group cut prices on its re-engineered minivans by an average of $3,000.

Dodge can undercut the $24,600 base price of the Freestar by $5,605.

"We're going to have to do something," said Ben Poore, Ford Division's car marketing manager. "The (sticker prices) in the market have changed fundamentally. We're not going to sit back and say, 'Oh, well, let's just accept our position.' "

During the first four months of 2004, Ford Division's U.S. minivan sales, which included some leftover Windstars, plummeted 19.4 percent from a year ago to 37,059.

Last week, Ford idled its Oakville, Ontario, minivan plant for the third week this year to reduce inventories. Stocks were as high as a 432-day supply for the Monterey on Feb. 1. By May 1, that dropped to 227 days for the Monterey and 97 days for the Freestar. Sixty days is considered normal.

Ford officials wouldn't say when to expect a price cut, but one likely time would be when the next model year starts in the fall.

The automaker has battled the competition by offering hefty rebates. Ford Division's total minivan incentives, including rebates, cut-rate financing and others, averaged $4,549 per vehicle in March, the last month for which data is available, according to Edmunds.com. Monterey incentives averaged $3,990 in March, down from nearly $5,000 in February.

Although U.S. sales of minivans rose 5.7 percent through the first four months of 2004, most of the credit goes to the Toyota Sienna. Sales dropped significantly for other major minivan competitors.



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I'll bet the new CSV's aren't going down in price. In fact with the extra items on the 05 models like 4 wheel disk brakes, 16" tires and newer 3500 engine the price will swell considerably!
 

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I see the price of the new GM vans being about the same and then they will eventually be forced into the heavy rebate game if they are not much better than the old ones. It's too early to say for sure as there are some big improvements but renaming these vans is silly as they are just updates, nothing more.

We have a 2004 Montana, it's well built and I love it but I think I may have gone Chrysler if it were not for the $4750 lease cash + 0.5% lease rate.
 

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The only way the CSVs will be competitive will be to keep prices in check - all of the extra features

The consumer could care less what the old Venture had as compared to the CSVs. They want to see how the vehicle stacks up against the competition. With the excellent, powerful engine in the Honda Odyssey, the stow & go system in the DCX vans, and the space age exterior styling of the Quest, the CSVs will have a hard time of it if they expect people to say "well, they are better than the Venture was" and leave it at that.
 

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GM will play the same game of high price + high rebate = OK price on their "new" minvans.

Frankly I expect the GM vans to tank, big time, in the market. Ugly styling, poor performance, feature lagging, etc. Just like the "new" Ford minivans, they really have nothing really going for them that wasn't out 5 years ago.

Mark
 

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Originally posted by usa1@May 10 2004, 07:35 PM
Frankly I expect the GM vans to tank, big time, in the market. Ugly styling, poor performance, feature lagging, etc. Just like the "new" Ford minivans, they really have nothing really going for them that wasn't out 5 years ago.
No way dude! The GM crossover sport vans will be the coolest vehicles ever! Everyone needs one in their garage! Even without rebatez!
 

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Originally posted by gmsickofan@May 10 2004, 02:46 PM

No way dude! The GM crossover sport vans will be the coolest vehicles ever! Everyone needs one in their garage! Even without rebatez!
That's the spriit! Keep smoking that weed, buddy!

:flush:
 

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:unsure: Not good news for ford. But a necessary business move, or else they'll be hurting with this van thing. I actually like the upgrades alot in the interior, but they just didn't do enough to update the exterior in my opinion. The only people who notice the changes are car buffs it seems, it's very difficult for the non-car buffs to see the updated changes and destinguish the old from new at a glance. And from what I uderstand it just placed 5th in the june issue of Car&Driver to it's major competitors Dodge,Nissan,Toyota,and Honda so I'm glad to hear there acting now rather then later. At least this way they can curb some of those slow sales...
 

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Chrysler and Ford have had a near monopoly on full-size minivan sales for years, and it's inevitable they'll lose marketshare with the Japanese and eventually GM moving into the heart of the market. The trick will be 1. losing as little as possible and 2. keeping production tight in the process. Ford seems to be hedgeing their bet with the next gen by combineing the Oakville minivan plant with the old Ontario Truck plant to build both minivans and crossovers on the Mazda6 platform. That way if/as minivan sales decline they can shift production towards crossovers.

And yes Mercury needs to die. What on earth do Lincoln dealers know about selling minivans?!?!
 

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Originally posted by usa1@May 10 2004, 07:35 PM
GM will play the same game of high price + high rebate = OK price on their "new" minvans.

Frankly I expect the GM vans to tank, big time, in the market. Ugly styling, poor performance, feature lagging, etc. Just like the "new" Ford minivans, they really have nothing really going for them that wasn't out 5 years ago.

Mark
GM is running the incentive game ( here in Canada anyways), and Ford I don't know seem to think they are imunned to the other's price structure.

U-Vans have always been heavily incentivised, and this year started with like "dindak" shas said $5750 (in Canada) 0.5% lease GM lolalty incentives and so on, A buddy I used to sell Pontiacs with said that it is cheaper for a cash customer to lease the vehicle first then buy it out.????
 

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I think the new "CSVs" are going to fail. The interiors look nice (in pics at least) but the outside is ugly and I'll bet they are still less safe than anything else out there, and with minivans safety is a big concern. The current GM vans did truly bad in crash tests, especially the IIHS's test.
 

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Originally posted by usa1@May 10 2004, 07:35 PM
GM will play the same game of high price + high rebate = OK price on their "new" minvans.

Frankly I expect the GM vans to tank, big time, in the market. Ugly styling, poor performance, feature lagging, etc. Just like the "new" Ford minivans, they really have nothing really going for them that wasn't out 5 years ago.

Mark
GM is the king of incentives on the mini van front,a total in Canadian dollors on a $38000 van is almost $15000, 40% it's crazy

Ford really has to follow suite here, wether they thought that the all new "Freestar" (thats a laugh) would do it on it's own or what.

This segment generally has the highest incentives of any and probally the least brand loilaty of any,

YTD (in Canada) Ford has lost 6% market share, DCX has gained (only 600 units) with more to come with the fold and goes, GM has gained 4.5% and the big winner is Toyota while staying almost out of the incentive game.

Next year with the all new SV6 will GM learn by what Ford has gone through this year? We will have to wait and see.
 
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