I had a thought when the website Jalopnik asked for the best way to spend $1 million dollars on cars: enthusiast dealership.
I bought a Focus ST last year and feel that it is a largely overlooked vehicle in the Ford lineup (as is the Fiesta ST). Auto magazines and enthusiasts all praise the fun factor that each vehicle brings but the average, or even above average, informed consumer can not distinguish the ST trim from S, SE, SEL or even Titanium.
I, personally, would love a small experimental dealership that focuses on this admittedly niche market. Lot size would be smaller as inventory would be smaller but perhaps a larger lot could still be used as an autocross location. In this way, ST and Mustang owners would use their vehicles to a greater extent of their capabilities. It would be like if Jeep were to have a small off-road course in their backyard.
This autocross lot could also be used to hold defensive driving courses that assist in Ford owners lowering their insurance costs upon completion.
With the advent of the new Mustang I believe this could be a termendous concept in practice. Consumers would have an informed direct playing field for the different trims and engine offerings. Even without a purchase coming from everyon on the lot, overall foot traffic would be higher due to the appeal that performance variants have to young professionals.
The best part is that, for me in the Northeast, the ST would be presented as a primary thought to the consumer where Subarus have been selling like hotcakes. Many consumers up here do not even think that Ford offers a fun hatchback that could compete with the WRX. With the growing success of Subaru in the Northeast I believe that Ford is missing out on those looking to grab a more engaging vehicle. I found that, with snowtires, there was nothing that could stop me in my ST last winter. I often passed AWD vehicles that were sliding backwards on a hill. The low end torque available from the Ecoboost 4 cylinder was tremendous. While I have no expectations from this comment perhaps someone could continue the discussion with me at a later time. At the very least it would be an entertaining concept to discuss.
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