Consumers Demand More All-Wheel Drive Vehicles
No longer is all-wheel drive technology meant exclusively for SUVs and trucks. More and more customers are asking for the technology to be offered in smaller vehicles. Thanks to more affordable and fuel-efficient systems, many automakers have placed this technology in midsize sedans. Ford in particular has seen great success with the implementation of the all-wheel drive technology in its passenger cars. U.S. vehicle registrations for Ford's all-wheel drive cars tripled between 2013 and 2009. "All-wheel drive sales continue to outpace the industry overall. Escape and Explorer sold exceptionally well last year. That bumped our numbers. But if you look at Fusion, it's the only midsize sedan among the top five best-selling that even offers all-wheel drive," said Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst, in a recent statement. Ford's all-wheel drive system is virtually undetectable by the driver, and only engages when the sensors detect slippery conditions. The system monitors road surfaces, and during normal driving conditions, power is shifted to the front wheels. When road conditions aren't ideal, the systems throws power to the real wheels for better traction and control. It's thanks to this technology that Ford has seen growth in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, with retail shares of Ford passenger cars and utilities growing 2 and 9 percent in these regions respectively. The Ford Escape and Fusion in particular have received record market shares in the Northeast, thanks to the all-wheel drive system. Source: Ford
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