Supply and Demand in the Auto Market Warren Ashley The article cFord: Small Cars Can Be Profitable, d while focusing specifically on the Ford Fiesta, explores important changes in the market for automobiles. The auto market may be appropriately modeled by basic supply and demand analysis, as it contains enough buyers and sellers to minimize (although not completely eliminate) the kinds of market power exhibited in monopolistic markets. In its rationale for the introduction of a new small car (the Fiesta), Ford describes a growing quantity demanded of small cars, and a decreasing quantity of larger vehicles.
In order to best understand this change, it is helpful to segregate the auto market into two sub-markets: the market for small cars and the market for large vehicles. While several factors are attributed to the increasing number of small cars being purchased by today 9s consumers, the most important of them is the increasing price of fuel (and the uncertainty surrounding fuel prices). Although fuel is a complementary good for all types of motor vehicles, it has a stronger complementary relationship with larger vehicles, which tend to have relatively worse fuel efficiency.
Thus, an increase in the price of fuel will cause a subsequent ... more. less.
decrease in the demand for large vehicles (represented as a leftward shift in the demand curve below), while causing the demand for small vehicles to increase (a rightward shift of the demand curve). Ford also sites a trend towards curbanization d and an increased sense of environmental resonsiblity as a factors in the increased demand for small cars. These may be characterized as changes in consumer preferences away from large vehicles and towards smaller cars.<br><br> The shifts representing these changes are qualitatively identical to those outlined above: a decrease in demand (left shift) for large vehicles and an increase in demand (right shift) for small cars. Ultimately, all of these shifts will results in a increase in the price and quantity demanded of small vehicles (the outcome Ford is anticipating with its new small car focus); the price and quantity demanded of larger vehicles should subsequently decrease. <br><br>