I really want to like your cars.
And I do. Sometimes. But side by side with other brands, they're more expensive and not that much better, if at all.
Maybe it's my own fault. I like small cars. And that's not your forte. I look at cars like the Cobalt and the Aveo. I'm a small car kinda guy. I like they way they drive. I like the lower mileage. And I'm not ashamed to say it, I like the efficiency. Why drive three tons of steel when one ton does the same thing? Sometimes a pickup looks mighty nice when I'm hauling firewood or trash...but they're a bit out of my price point. And when remodeling our house in Iowa City we rented a pickup twice, and that did the trick. These days I have a good chum who is handy with his pickup. But 99.9% of the time I just need something that Goes and isn't a DeathTrap for me or the others on the road.
You're trying to compete on price, and you can't do it. So PLEASE just do this...make a damn good car. Make a car I lust after. The Cobalt has a HUGE engine for the size of the car, so it's got some oomph to be sure. But its crash test ratings blow, it's cramped, and from the reports I've been reading the drive train is crap. Your smaller car, the Aveo, has more room than the Cobalt. WHY? I know because like a big dork I took a tape measure to those cars. Your small cars don't stack up against cars like the Kia Spectra, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Toyota Yaris (though this one has a pretty sad crash rating) on basic quality and they cost about 1000 to 2000 more. The Honda Civic is a GOOD small car. Sturdy. Solid. Reliable. Safe. It's on the pricey side, but oh dear GOD I lust after it. Why can't you just make a car like that and price it accordingly.
See...you seem to think people buy small cars for economy alone. But I have to tell ya...if I had all the money in the world, I'd STILL buy a small car. I'd just buy a really damn good one. In other words, not a Ford or a GM.
Ford...why did you discontinue the Escort line? Dumbasses.