The dog factor matters in car sales. In fact, it's so important that Village Ford in Dearborn, Mich., set up a display of a 2021 Bronco Sport SUV with a stuffed dog in a safety harness and the dog safety screen in it to keep a dog in the backseat.
"We wanted to start doing more accessories and people love their dogs and will spend money on them. So we wanted to show what's available," said Jason MacDonald, operations sales manager at Village Ford.
Ford offers a variety of dog accessories such as safety harnesses, water bowl kits, partitions, a collapsible crate and waterproof cargo mats, MacDonald said.
"A lot of people take (dogs) into consideration and will get a bench seat in the back of an Explorer, for example, rather than bucket seats because bench sets are more comfortable for the dogs," MacDonald said.
Up high, clear view
Floyd Allen has toted around his German Shorthair Pointer dogs in Ford Explorer SUVs for more than two decades. He bought the vehicle with his dogs top of mind.
"It is probably the most significant factor because I would not want to have a vehicle that would not accommodate my dogs well," Allen said. "My dogs are a very, very significant part of my life. They are my best friend and we do a lot together, it's not just that I go hunting a few times a year. Every weekend we do something."
Allen, who is a corporate attorney with his office in Detroit's Fisher Building, said he got turned on to the Explorer in the mid-1990s.
"I was looking for a utility vehicle that allows me to do all the things I like to do: I bike, I golf, I ski, I hunt and fish so anything outdoors," Allen said. "I picked the Explorer because my German Shorthair dogs over the years enjoyed the vehicle as much as I enjoy it."
Allen, who usually has two dogs, currently has one: Broadway Shooter, 5. But he plans to get another dog in a couple of years.