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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Ford Slices and Dices Their Car Lineup

      And there would be two

    Ford is serious about cutting costs and that means cars will be cut. During the company's first-quarter earnings, it was announced that Ford would be killing off the Fiesta, Focus Sedan/Hatch, Fusion, and Taurus in North America. The only vehicles that will remain are the Mustang and the upcoming Focus Active in 2019. This will save Ford $11.5 billion and up their cost-cutting goal to $25.5 billion by 2022. This is a sizeable increase from $14 billion projected by CEO Jim Hackett in October.

    “Everything is on the table. We can exit products (and) markets. We will do that. That work (started in October) has really gained traction. We have looked at every single part of the business. It’s a very complex endeavor. We are determined to turn this business around right throughout the whole company. There’s more work that’s underway,” said Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks.

    The move to reduce Ford's passenger car lineup is not shocking. Sales of Ford's passenger cars have been tanking for the past couple of years as trucks/SUVs have taken off. We've also be reporting on the death of Ford's car lineup in the rumorpile within the past year. It is unclear the timeframe as to when the various models will end production for North America. Our guess would be Taurus, Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion.

    Ford is also not planning "next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America.”  Instead, the company will focus on what it calls “white space” silhouette vehicles - models hat combine attributes from cars and utility vehicles (A.K.A. crossovers) Also in the cards are hybrid powertrains for various models and 16 electric vehicles by 2022. By 2020, the company expects 90 percent of their North American lineup will be comprised of pickups, SUVs, and commercial vehicles.

    For the time being, other markets will continue to get the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus.

    One item that is still up in the air is what will happen to the Lincoln models that share platforms - the Continental and MKZ.

    Source: FordAutomotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, The Detroit News



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    11 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Wowza.  They've given up, admitting defeat in cars against the Asian brands.  

    Yep, this sounds like a Rick Wagoner "cut your way to profitability" plan and all that got GM was bankruptcy  I think it makes sense to cut the Taurus globally, because it doesn't sell much here and you can sell a long wheel base Fusion in China if you have to.  

    This does seem like a give up, and these cars do sell like 400,000 combined sales a year probably, that is a lot to just give away to other brands.

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    Remember what they said when the cut the Ranger... Ranger people only bought them because they were cheap... the Fiesta would take up the slack... blah blah blah

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    I bet Lincoln drops all cars except Continental, and even that I wonder how long it will stay.  Since they can sell a full size sedan in China, and use it for livery purpose here, I think they find a business case, and then Lincoln has at least one sedan in the showroom.

    I could see a recession coming soon too, I have read how average credit card balances are at all time highs, interest rates are starting to rise so home buying and car buying gets a bit hard and will slow down, this tax cut is going to saddle the government with even more debt (not too with rising rates) and peoples wages aren't rising, most of those tax cuts went to corporate stock buy backs and executive bonuses.  And we are due for a stock market correction which seems to be happening.  

    That being said, if you go into recession and/or gas prices rise, do you really want to kill every car and focus (no pun intended) on higher priced thirstier trucks?

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    13 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This is a terrible idea..... but if they can't make a profit on 500,000 Fusions a year globally, maybe they deserve what seems to be coming to them.

    On a related note, I'm even more convinced than ever that we're heading for a recession soon.  Maybe this is Ford's hedge against that like they pulled off last time to avoid bankruptcy.

    good point about recession.  but don't small hatches and sedans get great mpg when gas prices go up like they always do?

     

    methinks cutting the Fusion is very drastic.  even if sedan sales continue to tank, they can easily sell 100,000 - 200,000 fusions and look at the great mpg's midisizers get now.  you can justify a new fusion IMO ..  Seems to me an automaker the size of Ford should be able to easily spit out a focus and fusion built off of one flexible platform.  But we can bring back low volume broncos and blazers.  yup.

     

    thing is, they know they can make more money selling crossovers, this is partly because they can't get transaction prices for this stuff like other vehicles.

    we all know too, they kill these vehicles, they can end using the plants they make these vehicles in in the USA.  wait awhile and bring em back from India and mexico and stuff

    ford better add more crossovers, the escape and edge alone can't cover sales volume.  and the ecosport is a cruel joke.

     

     

    Edited by regfootball
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    I think Ford is just cutting the classic sedans for now, but I can totally see them coming out with a FusionCross, FocusActive, Taurus X.... oh.. wait.... , etc.

    The EcoSport will take up the mantle of the Fiesta ones the recession is in full swing. Three cylinder Ecoboosts with Start-Stop will be the answer for fuel economy.

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    Ford just may be ahead of the sedan curve vs. the Asian brands.

    Nissan ~ Versa: down 12%, altima: down 18%, Maxima: down 28%. Leaf is only up 1%.
    Further: Quest is dead, juke is dead, xterra is dead, NV: down 14%, titan: down 11%, pathfinder down 36%... it ain't all roses over there on the CUV/truck side, either.

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    I could see cutting the Fusion sedan if they still had a Focus sedan with some upgraded trim and features that sort of fill that void, but they killed the Fusion sedan too.  I find it hard to believe Ford won't have 1 sedan when sedan is the #2 selling body style still.

    And things are tends too, station wagons had big market share once, minivans had a lot of share once, and a lot of people didn't want that because "it was their parents car" well now.  What if crossovers start to fade in popularity, then Ford is screwed.  I don't think crossovers will fade, but anything is possible. 

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This is a terrible idea..... but if they can't make a profit on 500,000 Fusions a year globally, maybe they deserve what seems to be coming to them.

    On a related note, I'm even more convinced than ever that we're heading for a recession soon.  Maybe this is Ford's hedge against that like they pulled off last time to avoid bankruptcy.

     

    Already agree with you there...think you and I might see the same writing on the wall....

     

    Problem is is that it cost GM dearly when they stopped caring for theirs....Ford has nowhere near the lineup GM had to reverse the mistake. This is going to cost them.....bad.

    23 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I could see cutting the Fusion sedan if they still had a Focus sedan with some upgraded trim and features that sort of fill that void, but they killed the Fusion sedan too.  I find it hard to believe Ford won't have 1 sedan when sedan is the #2 selling body style still.

    And things are tends too, station wagons had big market share once, minivans had a lot of share once, and a lot of people didn't want that because "it was their parents car" well now.  What if crossovers start to fade in popularity, then Ford is screwed.  I don't think crossovers will fade, but anything is possible. 

     

    It's a trend like anything else....people will grow tired of them (or the cost) at some point. Basic transportation will make a comeback...sooner or later.

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    Could also be part of the strategy for getting ahead of the curve with autonomous ride sharing vehicles.   Autonimous electric CUVs--wouldn't be bought or leased by individuals but be fleet vehicles...they wouldn't need to build a lot of normal cars as aecuvs become mainstream. Future shock. 

    (I know, too soon for that, but I see that is where things are going..and probably sooner than we think).

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    Ford killing off their entire sedan line is crazy and radical.  Then again, Chrysler may need to do the same (excluding the 300 Charger Challenger) if they haven't already, especially since FIAT sales are crap and Alfa Romeo does not sell well either.  If much higher gas prices and a recession hit at the same time, F-series sales will go in the tank and then what will Ford do?

    Dearborn has some tough decisions ahead.

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    I believe like Drew that we are headed for a recession. I also believe that no matter what, Ford should still have a couple cars as not everyone wants a CUV/SUV/Truck and have them in a Hybrid or EV as there are those like some I know that hate all things Hybrid / EV.

    Future wise, Ford would be smart to still keep a couple pokers in the fire.

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    My thoughts from another car site:

     

    Bringing things down here..

    Sadly, Ford is being quite short sided here. Simply put, you can't cut your way to prosperity. Wiping out a whole line is going to lose you both more money and customers. The C max was already gone. Keep your core: Fusion(family) and Focus (entry level) The other two Fiesta (too small) and Taurus( too close to the Fusion) could be the ones to go. Worst yet-now you are going to have to fire sale these (like GM's exiting brands) to get rid of them...

    GM will go the smarter way (slight cuts),as will the others (Honda, Toyota, etc.)Most cuts are going to be either the sub Compacts and the large extra cars....no need to go off the deep end here.

    Thinking Ford has more problems than they let on...but I hope and wish the best for Ford right now..

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    Shocking.  Radical.  Stark.  We haven't heard anything about direct replacements for Fusion, Focus and Taurus, except for the "white space" comment.  We've seen the "white space" filled before by Subaru, Volvo and Maybach with their "sport utility sedans".

    Yes the current Ecosport is not suited for North America, it is a rush to enter a fast filling segment.  I do like the Focus Active.  But there is suddenly no real entry level vehicle at Ford... Ecosport base at $19,995?  The new normal?  A new Ecosport is already past due, one that can cover the emerging markets and be suited to American and Chinese customers... or else build something else for emerging markets.  Ford can say the Ecosport is a replacement for the Fiesta in North America, but it is a different type of vehicle, it just isn't the same.

    We've heard about the new RWD/4WD Explorer/Aviator, the Ranger-based Bronco, the "baby Bronco" which is on what platform?

    Let me gather these together for my own mind:

    Ecosport

    Focus Active (needs option of AWD)

    "Baby Bronco"

    Mustang

    Bronco

    Escape

    Ranger

    Transit Connect Wagon

    Edge

    Flex (?)

    Explorer

    Expedition short and long

    F-Series

    They will need something else that is not "rugged and outdoorsy" between the Focus Active and the Escape in North America, I feel.

     

     

    Edited by ocnblu

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    Flex will be gone when the Taurus is gone.   The 'Baby Bronco' if it happens would be an Escape variant, I would think.   This 'Focus Active' sounds like it will be something like the Crosstrek. 

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    10 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Ford just may be ahead of the sedan curve vs. the Asian brands.

    Nissan ~ Versa: down 12%, altima: down 18%, Maxima: down 28%. Leaf is only up 1%.
    Further: Quest is dead, juke is dead, xterra is dead, NV: down 14%, titan: down 11%, pathfinder down 36%... it ain't all roses over there on the CUV/truck side, either.

    That's Nissan, though...perennial also-ran.   I doubt if the core 4 sedans (Accord, Civic, Camry, Corolla) and their Hyundai/Kia counterparts are going anywhere soon..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I dunno- over at honduh, the CRZ is dead, the insight is dead, no one is buying the clarity, the fit is down 14% and the accord is down 13%. And the civic is flat (-0.3%). Accord sales aren't bad at 24K/mnth, but the trend is still toward dwindling numbers. It may well turn out that there are the 'Coke' & 'Pepsi' of family sedans and no other volume players. Camry is still moving 35K/mnth; it and the accord used to be neck & neck.

    Edited by balthazar
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    The bread & butter are the civic/accord, obviously. Accord is having atypical volume problems, maybe it's the polarizing design (I thought via initial pics it was kinda bizarre, but after looking out on the road, they're fine in appearance). Perhaps a quick MCE is in order, tho.

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    11 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    I bet Lincoln drops all cars except Continental, and even that I wonder how long it will stay.  Since they can sell a full size sedan in China, and use it for livery purpose here, I think they find a business case, and then Lincoln has at least one sedan in the showroom.

    I could see a recession coming soon too, I have read how average credit card balances are at all time highs, interest rates are starting to rise so home buying and car buying gets a bit hard and will slow down, this tax cut is going to saddle the government with even more debt (not too with rising rates) and peoples wages aren't rising, most of those tax cuts went to corporate stock buy backs and executive bonuses.  And we are due for a stock market correction which seems to be happening.  

    That being said, if you go into recession and/or gas prices rise, do you really want to kill every car and focus (no pun intended) on higher priced thirstier trucks?

    They are going to drop the Conti also.  No way that is going to survive, I think.

    10 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    I dunno- over at honduh, the CRZ is dead, the insight is dead, no one is buying the clarity, the fit is down 14% and the accord is down 13%. And the civic is flat (-0.3%). Accord sales aren't bad at 24K/mnth, but the trend is still toward dwindling numbers. It may well turn out that there are the 'Coke' & 'Pepsi' of family sedans and no other volume players. Camry is still moving 35K/mnth; it and the accord used to be neck & neck.

    They are doing a better job marketing the Camry IMHO.

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    3 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    The bread & butter are the civic/accord, obviously. Accord is having atypical volume problems, maybe it's the polarizing design (I thought via initial pics it was kinda bizarre, but after looking out on the road, they're fine in appearance). Perhaps a quick MCE is in order, tho.

    The front end isn't doing it any favors.   The previous generation was a better looking car overall, IMO. 

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