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Ford may cut lineup to as few as 20 nameplates, Mulally says

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Ford may cut lineup to as few as 20 nameplates, Mulally says

September 27, 2010 - 1:10 pm ET

LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. may reduce its product lineup to as few as 20 nameplates, CEO Alan Mulally said today.

“There will be less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25,” Mulally said in response to questions on the future lineup of nameplates after addressing the Confederation of British Industry in London. “Fewer brands means you can put more focus into improving the quality of engineering.”

Ford offered 97 nameplates when Mulally became CEO of the company in 2006. The lineup has since been reduced by terminating some products and selling luxury brands Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin.

“It was absolutely clear that we had to simplify Ford dramatically,” said the CEO, who is in Europe prior to visiting the Paris auto show later this week.

Ford also has simplified component specifications for each product, so that the Fiesta model, which has about 10 variants worldwide, now has about 65 percent of its parts as standard.

“It helps all of our distribution, Ford store owners, suppliers, employees and consumers to know exactly what they're getting,” Mulally said.

As part of his push to cut the number of brands and nameplates, Mulally has dismantled the luxury Premier Automotive Group formed by CEO Jacques Nasser in 1999 and embraced by Bill Ford after he took over the top post.

Volvo completion

Mulally, who joined Ford from planemaker Boeing Co., completed the sale of Sweden's Volvo Cars to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. of China for $1.3 billion last month, having sold the Jaguar Land Rover unit to Mumbai-based Tata Motors Ltd. in 2008 and disposed of Aston Martin a year earlier.

Ford is also discontinuing the mid-level Mercury line in North America and intends to put more resources into its upscale Lincoln brand.

Mulally said Ford's sales prospects depend largely on economic recovery following the termination of government cash-for-clunkers programs that spurred demand last year.

“The key thing now is to keep the economy going,” said Mulally, who turned 65 last month. “All the fundamentals say that we are moving in the right direction.”

Prospects for expansion are bolstered by the Asian market, which is “just a phenomenal growth engine right now,” he said.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100927/OEM04/100929868/1257#ixzz10mFAkcso

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Mulally wants Ford to Cut Company-wide Lineup Down to Around 20 vehicles

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010

Alan Mulally, President and CEO of FoMoCo, told an audience of business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry in London today that Ford is looking to downsize its current lineup to 20-25 models in an attempt to "simplify" and build better cars.

It seems to make sense; instead of spreading yourself too thin and trying to be everything to everyone at the cost of quality, spend more of your resources on fewer models to ensure a well put-together product.

Clearly addressing the euthanization of Mercury and its badge-engineered wonders (as well as parting out Ford's Premier Automotive Group), Ford CEO Alan Mulally said:

"When I arrived, it was absolutely clear that we had to simplify Ford dramatically...Fewer brands means you can put more focus into improving the quality of engineering."

For the record, Mulally came into a FoMoCo that had ninety-seven (97!) models in 2006. Thanks to cutting back models and standardizing components, Ford has helped bring down the cost of multi-market cars like the Fiesta (65% of which is standardized parts).

With Volvo's sale - at a huge loss - to Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ford's golden child already is now making sure those wasted Mercury funds are allocated properly (i.e. to Lincoln and its non-cohesiveproduct range). What's next?

Mulally says, "The key thing now is to keep the economy going. All the fundamentals say that we are moving in the right direction."

I'll believe that when Lincoln is a true-blue luxury brand once more.

link:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/09/mulally-wants-ford-to-cut-company-wide.html

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MULALLY COULD PARE FORD TO AS FEW AS 20 NAMEPLATES

By Andrew Ganz

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has already earned a reputation somewhere between "savior" and "cost cutter," having helped the Dearborn automaker stay out of bankruptcy at the expense of dramatic personnel and brand reductions. Now, he says Ford might get to as little as 20 nameplates in the future - down dramatically from the 97 it had just four years ago.

“There will be less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25 [nameplates]," Mulally told reporters in London today.

Naturally, a number of nameplates have vanished by way of attrition. Ford sold off all of its European divisions - Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo - and it is closing its Mercury brand by the end of this year. Although new Ford and Lincoln nameplates have been introduced, many are being discontinued. Over the next couple of years, aging models like the Ford Ranger, Explorer Sport Trac and Lincoln Town Car will be dropped without replacements.

Currently, Ford has about 26 different nameplates on offer, not including hybrid and coupe variants of some products.

Mulally has also made an effort to streamline offerings within a nameplate by reducing the number of configurations available globally on certain high volume cars like the Ford Fiesta.

“It helps all of our distribution, Ford store owners, suppliers, employees and consumers to know exactly what they’re getting,” Mulally said.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/mulally-could-pare-ford-to-as-few-as-20-nameplates.html

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I wonder if they are talking 20 in one particular market, or internationally across markets...

Currently they have (across markets):

cars: Ka, Ikon, Figo, Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Fusion, Falcon, Taurus, Mustang

crossovers/SUVs: Escape, Ecosport, Kuga, Fusion, Edge, Territory, Everest/Endeavour, Explorer, Flax, Expedition

MPVs: C-max, Grand C-max, S-max, Galaxy

trucks: Ranger, F-series, Super Duty

vans: Transit Connect, Transit, E-series

I probably missed some that are in S. America or Asia..

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Ford nameplates may be cut to 25

Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. wants to reduce the number of nameplates it sells in the future to between 20 and 25, Chief Executive Alan Mulally said Monday following a speech to the Confederation of British Industry in London.

The comments were the first time Mulally has given a specific number for continued efforts to reduce the number of vehicles offered under the Ford and Lincoln brands. There are 36 nameplates today.

The automaker would not give a timeframe to meet the targeted number. The auto industry tends to work in three- to five-year windows of vehicle development.

When Mulally took over as CEO in 2006, the automaker had 97 nameplates and a whole division of luxury brands including Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo, as well as the Mercury brand ,which is being phased out by the end of the year. Ford said it will devote all its resources and energies to two brands.

One of the first things Mulally did was sell all the luxury brands except Volvo, which was sold last month to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. of China for $1.3 billion.

Unpopular models also have discontinued over the years. That is a normal practice as vehicles lose favor, such as full-size SUVs when gas prices increased.

By 2008, the number of nameplates was down to 59.

The current 36 nameplates will fall further with the discontinuation of four Mercury nameplates later this year.

Asked following his speech about the future lineup of models, Mulally said the total will be fewer than 30, on the way to 20-25.

Ford has pursued a course of fewer vehicles but with multiple body styles for each nameplate to meet the needs of customers around the world. For example, the new Ford Focus will be offered as a sedan, five-door hatchback, wagon and performance ST version, depending on the global market. The idea is to share as many common parts as possible.

"Ford is rightly saying we need to address the market with fewer vehicles and more flexibility and volume within each (nameplate)," said analyst Michael Robinet of IHS Automotive in Northville.

"Every time you add a nameplate, there is an increase in marketing costs."

There is cost efficiency, he said, in having a Focus to market in every part of the world.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100928/AUTO01/9280322/1148/auto01/Ford-nameplates-may-be-cut-to-25#ixzz10pPYjE16

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From 97 Ford Cars and Trucks...to 20?

By Marty Padgett

Editorial Director

September 28th, 2010

With a brace of new products arriving in the 2011 model years--the Fiesta, the F-150 and a Focus lineup coming soon--Ford is planning more new vehicles for its namesake and Lincoln brands.

In the future, though, the number of models the company sells could fall dramatically, according to CEO Alan Mulally.

In a press conference on Monday in London, Mulally told reporters that Ford is on its way to trimming its model lineup from the 97 different vehicles Ford sold in 2006, to 30 in the near term. In the longer term, Mulally says the company is "on our way to 20 to 25," Bloomberg reports.

In 2006, Ford still had possession of all the brands it's since divested, including Jaguar/Land Rover, Aston Martin, Volvo and Mercury.

The attrition from those brands alone will get the company within the range of 30 vehicles. Ford will also prune some models from its current portfolio as it brings out new vehicles in 2011 and 2012. The Ford Explorer is new this year, for example--but the Explorer Sport Trac pickup version has been cancelled, and production is ending at its assembly plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

Reducing the number of models it sells will help Ford boost its efficiency in manufacturing--a specialty of Mulally's, since he arrived at Ford fresh from Boeing where he rationalized production of that company's airliner fleet after its merger with McDonnell-Douglas.

Mulally's success at Ford--the only domestic automaker to steer clear of accepting federal loan guarantees--has led to speculation he might be asked to return to Boeing, which is experiencing lengthy delays delivering its 787 Dreamliner jet to its first customers. Fox Business' Neil Cavuto has asked Mulally if he's been sought out for a position in the Obama administration, a question Mulally deflected in an interview last month.

link:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1049815_from-97-ford-cars-and-trucks-to-20

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I wonder if they are talking 20 in one particular market, or internationally across markets...

Currently they have (across markets):

cars: Ka, Ikon, Figo, Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Fusion, Falcon, Taurus, Mustang, Crown Victoria

crossovers/SUVs: Escape, Ecosport, Kuga, Fusion, Edge, Territory, Everest/Endeavour, Explorer, Flex, Expedition

MPVs: C-max, Grand C-max, S-max, Galaxy

trucks: Ranger, F-series, Super Duty

vans: Transit Connect, Transit, E-series

I probably missed some that are in S. America or Asia..

Well, you missed Lincoln too...

MKZ, MKS, MKT, MKX, Navigator, Town Car

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Ya, I was only considering the Ford brand globally...

Lincoln is losing one next year and probably will gain a couple in the near future..

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Report: Mulally says Ford may pare global lineup to just 20 models

by Jonathon Ramsey (RSS feed) on Sep 28th 2010 at 1:00PM

When Alan Mulally took charge of Ford four years ago, the Blue Oval had nearly 100 models. There are fewer than half that now, and the CEO wants to trim the number down to "less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25." His goal of simplification appears to be driven by the desire to cut costs for everyone – distributors, suppliers, dealerships, as well as Ford itself. That will not only help the brand in the present as it makes do in lean times, but can compound the rewards when markets – especially in Asia – go nuts again.

Mulally says the returns can be put into research and development, along with engineering for the remaining models. To put this in perspective, on Ford's U.S. site alone, there are 18 vehicles, not including the soon-to-die Explorer Sport Trac, which of course leaves out cars like the Falcon, Territory, Kuga and S-Max, among others. So the natural question is: Which vehicles would or should get the axe?

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/28/report-mulally-says-ford-may-pare-global-lineup-to-just-20-mode/

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I saw two MKt's on the road today. Weird.

As a big ford banger, i actually don't think Lincoln needs to amount to much. What it does need to be is excellent. ANd it needs to be at the forefront of tech for Ford.

There probably will always be a Navigator. Rich people have horses and do equestrian and need to pull trailers and stuff.

I think Lincoln will always need A crossover. MKx is probably the best size and price range to be in, but it needs to be different than the Edge. Substantively.

Crossovers in general I think will go by the wayside or downsize for many of the luxury marques. 3 row SRX's and Q7 size whales will become more like the smaller VOlvo crossover or the Q5 or the new current SRX.

So I don't know if Lincoln gets an MKx and another crossover, I think the MKt's days may be numbered.

Lincoln needs a posh adult sedan (MKs, with new style please!) and maybe the MKz stays and gets downsized so the differences are more clear.

MKr is needed badly as a true RWD bias chassis Lincoln product line to give a semblance of performance cred. Or maybe MKr platform is like Alpha is to GM. One platform flexible for 3 and 5 series sized vehicles. What sort of body styles and sizes would you make the MKr?

Lincoln needs an image vehicle, and a convertible / roadster I think.

If Lincoln 'needs' any other product, they will have to create a new vehicle type I think. None of the recent lincoln concepts have had any promise.

Lincoln doesn't move enough product to support too many models. MKs is actually a fantastic car let down by boring duds but rest assured its a nice car inside. I think Taurus shoppers should look at them too, the interior is less constricting. an MKs with the panarama sunroof and weir leather with ecoboost and thx would be a VERY tasty find in the used market soon.

As nice as the MKt is I would probably cut bait on it after this product cycle. I just don't see the 60k family haulers segment surviving this recession much longer.....

I think FOrd making a very focused (sorry) Lincoln lineup and selling some of it in Europe and using it to add cred to their product in Europe would actually help bring them back here.

Edited by regfootball

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