Ford Adding ‘Affordable’ Vehicle to Lineup by 2022
One of the first questions to come out of Ford’s decision to axe the Fiesta and Focus from its U.S. lineup — as well as all other sedans — was where that would leave entry-level buyers. Eliminating its sub-$20,000 sedans and hatchbacks effectively leaves the EcoSport crossover as its most affordable new option after 2019, and with a starting price right on the $20,000 threshold, it leaves some potential buyers out in the cold.
According to Jim Baumbick, vice president, Ford Enterprise Product Line Management, a solution is in the works in the form of an “affordable” nameplate that could join the lineup by 2022. Baumbick spoke this week at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Auto Summit in New York, saying that the as-yet-unidentified vehicle would fill the void left by the likes of the Fiesta and Focus.
Automotive News reached out to Ford, but the automaker was unwilling to clarify the vehicle’s size or body type. Given the strong shift away from sedans, it’s more likely that a new vehicle in the lineup would occupy a “white space” similar to that discussed by Ford CEO Jim Hackett. (Side note: That Ford Puma sure seems like it’d fit here.)
“It’s an example of how we’re moving faster, working together differently, and leveraging our five all-new flexible vehicle architectures,” Ford told Auto News. “We came up with the concept in just 12 weeks using our new product creation process. Previous all-new vehicles could have taken years of research before receiving approval.”
Ford expects to grow its lineup by nine new nameplates through 2023, including seven pickups and utility vehicles. This would offset the discontinuation of six vehicles, bringing the total lineup to 23 nameplates. Confirmed additions include the Bronco, a compact pickup truck, and a compact off-road SUV tentatively known as the Baby Bronco that may be based on the architecture of the new Escape.
Baumbick also insinuated that the Mustang-inspired electric crossover will arrive next year and could be followed by an even more powerful variant.
News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)