FORD TO SEDANS: DROP DEAD
For a good little while now, Ford has been staving off rumors that it will be killing off the bulk of its car lineup. Anonymous source after anonymous source has claimed that the Fiesta, Fusion, C-MAX, and Taurus are all destined for the chopping block, and Ford has almost invariably countered by saying that these vehicles are a big part of its plans moving forward.
During the company’s first-quarter financials conference call on Wednesday, Ford presumably just said, ah, the hell with it, and more or less confirmed that it’s dropping the axe on four of its cars.
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“We are committed to taking the appropriate actions to drive profitable growth and maximize the returns of our business over the long term,” said Jim Hackett, president and CEO. “Where we can raise the returns of underperforming parts of our business by making them more fit, we will. If appropriate returns are not on the horizon, we will shift that capital to where we can play and win.”
The most notable underperforming part of Ford’s business in the United States is without a doubt its sedans, which is why the company had previously announced plans to make 90% of its North American portfolio trucks, SUVs and crossovers, and commercial vehicles within the next two years. It comes as little surprise then that Ford announced that it will not pursue next-generation builds for sedans like the Fusion and Taurus, which were at one time or another major facets of its portfolio.
Specifically, Ford said that it will cut its North American car offerings to two vehicles: the Mustang and Focus Active crossover, which presumably spells the definitive end of the Focus sedan in the United States. The automaker also said that it is “exploring new ‘white space’ vehicle silhouettes that combine the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as higher ride height, space, and versatility.” So, carsovers, then.
Farewell, Ford sedans. It was a good run while it lasted.
Coming Soon from Ford: 2019 Ford Ranger brings mid-size nameplate back to United States in a big way