Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will shed most of its North American auto lineup as part of broad plan to save money and make the company more competitive in a fast-changing marketplace.
In its first-quarter statement on Wednesday, the company said it will only sell twocars for the US market within the "next few years" and that it will "not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America". "Ford's business decision does make sense, given the decades-long trend of trucks, especially Ford's own F-Series line, outselling traditional cars in the USA", writes Mike Murphy for Quartz. The company now anticipates reaching an 8 percent profit margin by 2020, two years ahead of schedule. It is hard to believe that Ford's little Mustang is now 54 years old this month.
Its advertising and promotion budgets will be slashed, too.
Ford said the changes will not require additional investment but will instead be enabled by freeing up $11.5 billion (about £10bn) from existing programmes. "Small cars are important internationally, and they still make up a chunk of sales in the United States".
This year, Ford moved production of its Focus from MI to make way for the new Ranger pickup and to make room for a coming Bronco SUV. "It will be replaced with an all-new Lincoln Aviator". The company now builds vehicles on nine platforms that arent as flexible.
Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations, said Ford plans to build a new product its Hermosillo plant in Mexico when it quits production of the Fusion sedan, and will also build a new battery electric vehicle in Mexico.
Ford is not the only automaker experiencing hard times in the face of an unnerving future.
According to Ford spokesman Michael Levine, the only Focus small vehicle available in the USA will be the Ford Active crossover, although its powertrain lineup isn't yet finalized.
Earnings and revenue beat Wall Street estimates.
In North America, Ford's biggest market, the automaker's pretax profits were down $200 million to $1.9 billion.
GM has already cut down on production of the Chevy Cruze, Chevy Impala, Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac ATS and CTS, according to CNN Money.
He cautioned, however, that the cost-saving moves would not have much of an effect on the bottom line until the second half of 2019, when new sport-utility vehicles are expected to arrive and help drive profits.
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Ford Phasing out Sedans in North America
Ford CFO Bob Shanks announced the improved guidance as the company reported a nine per cent increase in first-quarter net income. Shanks wouldn't say whether Ford would need to eliminate jobs to achieve the additional $11.5 billion in cost cuts.
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