Ford is about to abandon American sedans

29 April, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • 2018 Ford Mustang facelift

The remaining Ford vehicle portfolio will feature the Mustang and an all-new Focus Active crossover coming out next year, neither of which will be built at the Chicago plant. In making its 2018 USA sales forecast of 16.7 million vehicles, National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman Mark Scarpelli noted demand for light trucks, SUVs and crossovers continues to be "very healthy".

"The millienials and all prefer an SUV over a sedan" says Mike Carpino from Mike Carpino Ford.

"This might be the boldest move Ford has made in many years as they pin their hopes on future products that no one has seen", he said. The fuel-price shock that left Detroit on its knees during the Great Recession didn't last, and American consumers have gone right back to buying sport utility vehicles and big trucks like the bread-and-butter F-Series. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne killed off the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans and retooled the factories that had been making them to build Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups instead.

Ford's profit margin should "bottom out" this year, Hackett said on the earnings call.

Ford Motor Co. dropped a bit of a bombshell when announcing its first-quarter financial results, declaring that it will phase out its slow-selling sedans in North America.

Following the announcement, company's stock rose 2.6 %at $11.40 in after-hours trading. A few days ago, The New York Times reported that Ford was losing money on all of its small cars and sedans.

Jim Hackett, the new CEO, wants to dispose of slow-selling and low-margin Ford auto models and focus on the more lucrative trucks and SUVs in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the automaker.

The company's first battery-electric vehicle after the Focus BEV will be available in 2020 as a performance utility vehicle, and it's unlikely that will be priced below $35,000.

"We expect demand for these new vehicles to support the same number of employees as we have today", Felker said.

Ford said its net income in the quarter was up almost 9.5%, to US$1.74bn, or US$0.43 a share, from US$1.59bn, or US$0.40 a share.

Martinez's schedule didn't provide a schedule for the Fusion, as that vehicle, according to him, will be around for a few more years. By 2020, 90% of its lineup will consist of trucks and SUVs.

There will be some retooling to prepare for the new SUV models, but there is no plan to shut down the plant, Felker said. The strategy involves doing away with some of its traditional sedan model in the North America market which have increasingly become very unpopular.

There is also talk of other automakers reducing sedan production in favor of light truck-style vehicles.


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