Ford Speeds Up Cost Cutting, Dropping Most Sedans in US

Anna Jefferson
April 27, 2018

It is hard to believe that Ford's little Mustang is now 54 years old this month. Fiat Chrysler dropped its small and midsize cars in North America two years ago, and has prospered by ramping up sales of trucks and Jeeps.

By "2020, nearly 90 percent of the Ford portfolio in North America will be trucks, utilities and commercial vehicles", the automaker said.

Ford did not give a timetable for the transition, saying only that it would take place "over the next few years".

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'We'll restructure as necessary, and we'll be decisive. "It is indicative of a management team for whom there are no sacred cows and which seems increasingly likely to pull other such levers to aggressively improve earnings and shareholder value".

Company officials said the shift was based on declining demand and profitability, but Ford reported $1.7 billion in profit for the first quarter in 2018 - a 9 percent increase compared to the same period previous year.

In a statement announcing the company's financial health, Ford confirmed that as a result of lower demand for its saloon-car range - things like the Fusion (Mondeo) - it'll only concentrate on the iconic pony auto, and a Focus crossover. Abstaining from that spending is part of Hackett's plan to cut $25.5 billion in costs by 2022. The company plans to have refreshed 51 percent of its vehicles by the end of 2019 in a process that began in 2017, and it boasted of 11 launches in 2018. It also says it will have a battery electric performance SUV on the market in 2020, and that it will roll out 16 battery-electric vehicles to market by 2022.

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Over the next few years, the automaker will cut its North American passenger vehicle lineup by more than 80 percent. The Ford Mustang and Ford Focus will also remain in the lineup.

That means the venerable Taurus, introduced in 1986, will disappear from Ford's line-up, along with the Ford Fusion. The automaker conspicuously left Lincoln's Continental and MKZ sedans off its hit list, but since those models share mechanical foundations with Ford siblings, their futures also are in doubt.

"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. "This is about making money".

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Another depicts a person sprinting from what looks like a construction site and then speeding off in a black sport utility vehicle.

The move was a long time coming. "We aren't just exploring partnerships; we've now done them".

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