Friday, 17 August, 2018

Ford Puts Brakes on Most Sedan Production

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Jodi Jackson | 27 April, 2018, 00:58

Currently, Ford's only battery-electric vehicle sold in the world is the Focus Electric, which is headed for extinction and sold in very small numbers in limited locations. The company cited statistics that show almost nine out of 10 Ford vehicles bought in North America are trucks, commercial vehicles, and utilities.

Ford auto sales were down 13.7 percent through the end of March and 14.2 percent in 2017. In a world where the Honda Accord is outsold by the CR-V, this had to happen sooner or later. Ford has also been implementing hybrid vehicle strategies on existing models like the F-150, Escape and Mustang.

Ford Motor Co. is sharpening its knives to cleave another $11.5 billion from spending plans and cut several sedans, including the Fusion and Taurus, from its lineup to more quickly reach an elusive profit target. It's also gambling that gas prices won't appreciably rise in that time, a factor that would drive people into smaller, more efficient vehicles instead of utility vehicles.

Ford says its net income rose slightly in the first quarter due largely to a lower income tax rate. They don't, however, love actual cars like hatchbacks and sedans -as Ford has learned. A spokesman for Ford confirmed that the Focus BEV will not return for another generation.

"We're not going to invest where it doesn't make sense", CFO Bob Shanks said. By 2021, Ford projects it will surpass Toyota and become the leader in the U.S. hybrid vehicles market in terms of sales, in part thanks to the hybrid F-150 and Mustang.

That means phasing out nearly all sedans in North America.

Ford, which made its name on the Model T, will phase out production of sedans for the North American market and will instead focus its efforts on building trucks and SUVs.

In North America, Ford's largest and most important region, pretax profit was $1.9 billion, down $200 million from a year earlier.

Tech in cars is gonna absolutely blow up in the next few years so it would make sense for the company to want to be at the forefront of that. The company expects its profit margin in North America to rise to 10 percent by 2020, Shanks said. But since then, Ford has been slow to roll out the new sorts of SUVs that have caught favor with American consumers, and it let costs creep higher.

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