On Wednesday, the automaker said it was accelerating efforts to slash costs and planned to stop making the Focus, the Fusion and other sedans for the North American market in a bid to turn around its fortunes both at home and overseas.
"We expect demand for these new vehicles to support the same number of employees as we have today", Felker said.
By 2020, almost 90 percent of Ford's product lineup in North America will be trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles.
The auto segment of automotive sales has been shrinking since 2012, while sales of sport utility vehicles have grown over the same period - a trend that's expected to continue. Sure doesn't look like it. Ford points out it just showed a new-ish Fusion at the NY show, so the Continental should at least have some life left.
Ford also unveiled plans to pare an additional $11.5 billion in costs between 2019 and 2022.
In North America, Ford's biggest market, the automaker's pretax profits were down $200 million to $1.9 billion. It is clearly saying any advantages the traditional sedan had (such as a lower center of gravity) are no longer enough to make up for a small- or medium-size crossover's greater space. A spokesman for Ford confirmed that the Focus BEV will not return for another generation.
Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific, Inc. says Ford has made a "bold move", but he really wasn't surprised.
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In March, Ford executives unveiled ambitious plans to shift the struggling automaker's product portfolio from passenger cars to SUVs, add more hybrid and pure electric vehicles, and reduce development and manufacturing costs - aimed at boosting profits and the automaker's share price.
"It's pretty hard to make that prediction today based on volumes", Dias said from Washington, D.C., where trade talks were being held between Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Shanks said Ford is unleashing the creativity of the teams to challenge norms, challenge conventions. Cuts and efficiencies are not done yet, he said. Therefore, it would make sense to phase out its sedans and other offerings.
Ford finds itself on a road similar to the route Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV followed to pass Ford in North American profitability.
The company's Oakville, Ont., complex now assembles the Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT - all sport utility vehicles. 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.
There will soon be fewer cars and more SUVs at Ford dealerships across the country.