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Ford to Discontinue Almost All its Cars in North America

26 April 2018

Ford didn't quite get out of the auto business when it released its first-quarter earnings Wednesday, but it did take a few steps closer to selling nearly nothing but sport- or crossover-utilities, pickup trucks and commercial vehicles.

Ford has announced that, in the United States, it plans to cull its existing base of passenger cars down to just two vehicles - the Mustang, and the Focus Active.

Ford's head of global markets, Jim Farley, said the company is exploring new vehicles that give people the space and versatility of a utility vehicle without a fuel economy "penalty". But the company's profit margin slipped to 5.2 percent from 6.4 percent a year earlier.

In other words? Passenger cars aren't making money, and crossovers/trucks are.

Given the wholesale shift from sedans to SUVs and CUVs in the USA and Canadian markets, the Ford marque is going in big on what Jim Farley, executive vice president and president of global markets for the Ford Motor Company, calls "new silhouettes". This decision is a reaction to the dropping popularity of sedans and small cars.

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The move is bad news for sedans, but good news for trucks and crossovers.

Read between the lines of last week's news about the Ford Fusion, and it becomes tough to see a post-2020 future for the vehicle in the U.S.It won't be made in Mexico anymore, Ford has told.

CFO Shanks said the company expected that commodity costs would represent a $1.5 billion "headwind" in 2018, $500 million of which came in the first quarter. The news is also a reversal of the company's previous strategy as Ford had plans for a next-generation Fusion as late as October 2017.

The company also plans to reduce costs by $11.5 billion by 2020.

But the market in the USA has shifted to larger vehicles that consumers perceive as safer; Ford's decision to pare down their model offering to trucks and sports cars appears to be servicing the demand it sees directly ahead of it. "There's more work that's underway".

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For comparison, Ford's light truck sales rose 7.2 percent, while GM's light truck sales jumped 26.1 percent.

Ford says the Taurus and Police Interceptor sedan will end production in March 2019, with the imported Fiesta leaving the market in May of next year.

We have looked at every single part of the business.

The company's loss in its Asia-Pacific region was down to a slump in sales in China. Year-to-date, Ford stock has declined over 12%.

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Ford to Discontinue Almost All its Cars in North America