Ford is Giving Up on Cars in North America

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The No. 2 automaker in the USA said it is now planning to cut up to $25.5 billion by 2022 in costs, which is up from its previously announced amount of $14 billion last fall. Expect more crossovers and SUVs, then, or cars that Ford describes as combining "the best attributes of cars and utilities", as the brand switches focus.

"We are focused on taking the fitting activities to drive beneficial development and boost the profits of our business over the long haul", said Jim Hackett, president, and CEO, in the organization's Q1 financial report.

Ford is not going to invest in the next generation of Ford sedans in North America including its full-size Taurus or midsize Fusion, said the company in its outline.

Ford on Wednesday promised to raise its operating profit margin from 5.2 percent to 8 percent by 2020, two years earlier than a previous forecast.

After a more than 30 year run, the Ford Motor Co. plant on the city's Southeast Side will stop making the Ford Taurus in 2019, and instead focus on pricier SUVs, the company announced. Profits before taxes fell to $2.2 billion from $2.5 billion.

Abstaining from that spending is part of Hackett's plan to cut $25.5 billion in costs by 2022. "We are driven to turn this business around".

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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.

Ford posted a net profit for its first quarter of $1.74 billion equal to 43 cents a share, up from last year's first quarter of $1.6 billion equal to 40 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 41 cents per share and revenue of $36.78 billion.

"Everything will be on the table" to fix the company, CFO Bob Shanks told reporters Wednesday at the company's headquarters in Dearborn.

Ford says that it "maintains the highest transaction prices of any full-line automaker - $36,300 per vehicle". But truth be told, the aging US models already were on life support as Ford spent money on other priorities. And that means not spending any money on new generations of its auto models, which are less profitable and increasingly less popular than its trucks.

Ford says that Lincoln sedans, including the Continental, will not be phased out.

The automaker also reiterated its previously announced plans to "bring 16 battery-electric vehicles to market by 2022" - starting with an all-electric CUV with 300 miles of range.

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