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 with the same period a year ago. "By 2020, nearly 90% of our Ford portfolio in North America will be trucks, utilities, and commercial vehicles, including, of course, their electrified versions", Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford, said on the call.
A new crossover coming out next year - the Focus Active wil also be offered.
Ford said it will explore "white space" vehicle designs that are essentially crossovers or faux-utility vehicles that disguise their traditional auto shapes with higher ground clearance, body cladding, and all-wheel drive.
The news comes as Ford announced a $1.7 billion profit for the first quarter of 2018.
"We are committed to taking the appropriate actions to drive profitable growth and maximise the returns of our business over the long term", said Jim Hackett, president and CEO. "In our effort to make electric vehicles more desirable, we will deliver vehicles with the capability, performance, and interior design that customers need and want, but without the fuel economy penalty they used to see", Hackett said. The new Ford Ranger and the expected return of the Ford Bronco will fill out the 2019/2020 line up.
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However, the company's pre-tax profits were $2.2 billion, a 14% drop compared with last year's result, which was attributed to commodity price increases and unfavorable exchange rates. The company announced that the only passenger cars it will keep there beyond their current generations are the Mustang and the Focus Active crossover (pictured).
Ford expects to improve its capital efficiency.
CFRA researcher Efraim Levy cautioned that while Ford's move to cut spending is a positive, there are "strategic risks and opportunity costs for essentially going "all-in" on trucks, utility vehicles and commercial vehicles", he wrote in a note to clients. And if anyone has ever driven a Fiesta, they will know that it is far from anything special.
Last year, the Chicago plant made 316,000 Explorer SUVs and 51,000 Taurus sedans, Felker said.
The Mustang would not be part of the slashing of sedan cars in North America, but other slow-selling models including the Taurus, Fusion and Fiesta would be eliminated. Meanwhile, the EcoSport - a subcompact crossover SUV that Haldeman describes as the marriage of an Escape and Focus - starts under $20,000 and gets 27 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway, the website states.