Earlier this week, Ford revealed that it would be initiating the Sedanageddon protocol, killing off every single sedan in its lineup and leaving only the Mustang and a Ford Active hatchback/crossover as its only non-truck/SUV/crossover passenger vehicles.
Ford said that about 90% of its portfolio in North America will be trucks, utilities and commercial vehicles by 2020. It signals the end of the Fusion, Taurus, Focus, Fiesta and their RS and ST variants. Exactly when these models will stop being sold in the market hasn't been announced. The reason that many consumers resisted buying SUV's - bad gas mileage - has been eliminated by "tremendous engineering improvements", according to Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst at AutoTrader.com.
Ford's changes include getting rid of all cars in the region during the next four years except for the Mustang sports auto and a compact Focus crossover vehicle.
On Wednesday, CEO Jim Hackett said that American automaker will not be producing the next generation of those sedans.
Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific, Inc., called the move bold but also not surprising.
"This is going to be disappointing to a lot of people who see the end of an era, but most of those people are over 50", said John Wolkonowicz, an automotive historian and former Ford product planner. "Obviously, this has done well for brands such as Subaru". Martinez learned the Fusion will stick around for at least a couple more years.
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After more than a century-long run, giant automakers like Ford can no longer escape the obvious: The demand for traditional cars is beginning to dry up, thanks to the evolving tastes of millennials and baby boomers, experts said.
Ford made $1.74 billion from January through March, or 43 cents per share, compared to $1.59 billion, or 40 cents per share a year ago. Abstaining from that spending is part of Hackett's plan to cut $25.5 billion in costs by 2022. This is a big increase from the $14 billion which the company had announced previously.
Ford says no American jobs will be lost as a result of the plan. GM CFO Chuck Stevens told CNBC, "I think we have been on this path for a number of years".
Shanks said that rising costs for commodities, such as aluminum, steel and copper, were a almost $500-million drag on Ford's performance for the quarter. That is slightly higher than the $1.59 billion, or 40 cents a share Ford earned in first quarter of a year ago.
The automaker is nearly doubling a cost-cutting goal to $25.5 billion by 2022, Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told reporters Wednesday.