I've been on this forum for years. Many including myself have stated our opinion that Ford was screwing things up. Many - they know who they are - have defended Ford, insisting that they are just on the verge of great things.
Well ... I understand the complaints. Those who dared to question Ford's moves over the years were proven right.
Ford doesn't have a history of aggressive product development outside of F-series. Even the favored Mustang lagged for years with a solid rear axle well into the 21st century. So why should everyone suddenly have blind faith that Ford is now on the right track?
I'm not arguing that the product lull we're in doesn't suck. I'm just trying to make the point that now that we're in it, they can't just instantly come out with a new product tomorrow because they need a product today. Some help arrives at the tail end of this year with Edge/Nautilus and eventually Ranger, and bigger help arrives next year with the 4 key utilities arriving (Escape, Explorer, Corsair, Aviator).
Ford (and Detroit in general) historically had a longer than industry average product churn which partly lead to their near demise. Much of that came from the simple fact that they were poorly managed companies that responded to immediate conditions instead of planning longterm. In many ways Mullally's Ford was Ford responding in epic fashion to immediate needs, but not necessarily preparing Ford for a sustainable future. Ford is stuck in a perpetual cycle of rebirth every 10 years. We are going through another one now but the conditions are far less dire since they are still profitable. But this is probably the first time Ford has been largely alone in its misery. I'm both confident and skeptical in Ford's future knowing that this will happen again and again. But when it comes to products, at least right now, Ford's churn is not that far off from the industry. It's just the timing of everything, we went from the boom time of the Mullally years to the drought of the Fields years which simply corresponds with the product lifecycles. And Fields was also grappling with OneFord that wasn't completely successful, and the fact Fields couldn't make decisions ultimately meant Ford lost its footing almost completely. So instead of gradually phasing to a new decade, Ford basically has to start over and bank on what it has been working on.
I've said it a few times, but my problem with OneFord is this - and the blame can be on both Mulally and Fields, with the latter taking more since he should've been the one implementing it....
Not all that differently from the current plan, OneFord drove to reduce platforms by merging similar worldwide products onto single platforms and consolidate manufacturing sites as applicable. That sounds great on paper, but then you wind up with what we have now - global products, but ones that may not be ideal for particular markets. I always thought the plan was to consolidate to those core products, and then compliment them with additional region-appropriate models based upon those core architectures. That's what the new plan is (I think, anyway). That way you don't get stuck with a product that various markets don't like.
This Ford focused decision making is clear by the recent reports that China consumers wanted a larger screen in an EV. Duhhhh....like that took rocket science, which indicates Ford was just trying to save money trying to use their tiny screens and blind to what the industry is offering. And seriously, they had to halt design of Fords first full EV because it was boring? The question is how did a boring design make it that far to begin with? Ford reminds me of a stubborn old man, who tries to continue to do things the way he always did, regardless of what's happening around him. Ford clearly does not take into account what the competition is doing and tries to design in a vacuum.
What's the best selling EV style? A sedan (Model 3)
What's the newest affordable model from a popular "the newest coolest thing" brand? Coincidentally a sedan (Model 3). It'd be just as popular if it were a crossover.
What's the next best selling EV style? a 5-door hatch (Leaf)
So? What's your point? There are like 3 affordable models out there right now. Model 3, Bolt, and Leaf. Obviously when there's no crossover option, sedan/hatch sales will be greater than crossover sales.
What's the slowest selling EV style? An SUV
What are the EV SUV options? Model X? Oh, the one that starts close to 80k and goes up into the mid 100k? Obviously it will be slower selling.
So if an automaker has the global manufacturing power, what EV style should they make at the highest volume to benefit from scale and offer quicker profitability?
2. 5-door hatch (4-door fast back)
Automakers gambling on these Frankenstein car/crossover/suv things are missing their higher volume profitability, with ultra-low volume overpriced Frankencars. For one they are asking the consumer for too many changes at once. Adopt an EV drivetrain, along with a blended body style that does not match anything familiar to them.
It just seems so much less costly, and much more profitable to put the EV drivetrain under 'familiar' vehicle styles that offers the consumer the greatest benefit from the EV drivetrain. Which would be the sedan or 5-door hatch(fastback). Which is why if the new EV based on a Mustang is not a Next Gen Mustang EV, it will fail. What a waste it would be for an EV based on a Mustang to not be designed to take advantage of all the performance advantages an EV drivetrain can offer. Especially if it's called a MACH 1. Seriously.
So suddenly because it's an EV, it'll be high volume AND highly profitable? The same EVs that aren't profitable now?
So by Bloggin math:
sedan (struggles to make profits) + EV (no profits currently) somehow = mega profits?
There is to be an EV Mustang in addition to "Mach 1".
^....it is electrification that is bringing customers back to the sedan/fastback sedan. The industry knows this but it will take some longer to get there than others. Tesla is clearly leading the way with the Model 3, and that momentum accelerates next year with the base Model 3 being available. Nissan will most certainly be next following their Infiniti sedan ev, with Honda still toying with hydrogen. On the luxury side, MB has a new EQS to launch in 2020 along with Jaguar with an electric version of the XJ.
As the sedan 'shares' the segments with crossovers/suvs, there will always be consumers on both sides, with EVs pulling ahead of ICE sedans in a very short time. The challenge a 'crossover' profile has is that it either requires higher ground clearance, which is a negative for aerodynamics and stability for no good reason, or requires a higher cabin, which is also a negative for aerodynamics. But at this stage, compact/midsize SUVs are necessary especially for a couple of my younger nieces who can't really fit into sedans 'comfortably' anymore. The benefit of the suv is the ability to step up into the seat and step down out, and no sitting down and trying to get back up, along with needing a higher roof. For a little perspective, neither can fit in my 3-series. So there is a demographic that will 'need' an suv or suv that looks like a car, so maybe that's the demographic Ford is looking at.
And looking at the MACH 1, the current Mustang has a great profile, so as long as Ford does not break that, and then give it a performance EV platform, without confusing the Mustang brand, trying to be like Porsche with the Cayenne. Mustang needs to remain Mustang. But a Mustang Grand Coupe(4-door fast back) like BMW does could work. But NO to any type of crosover/SUVish thing for a Mustang.
And what was the first model of MB's EQ sub-brand? A CROSSOVER.
Mustang is staying Mustang. I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that Mustang is suddenly going to morph into an Expedition.
They're pulling styling cues from Mustang for a new low-slung crossover model....it otherwise has nothing to do with Mustang (aside from the EV tech underneath, of course).