Ford lineup to change, but how?
As with most automakers, Ford passenger-car sales are down both for the month of November and for the year. Such trends usually lead to lineup changes, and Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, nearly confirmed that fact to Automotive News. Just last week the company introduced a new, raised version of its Fiesta, called the Active, which had more of a crossover/VW Alltrack feel to its design.
“Over time, there should be some pruning of the portfolio to support growth in other areas,” Hinrichs told Automotive News. “Clearly we’re going to invest in growing the SUV portfolio. We certainly intend to have a strong car base, as well; we don’t know where the market’s going to go. But there will be some pruning over time as there should be in a nameplate and portfolio.”
The stodgy Taurus sedan could be part of that pruning. It’s down almost 11 percent for the year. The C-Max is down 13 percent, though it ticked up in November. Those two and the slow-selling Ford Flex could all be on the chopping block.
Ford reveals the new Fiesta line-up
“If you look at our past, there have been some nameplates that have dropped off and other nameplates have been added,” Hinrichs said. “Given where the market is going, the demands for capital investment and the regulatory changes coming at us, we’ll continue to always look at the total portfolio and see where’s segmentation going and where should we be phasing out.”
Stephen Odell, Ford’s director of global marketing, sales and service, said he’s looking at options that add to the company’s SUV/crossover arm and help combat slower car sales.
“You can address both markets in some cases with a similar product offering,” Odell said, referencing the new Active.
Hinrichs also told Automotive News that the business decision to move Focus production to Mexico helped establish a future for the small car, something it may not have had in the U.S. with the former's production costs.