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Gangstered this from Jalopnik

Last year, Ford decided to kill all of its small cars in the U.S., including the Ford Fiesta, Focus and Fusion, in favor of focusing more on what Americans really want: crossovers. But that leaves a huge gap in the Ford portfolio, which it now confusingly plans to fill with an all-new model in 2022.

Instead of giving us the Focus Active to fill some of the void left by all of those cars, which was briefly planned but also ultimately scrapped, Ford is now planning a new nameplate for the 2022 model year that will be “affordable,” according to a presentation by Ford’s VP of Enterprise Product Line Management, Jim Baumbick, via Automotive News:

Jim Baumbick, Ford’s vice president of enterprise product line management, on Wednesday said the automaker would by 2022 add an “affordable” nameplate aimed at filling the hole left by ending sales of the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Taurus sedans.

A Ford spokesman declined to say what sort of body style it would have or how big it would be.

“It’s an example of how we’re moving faster, working together differently and leveraging our five all-new flexible vehicle architectures,” Ford said in a statement. “We came up with the concept in just 12 weeks using our new product creation process. Previous all-new vehicles could have taken years of research before receiving approval.”

Is that supposed to sound promising?

Let’s retrace Ford’s steps really quick. Early last year it announced it was killing all of its small cars in favor of more profitable crossovers. Fair.

To make up for this, it announced the U.S. market would get the Focus Active, which is basically just a Ford Focus in crossover drag. Makes sense.

Then Ford also killed the Focus Active, likely because it would have been imported from China and the current trade situation between the U.S. and that country isn’t so great. Ford is focused on profits, sure.

But now, in just 12 weeks, it has turned around and come up with an all-new model that somehow satisfies all of its sudden concerns with selling a more affordable car in the U.S. market? Which seemingly wasn’t initially part of the plan to scrap all of its other affordable models? What could this new car be?

The Ford Fiesta is currently the cheapest Ford you can buy in the States. When that’s gone, the cheapest car Ford sells will go from the $14,260 base Fiesta sedan to the $19,995 Ford EcoSport.

So perhaps this new model will target a starting price somewhere between those two models. And the company will want something that will move in numbers, so maybe it’s another small crossover. It could even be something similar, if slightly larger, than the global market Ford Ka Active, pictured at the top.

A future product map from a Ford presentation published over on CarScoops seems to show a new “on-road performance” crossover slotted between the Escape and Edge crossovers, which may or may not be whatever this future affordable car is. Sounds expensive, to me.

We also know Ford already has whatever that “Mustang-inspired” electric vehicle will be, a new Ford Bronco, a new, smaller rugged “Baby Bronco,” and a new unibody pickup likely intended to slot under the current Ranger, all on the way.

Auto News points out the new small pickup is due in 2022 and may actually be the vehicle Baumbick is talking about. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if Ford swapped out some unprofitable sedans for a genuinely small and affordable pickup, but it will never replace the Fiesta and Focus ST in my heart, which only adequately supplies my brain with oxygen when I’m thinking about turbocharged manual hatchbacks.

How about this, Ford: give us the Fiesta back and just make the ST hatchback and a new Fiesta crossover of some sort. How hard could that be? (Maybe very hard, I’m just spitballing here.)
 

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Following Ford's policy moves is like watching a tennis match from the net. Now Ford needs a new affordable nameplate? Why not just evolve and (continue to) manufacture affordable Fords?
 

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Clearly, within Ford there was high-level internal reaction to the decision to end all sedan/hatch production and sales in the U.S. This announcement seems to be a partial rollback of that decision.

Ford could have evolved the lower-end sedan/hatches into a new higher CG form without all the disruption of end-all, now start-from-scratch announcements. So what will the new nameplate be called, Edsel? Mercury?
 

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I honestly have no idea what this car could be. If they really wanted a value oriented entry level vehicle then why not keep selling the Focus in the US? What else honestly could it be? They already have a pretty **** large lineup of crossovers.


There's also the rumor we saw last year of the Fusion wagon coming over to the US but rasied up ala Outback but I can guarantee that won't be value oriented.



I don't think a Ka Active would do well in the US.


What other products does Ford sell in other markets that we don't get that are value oriented? Figo, Escort? Then why not just keep selling the Fiesta and Focus.


Look at their current/future crossover/SUV lineup:
EcoSport
Escape
Baby Bronco
Bronco
Edge
Flex
Explorer
Expedition
Expedition Max


What else could they possibly fit in there?
 
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Following Ford's policy moves is like watching a tennis match from the net. Now Ford needs a new affordable nameplate? Why not just evolve and (continue to) manufacture affordable Fords?
Let's wait to see what they decide first, but clearly, the answer to your question is that near zero margin vehicles makes little sense to produce.
 

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Let's wait to see what they decide first, but clearly, the answer to your question is that near zero margin vehicles makes little sense to produce.
Tell that to....Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, VW, Subaru....somehow they are still going strong with their car line up and making decent $$$
 

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I honestly have no idea what this car could be. If they really wanted a value oriented entry level vehicle then why not keep selling the Focus in the US? What else honestly could it be? They already have a pretty **** large lineup of crossovers.


There's also the rumor we saw last year of the Fusion wagon coming over to the US but rasied up ala Outback but I can guarantee that won't be value oriented.



I don't think a Ka Active would do well in the US.


What other products does Ford sell in other markets that we don't get that are value oriented? Figo, Escort? Then why not just keep selling the Fiesta and Focus.


Look at their current/future crossover/SUV lineup:
EcoSport
Escape
Baby Bronco
Bronco
Edge
Flex
Explorer
Expedition
Expedition Max


What else could they possibly fit in there?
Off the top of my head, a baby ranger on compact unibody chassis is one idea. Simple cab configuration of only 2 doors with extended cab.

What about value 2 seater. Remember the old Focus based EXP?

Curious what they have in mind.
 

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Off the top of my head, a baby ranger on compact unibody chassis is one idea. Simple cab configuration of only 2 doors with extended cab.

What about value 2 seater. Remember the old Focus based EXP?

Curious what they have in mind.
What they have in mind are low-margin vehicles of the kind they just abandoned. What else can "affordable" mean?
 

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What they have in mind are low-margin vehicles of the kind they just abandoned. What else can "affordable" mean?
Sooooo, you are not OK with Ford bringing in a lower price point? Dam if they do and don't? Make up your mind. Who cares if they basically bring back a re-imagined Focus or similar built only for American market, as long as they do, I am glad.

I really wanted the Focus Active, although it would have crossed swords a bit too closely with the EcoSport....which I would be happy if they replaced. But my guess would be a $18-19K MSRP product, offering enough space from the $21K EcoSPort. And margins has much to do with where they make it.
 

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Sooooo, you are not OK with Ford bringing in a lower price point? Dam if they do and don't? Make up your mind.
Sooooo, you like to put your words in other people's mouths.

If you actually read my posts rather than just react, you would know that I have been consistently critical of Ford's decision to deep-six sedans (low-margin vehicles) and highly critical of Ford shooting for only high-margin SUV/CUVs. Please don't play that game. Both of our opinions regarding the correctness of that high-margin decision are on public display here at FIN; yours mostly for (yes, you did write in favor of the Focus), mine consistently against.

Who cares if they basically bring back a re-imagined Focus or similar built only for American market, as long as they do, I am glad.

I really wanted the Focus Active, although it would have crossed swords a bit too closely with the EcoSport....which I would be happy if they replaced. But my guess would be a $18-19K MSRP product, offering enough space from the $21K EcoSPort. And margins has much to do with where they make it.
So I ask, have you now changed your mind about the rationale behind Ford's decision to not offer low-margin product in the U.S.? Make up your mind.
 

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Clearly, within Ford there was high-level internal reaction to the decision to end all sedan/hatch production and sales in the U.S. This announcement seems to be a partial rollback of that decision.

Ford could have evolved the lower-end sedan/hatches into a new higher CG form without all the disruption of end-all, now start-from-scratch announcements.
I can't make myself clearer than that.
 

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Sooooo, you like to put your words in other people's mouths.

If you actually read my posts rather than just react, you would know that I have been consistently critical of Ford's decision to deep-six sedans (low-margin vehicles) and highly critical of Ford shooting for only high-margin SUV/CUVs. Please don't play that game. Both of our opinions regarding the correctness of that high-margin decision are on public display here at FIN; yours mostly for (yes, you did write in favor of the Focus), mine consistently against.



So I ask, have you now changed your mind about the rationale behind Ford's decision to not offer low-margin product in the U.S.? Make up your mind.

Twist the wording any way you like, but if Ford based any future investment on products they calculate to produce bigger margins than Fiesta / Focus, and no doubt more desireable as well.......then so be it.

That is my only point here.

Your point continues to be, that they ****** up.

My guess, you never ran a business. If you did, then you would know their number one priority is NOT volume of sales.
 

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Sooooo, you like to put your words in other people's mouths.

If you actually read my posts rather than just react, you would know that I have been consistently critical of Ford's decision to deep-six sedans (low-margin vehicles) and highly critical of Ford shooting for only high-margin SUV/CUVs. Please don't play that game. Both of our opinions regarding the correctness of that high-margin decision are on public display here at FIN; yours mostly for (yes, you did write in favor of the Focus), mine consistently against.



So I ask, have you now changed your mind about the rationale behind Ford's decision to not offer low-margin product in the U.S.? Make up your mind.

Twist the wording any way you like, but if Ford based any future investment on products they calculate to produce bigger margins than Fiesta / Focus, and no doubt more desireable as well.......then so be it.

That is my only point here.

Your point continues to be, that they ****** up.

My guess, you never ran a business. If you did, then you would know their number one priority is NOT volume of sales.
His point was clear all along, but it is really hard to see beyond your bubble...

He is right, killing all cars was not a smart business decision, even if they are low margin! Rolling back this decision is just an effect of dealer feedback....even my Ford dealer was unhappy about it. The Ecosport is not a suitable replacement, it’s a POS on wheels and can’t even be compared to a Focus.
 

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His point was clear all along, but it is really hard to see beyond your bubble...

He is right, killing all cars was not a smart business decision, even if they are low margin! Rolling back this decision is just an effect of dealer feedback....even my Ford dealer was unhappy about it. The Ecosport is not a suitable replacement, it’s a POS on wheels and can’t even be compared to a Focus.
Right, because Ford's priority is to get positive dealer feedback?

Wrong. Their priority is profit. Why is this so hard to learn. Fiesta was near zero, Focus was barely above that, except in high trim variants. Why spend millions to redo them? I am looking forward to what they have in mind.

And yeah, EcoSport sucks. I already suggested Focus Active would be a better replacement. Try to comprehend what you read please.
 

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His point was clear all along, but it is really hard to see beyond your bubble...

He is right, killing all cars was not a smart business decision, even if they are low margin! Rolling back this decision is just an effect of dealer feedback....even my Ford dealer was unhappy about it. The Ecosport is not a suitable replacement, it’s a POS on wheels and can’t even be compared to a Focus.
Right, because Ford's priority is to get positive dealer feedback?

Wrong. Their priority is profit. Why is this so hard to learn. Fiesta was near zero, Focus was barely above that, except in high trim variants. Why spend millions to redo them? I am looking forward to what they have in mind.

And yeah, EcoSport sucks. I already suggested Focus Active would be a better replacement. Try to comprehend what you read please.
Your simplistic view of the consumer market - by putting profit as #1 priority - is simply dumb...

Bubble boy!
 

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Twist the wording any way you like, but if Ford based any future investment on products they calculate to produce bigger margins than Fiesta / Focus, and no doubt more desireable as well.......then so be it.

That is my only point here.

Your point continues to be, that they ****** up.

My guess, you never ran a business. If you did, then you would know their number one priority is NOT volume of sales.
I twisted no words. I didn't have to. You got my drift; Ford ****** up.

Ford makes a very decent profit yet Ford's shareholder value is in the toilet. That's what got Ford all shook up in the first place. So Ford announces the death of its low-margin vehicles in order to beef up profits. Then Ford announces investment into new low-margin vehicles. Dearborn can't make up its mind. Tennis anyone?

If Ford sold their low-margin cars at sufficient sales volumes they would not have been axed. People vote with their dollars. Customers will not buy a sloppy product when the competition offers something better and more exciting at the same price point. That's business 101.

Wings, as an engineer, I thought you would be a car guy not a bean counter. Yet you seem to be all too eager to toe the party-line, whatever it happens to be this week. You are a Ford employee; I get it. I just happen not to have my eggs in that basket so I can say what I wish.
 

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I twisted no words. I didn't have to. You got my drift; Ford ****** up.

Ford makes a very decent profit yet Ford's shareholder value is in the toilet. That's what got Ford all shook up in the first place. So Ford announces the death of its low-margin vehicles in order to beef up profits. Then Ford announces investment into new low-margin vehicles. Dearborn can't make up its mind. Tennis anyone?

If Ford sold their low-margin cars at sufficient sales volumes they would not have been axed. People vote with their dollars. Customers will not buy a sloppy product when the competition offers something better and more exciting at the same price point. That's business 101.

Wings, as an engineer, I thought you would be a car guy not a bean counter. Yet you seem to be all too eager to toe the party-line, whatever it happens to be this week. You are a Ford employee; I get it. I just happen not to have my eggs in that basket so I can say what I wish.
It is quite possible that Ford did **** up, I have said this before. Time will tell for sure, and killing the cars thing was a cat that got out of the bag, not exactly something they announced internally. But I happen to agree that if they kept on the same path without a bit of radical change, then no change would come and shareholder value needle would not budge much, if at all. This same path would assume that pumping millions into making the Fiesta and Focus the best products in the world, yet margins remain exactly where they are, all while volumes continue to drop. Where is the logic in that? Gone today is the thinking that you offer them a cheap product, and keep them coming back with bigger, higher margin products as they grow families, etc. People switch brands like underwear. So again, that argument is up in smoke too. And let's not forget how consumers today have so many transportation options, to where kids don't even hurry to get their drivers licence - especially if they have an Uber app that takes them where they want to go with no investment. And finally, and this IMHO is the biggest factor that is already transforming Ford internally - electrification and autonomy. A complete upheaval is beginning to take place internally, driven by what our showroom will look like in just a few years from now.

Anyway, I have no problem calling out Ford when they **** up. I do think that Fusion should remain a bit longer than planned, and not including Focus Active was a mistake.....but these again are just opinions. WTF do I know? Ford clearly looks at the long game, where I don't, so there is that too.

meh, we are all just prognosticating here, I respect everyone's opinion who takes the time to share it, but I do have mine too.
 
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