Ford Motor Company has received some backlash and negative reactions to its decision to eliminate most cars from its lineup. In response, the company says it is “reinventing the American car”.
During a shareholders meeting, Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Executive Chairman Bill Ford responded to criticism about the company’s choice to phase out its cars, including the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus from its lineup, according to Automotive News.
“This doesn’t mean we intend to lose those customers,” Hackett said. “We want to give them what they’re telling us they really want. We’re simply reinventing the American car.”
The executives said the company would still offer options at every price point and for a variety of customers. Bill Ford said media coverage was partly to blame for the many negative responses to the company’s decision.
"“I wish the coverage had been a little different,” Ford said. “If you got beyond the headline, you’ll see we’re adding to our product lineup and by 2020 we’ll have the freshest showroom in the industry. The headlines look like Ford’s retreating. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.”"
Ford Will Have Several New Models Coming
The company will have several new models by 2020 with the new Ranger and Bronco being added to the lineup. The redesigned Expedition and new EcoSport are also new offerings. According to Motor1, the company will also offer a Mustang-inspired performance electric SUV called the Mach1 and a “Baby-Bronco.”
Of all Ford’s new products that are on the way, the Bronco is probably one of the most highly anticipated. Ford first said it would bring the model back at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation as to what it will look like. According to Motor1, it will be a body-on-frame vehicle with a true 4×4 system, solid axles, and an “air roof”. This means it will likely compete with the Jeep Wrangler.
Ford’s other crossover models that have recently appeared and are likely to come will probably be a lot less hardcore than the Bronco. The EcoSport, for example, is a crossover designed to compete with other pavement-focused models like the Mazda CX-3, Chevrolet Trax, and Honda HR-V. The Car Connection noted that Ford is a little late to this segment as these models have already been out for some time.
Automotive News reports that Ford wants to improve stock prices and trim expenses. Shifting away from cars to crossovers is a way to maximize profits. In the shareholder’s meeting, Hackett discussed plans to cut costs by $25 billion by 2022. Bill Ford also spoke on these plans.
"“Look, we want to get the stock price moving. The business can get fitter, and it will get fitter,” said Ford during the meeting."
It will be interesting to see how customers respond to Ford’s major shift away from cars to a lineup consisting almost exclusively of trucks, crossovers, and SUVs.