Ford to end production of most sedans for the US market by 2020
Ford announced it will accelerate plans to trim US$ 25.5 billion in operating costs by 2022, in part by getting rid of more than 80% of its North American passenger car lineup, including the Taurus, Fiesta, Fusion, C-Max and Focus sedans within a few years.
CEO Jim Hackett said Wednesday, during the presentation of the company’s first quarter results, that Ford will not make the next generation of those sedans. The only two cars available in the U.S. market by 2020, will be the Mustang and the Chinese-built Focus Active crossover. The remaining catalog will comprise just pickup trucks and SUVs.
This measure raises questions about the future of Ford’s operations in Mexico, since the company manufactures the Fiesta and the Fusion there.
Ford has previously confirmed that the plant in Cuautitlan Izcalli, State of Mexico, where it currently builds the Fiesta in sedan and hatchback versions, will be used to produce an electric crossover.
However, the unknowns prevail over what will happen to the plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, where the Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ are produced.
News outlets in Sonora have repeatedly published in recent weeks that the plant will be tooled to make a compact SUV, and even some websites have ventured to say that it is a vehicle similar to the Bronco, but the automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan has yet to confirm those rumors.
Ford’s first-quarter net income was US$ 1.74 billion, or 43 cents per share, 9.4% higher than the US$ 1.59 billion, or 40 cents a share, from first quarter of last year. It also topped analyst estimates of 41 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue increased 7% to US$ 42 billion compared to a year ago, the company reported. Its earnings before interest and taxes margin slipped 1.2 percentage points to 5.2%. Bob Shanks, Ford Chief Financial Officer, said the company would hit an 8% margin by 2020 as a result of reduced spending and cost efficiencies.