Published: Fri, April 27, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Ford US to become an SUV-only brand, retains Mustang

Ford US to become an SUV-only brand, retains Mustang

FIND OUT MORE: To discover more about Ford's future plans, visit its stand at the Fleet Show 2018. The German-built Focus just got an all-new model, and should come here next year.

Since Ford recently refreshed its Fusion sedan for the second time, that vehicle will stick around the longest-at least for the next couple of years, according to company spokesman Said Deep. Big trucks and SUVs generate more dollars per unit than cars, indeed Dearborn predicts that, by 2020, 90 per cent of its range will be "trucks, utilities, and commercial vehicles".

In what I can only perceive as trying to calm the waters, Ford global markets boss Jim Farley said that, while all this is going on, the company is exploring new vehicles with crossover space and small-car fuel economy. "Ford's business decision does make sense, given the decades-long trend of trucks, especially Ford's own F-Series line, outselling traditional cars in the US", writes Mike Murphy for Quartz.

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That means 80% of Ford's auto business will be gone in less than four years, and mean more of what consumers are calling for and, in the process, putting more and more money in Ford's coffers. The automaker says it made $1.74 billion, or 43 cents per share, compared with $1.59 billion, or 40 cents per share a year ago. That means the Ford Fusion and the Ford Taurus will be discontinued, joining the already defunct C-MAX and the Fiesta, which won't be back after this year, on the scrap heap.

Pretax automotive earnings fell $443 million to $1.7 billion, mainly due to higher metals costs such as steel and aluminum. The 9 percent increase in quarterly profit can be nearly entirely attributed to a drop in the automaker's effective tax rate to 9 percent from 28.6 percent, Ford officials said. Stevens said GM's profit margin should hit 10 percent or higher in the second quarter and for the full year. Ford's best-selling sedan is the Fusion but that too will not see an all-new model although it is yet to be known when sales will stop. Up to five hybrid-electric SUVs as well as a hybrid Mustang are also projected to be on sale by the end of the decade, as new technologies increasingly break the link between a vehicle's size and performance and its efficiency.

Ford's decision makes Fiat Chrysler's move in 2016 to ax two of its sedans appear tame.

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By "white space", the company is referring to vehicles that don't fall neatly into the typical categories.

Ford took steps on Wednesday to bolster its operations in China, a key overseas market, where sales have been flagging.

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