Ford dropping all but two cars from its line by 2020, focusing instead on SUVs and trucks
The automaker also plans to invest in a “smart city” called the “City of Tomorrow” to help solve environmental and infrastructure issues.
The pioneer of the American auto industry has decided to call it quits on most of its automobiles with the exception of two best-selling autos: the Ford Mustang and the new Ford Focus. Ford said it’s shifting gears to focus primarily on SUVs and trucks, which have proven to be more profitable for the company.
The announcement came as Jim Hackett, Ford’s CEO, said that manufacturing of its sedans and hatchbacks for the American market would cease once the production cycles end. Production of the Ford Taurus and current Focus sedans are expected to be finished this year. Ford will roll out its new version of the Focus next year.
Ford also plans to refocus some of its attention on newer technologies like the “smart city” project called the “City of Tomorrow”. The manufacturer has partnered with mayors of major cities as well as the Bloomberg Philanthropies to bring innovations to address urban environmental issues and mobility problems in congested cities.
The company plans to invest billions over time in autonomous electric vehicles to help solve congestion and infrastructure issues. Ford says the project will benefit vehicle owners as well as those who don’t own an automobile.
In turning the page on its era of cars, the automaker is reinforcing a projected trend that could make a serious dent in car sales in the future. Financial services company KPMG predicts driverless transportation will slash sedan sales by half between now and 2030, while drivers will hold on to SUVs and vans.
The tide of history has turned
While Ford made history mass-producing the Model T car about a decade before its Model TT truck, the company’s biggest innovations to modern vehicles have come with SUVs and trucks.
Ford’s release of its Explorer in 1990 was instrumental in launching the American SUV market, though its Bronco was considered by many to be its first SUV. The automaker retired the Bronco in 1996 after a 30-year run but plans to bring a more hybrid version of the Bronco back in 2020.
The new model will share similar features as the 2019 Ranger pickup, and the company hopes to pair it against other popular hybrid SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner and the Jeep Wrangler.
Ford Motor Company has assembled hundreds of millions of vehicles throughout its reign in the auto industry. Some of the company’s best-selling models include the Ford F-series trucks, Escort, Focus, LTD, Taurus, Explorer, Model T and Mustang. Its F-series trucks have been the best-selling vehicle in the US since 1986, and the F-150 is also the least expensive full-size truck to own over a five-year time period.
Meanwhile, its car sales have suffered in recent years. Ford is noticeably missing from a recent list of the 15 fastest-selling cars last year.
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