Hot on the heels of a report that Ford Motor Company was deliberating whether to continue offering Ford Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion in the US market, the automaker today formally announced that it will “not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America.” In short, over the next couple of years, Ford will prune its US car lineup drastically, eliminating the Fiesta, Fusion, and Taurus, while the Focus range will be reduced to just a single model: the crossover-inspired Ford Focus Active.
Ford says it will explore “new ‘white space’ vehicle silhouettes” – or new opportunities to replicate what its Active models achieve, by combining attributes of cars and utility vehicles to offer a higher ride height, more space, and better versatility in a car-like package.
Ford says its decision to axe the bulk of its North American car lineup is rooted in the declining demand and profitability of such vehicles. The Ford Mustang will remain in the portfolio as a sporty halo vehicle, and a Focus Active based on the new, fourth-generation compact car will be brought in as a sort of “crossover lite,” but there will be no replacement for the sixth-generation Fiesta, the second-generation Fusion, or the sixth-generation Taurus.
“The entire team is focused on improving the operational fitness of our business, as well as meeting and exceeding our accelerated 2020 target of 8 percent margin and ROIC in the high teens,” Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said in a release. The automaker’s earnings through the first quarter of 2018 are “in line with expectations and consistent with our outlook for the full year, but we know we can, and must, do better.”
Ford earlier this month unveiled an all-new version of the Focus compact car aimed at the European and Asian markets. Previously, it was planned that North America would import the car from China starting with the 2020 model year, with certain, special models like the ST and RS being shipped in from Europe.