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Executive Explains Decision To Discontinue Ford Sedans In North America

Ford Fusion
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While many have questioned Ford’s decision to discontinue sedans in North America, sales numbers have done a good job of explaining the move for some time now. While many still love sedans and dislike crossovers and SUVs, it’s clear that the majority of Americans do not feel that way. So while other automakers like General Motors continue to work toward a sedan-free lineup, Ford is already there. But it’s still worth asking – why can’t Ford continue to produce sedans like other automakers?

“They key here is, not just for us, the sedan segment itself has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline has been accelerating over the last few years,” Kumar Galhotra, President of Ford North America and VP of Ford Motor Company, told Ford Authority executive editor, Alex Luft, in a recent interview.

“Our industry is very resource-intensive – we have to create a particular product, and the factory to build it, and all the tooling and our suppliers – that can run into billions of dollars. The question then became, in that environment, of a finite amount of capital, where do we want to invest that capital? Do we want to invest it in a declining segment or do we want to invest it in a growing segment?”

Ford obviously chose the later, and has since redirected its capital into a host of new products. “So we made the decision to invest in a growing segment, like the Bronco, like the Mach-E, like Bronco Sport, so we have a lot more product coming that will more than offset the loss of sedans. It was just, as the marketplace not buying those vehicles, it just didn’t make sense to continue investing in it,” Galhotra explained.

Shortly after announcing its plans to kill off Ford sedans, The Blue Oval announced that it intended to bring the rugged Focus Active hatch to North America, but later nixed that idea as well. “It goes back to a declining segment, and the realization that, when we looked at those numbers – that might not be the best choice,” chimed in Said Deep, head of Ford North America product communications.

In recent months, we’ve seen all Ford sedans be discontinued, one by one, starting with the Ford Fiesta and Focus, followed by the Taurus, and most recently the Fusion along with the Lincoln MKZ. Similarly, the 2020 model year will be the last for the Lincoln Continental. That leaves the Ford Mustang and Ford GT as the only two cars of any sort left in The Blue Oval’s North American lineup.

There are other new models on the way to expand Ford’s crossover, SUV, and truck lineup, including the aforementioned Ford Bronco, Ford Bronco Sport, and Ford Mustang Mach-E, as well as the forthcoming Ford Maverick compact unibody pickup, which should help make up for the loss of sedans somewhat. But for those that simply want to buy a new Blue Oval sedan, well, that’s not in the cards any longer.

We’ll have more on Ford’s changing lineup very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford business news and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. The problem is that I haven’t seen ONE new vehicle that constitutes a wiser investment than a new Fusion would have. EVs – demand unknown and not likely to be big, Broncos – after the first year of flash-in-the-pans, a small niche market, Maverick – no sedan alternative. So, sir, your argument isn’t good. At all.

    • It is a good argument, while I agree with you on the Appliance car, why bring new cars out when so few people are buying them, and that number has consistently been going down. Even when they did sell the Focus and especially the Fiesta, there was no profit in them. The Bronco will do good for a long time, look at Jeeps numbers. The Bronco will be nicer than the Jeep, especially for mall parking lot off roaders. The one car they possibly should’ve kept is the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. But who knows what the profit is on those, but it is less than an Escape or Explorer. With Chevy dumping cars and Fiat all but 2 on ancient platforms, the suppliers might have problems with car parts. The one problem I see tho is affordability and keeping that first time Fiesta buyer, in a Ford as they grow up. But the Ecosport is cheap and roomier and safer than a Fiesta.

  2. All this explanation is nonsense. Ford makes a huge mistake not selling sedans. There are people (like me), who no matter what will never buy an SUV or a Crossover. After 30 years buying Ford, I’m leaving to other company because I simply don’t like SUV’s or Crossovers. I work to buy what I want and like. Not to adapt. The market is cyclic and Ford will loose a segment of the market when trends change again as that market will become familiar with other brands. Ford should keep at least one sedan in its limeup. Ford competitors can. I don’t see why Ford can’t. The explanation given in this article is pure nonsense.

    • Thank goodness you’re not a CEO of an automaker, while I can understand your affection for sedans,the current market and trends doesn’t support the investment. Ford currently has a lot of debt and should correctly focus on its core strengths, which are trucks! Why waste your resources on segments that aren’t paying the bills? It is indeed sad to see sedans go in North America but I cannot argue with their decision from a business perspective.

      • The current market supports the investment. Sales figures of the Fusion shows it. I’m talking of letting just one sedan in Ford/Lincoln lineup in order not to let a market segment go. If the complete Ford competition can, I don’t see why Ford can’t. Ford competition has been aware that market is cyclic and trends change all the time and this SUV & truck fever will change too.

  3. I drove the Tempos, Tracers, Focuses (Foci?) and Tauruses (Tauri) of the world and now feel comfortable in an Explorer XLT and adding either a Corsair or Edge to the lineup next year. Some people refuse to evolve, they are known as NIMBY’S or Karens.

      • Spot on. My wife is no Karen. The entry threshold of an SUV simply isn’t doable for her. She is one of millions that need because of medical reasons, a 4 dr sedan.

    • So people that don’t want to pay more for an ugly lifted box on wheels that costs more and uses more gas are being labeled in such a way from people like you because they don’t conform to your way of thinking? How lovely and so typical of your generation!

    • Mmmm, drive an Elephant or a Cheetah? If the experience of actually driving doesn’t mean much, buy the SUV…if it does…buy a car.

    • I’m no Karen or a NIMBY but a 72YO retiree that has tried SUVs – Escape in particular – and found the ride and handling to be below that of my Fusion Hybrid. Gas mileage was 26 MPG on an Ecoboost unit with less than 10K miles on it. My hybrid gets 36+ even in Winter with heavy tires and less than optimal operating temps.

      Too bad Ford decided they don’t need my money. I’ll just give it Hyundai or someone who will appreciate my business.

  4. I see more imported sedans from South Korea than from any other brand, since they sell for better quality and for a lesser cost than European, Japanese, and domestic brands. So the customers who buy them obviously will not buy SUVs or crossovers. By 2040 the U.S will only sell trucks, and all the others will be imported.

  5. Just for you it makes great sense to build a sedan, Fusion sales are stronger than Mustang but you kept the Pony because of name and kill off the sedan. If Ford want to sell SUV’s Trucks, and Mustang fine kill Fusion, Focus, and Taurus. On the other hand what good for Ford is not always good for Lincoln which should keep the MKZ aka Zephyr FWD and build a new RWD Continental Flagship. Lincoln wasn’t build off of SUV’s but Sedans. You don’t want to build them out of GREED, the Mustang is getting the SUV chassis which means Continental can use it, MKZ would pick up the sales of Fusion which would double its sales for those who want a Ford / Lincoln sedans

  6. I love my F-150s (have 2), as well as an old Ranger. They are workhorses on the farm, and haul everything from kayaks to cattle… Groceries, lumber, furniture, etc. But, we still have the NEED for small and mid size sedans. We have a Fusion, Mazda3, Miata, and 2 Hyundai (Elantra and Sonata) in the driveway. If Ford wants to stop sedans, I’ll continue to buy sedans from Mazda or Hyundai. I refuse to give money to Chevrolet or Chrysler! Ford may increase profits but this won’t maintain their North American market share as the dominant player. The smarter play would be to keep at least one low-profit sedan in the line-up for entry level purchasers. Profit may not be there, but volume sales would make up the margins, and would gain new Ford loyalists.

  7. Please just bring the Focus ST and/or Fiesta ST to the states and I’ll be happy. It doesn’t need to be the base Focus or Fiesta just the ST or even RS models. Australia has a large demand for SUVs as well yet they still get these hot hatches. Why not just do what Volkswagen is doing with the Golf by importing the GTI and R models only. Plus if Europe can have our Mustang why can’t we have their ST hatches?

  8. Never seen so many people get so sour about a vehicle they haven’t purchased. I will agree that perhaps Ford could have kept a C2 platform-based hatchback or perhaps offered the Fusion in EV/Hybrid models, but much like everyone else here in the comment section, I have an opinion that is based in personal preference and I don’t have vehicles to make and sell.

    • Fusion had hybrid and plug-in hybrid models for years. I currently drive a fusion hybrid. I’ll take my 42+ MPG Fusion over the 26 MPG Ecoboost Escape loaner I had – any day. Nope. Ford just lost another customer. Hyundai or Toyota are next up for me.

  9. In Europe, Ford will need to keep making sedans as it is not entirely an SUV market. So, it would not have been that difficult to have a good sedan in the line-up. The problem for Ford is design and quality, they need to substantially improve both. There are swaths of hard scratchy plastic, even in the latest products like the Puma and Kuga (Escape). Whilst the Puma is a good design, the Kuga is well, not very good looking. Peugeot in Europe are leading the way in terms of design, setting the benchmark for good looking vehicles. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ford vehicles and drive a Fiesta Active, but I have to say it is noisy inside, plenty of scratchy plastics and is slowly falling behind in terms of design. On the plus side, the engine and driving dynamics are excellent. I really do not think it would cost that much to improve the quality of Ford vehicles in areas that you can see, such as the internal sills on the doors. They did put some softer materials in the Puma front door sills, but left it horribly plastic in the back. This to me is pure cost cutting and as an ex-Ford employee, I would like them to do better.

  10. Why not re-visit the modular chassis / powertrain especially with their continuing drift toward electric power. It seems that the electric model would lend itself very nicely to this flexibility in manufacturing. Then with a modular platform, one could create cars, and SUV exteriors and interiors to fit them, thereby reducing the overall costs of having dedicated lines with their associated costs. This would also assist with change over as purchasing habits shifts…which eventually they will…hopefully!

  11. This is about money which = GREED. There’s away to build for all customers needs and wants and still make money. Ford or GM is not losing anymore money than the Import Brands are

  12. Still say it was a big mistake to quit producing the Fusion and Focus and one of these days somebody is going to wake up and say boy did we screw up and I would gladly have a discussion with somebody from Ford about this subject but will never happen

  13. Fords financial reasoning behind this doesn’t concern me . I am not an investor nor an employee. I am however a Ford Junkie. My last three cars to include the 9 additional previous/current Ford cars and trucks were a 2011 Taurus Limited, 2015 Taurus Limited and currently a 2015 Taurus SHO. I’ve run up 100K up on them and trade them in on another Taurus. The SHO is of course is my last Ford sedan. Not by my choosing but by Fords choosing. I thought well I’ll move up to the Continental but now that’s done too so what’s next? I never considered driving anything other than a Ford. Ford closed the curtain.

    • There are still many sedan lovers in the US. I read recently that last year we made up for almost 30% of the vehicles being driven. Like many others I like my Fusion. Not everyone needs a pickup, SUVs are big for families, but what about young first time buyers or retired people who don’t have families and need to watch their money. Also some people like the more sleek and sporty look of a sedan compared to the boxy body of an SUV. The foreign automakers are very happy the American ones don’t want to make sedans. My family and I have always bought American as have probably a lot of other families. Next year many of us will be checking out Toyota, Honda, etc. for maybe the first time. Hate to leave you Ford and General Motors but you’re taking away an option we sedan lovers won’t be able to buy here anymore.

    • You are right. As Ford customer I don’t care their financial reasons, but their capacity to solve my needs. Ford offers a decent sedan, then they solved my needs. Ford offers nothing but SUV’s & Crossovers, then they didn’t solve my needs and I’ll go to other brand. An international company, like Ford should be capable of solving the needs of all kind of customers they can have. They are supposed to be experts. Even more when their competitors are capable.

      • I have also driven Tempo, Taurus and Fusion – which have served me well over the years. I don’t lug heavy loads, bulk or hoardes of people. (If I need to I rent). I have no problem with visability either. I have no desire to drive a crossover, SUV or pick up. It’s a shame the “too lazy to fold the stroller set” or “self image concious” are calling the shots. People’s tastes change. Fuel and environmental standards change. Electric vehicles, I’ll pass too – pass the burden to the powerplants and more batteries to recycle. Ford will pay the price if there is a change in taste. Not every Focus owner will replace with an (ugly) Ecosport – they’ll buy an Elantra or Corolla..Mustang name on an electric SUV talk about destroying a brand. Finally, there’s alot to be said for not having a plan “b” or putting all your eggs in one basket….Toyota and Hyundai are still making “cars” aren’t they….

  14. We have always owned a Ford sedan. In my opinion Ford is making a big mistake discontinuing the sedan! Seems they could continue with electric sedans. Looks like we will be shopping a different automobile company for our next sedan.

  15. The China factory will build Continentals. Just move to China. The SUV craze is almost over. Next year with all the economic upheaval people will look to down size and they will buy sedans with good fuel mileage that the SUV can’t match. Pacific rim manufacturers will be ahead of the game again. Wash, rinse and repeat.

  16. My 2015 Fusion Hybrid I’ve had for six years and 80K miles is the best car I’ve ever owned. I was looking forward to the next-gen Fusion Hybrid with its (assumed) improvements but that’s not going to happen. So goodbye Ford when it’s time to get a new car.

  17. My very first car was an Escort. I left the brand for a couple of vehicles but came back to an Explorer. Was too big for me, so when I was ready for a new vehicle, I went with the Escape. Still too big, so my next purchase was the Fusion Titanium. It has been perfect. I understand Ford’s decision but I am really going to miss driving a Ford.

  18. Ford has made a mistake. Gasoline is ‘cheap” right now. So, when gasoline increases all of those driveway ornaments will be very costly to drive. Keeping a sedan, like the Fusion & MKZ, would have been a wise move. Hybrids & electrics are also catching on. Not everyone wants a truck, SUV, CUV, Jeep or Bronco! The Euro’s & Asians understand, but Ford has a ‘better idea” . Abandon its customer base. Lincoln can’t compete with Cadillac or any other luxury car maker without having a complete lineup. By the way, Ford sales people are angry as H___! By the way, I drive a 2019 MKZ hybrid and love it! 37-40 mpg and oil changes @ 10k miles!!

  19. There is no way that I will drive around in an ugly, over-sized, poor handling, gas guzzling little truck with no real utility in every day life.

    Give me a real car any day.

  20. Speaking from experience, there is an intense and growing following for Town Cars, which as we all know are body on frame. Slap a Town Car together ( I don’t mean that literally) using a truck platform. Perhaps market it as a farewell salute to internal combustion engines before the onslaught of electric vehicles. Throw the moniker “Classic” on it……and see wtf happens? Something similar worked for Lincoln and Cadillac twenty years ago in the opposite direction with Escalade and Navigator. As the worlds most famous Covid patient says, “What have you got to lose?”

  21. Not everyone is going to buy a suv, minivan, or truck. I understand manual transmissions aren’t selling but as a grandson of a Ford engineer I have a problem not buying a Ford. I have had 1 Pontiac, cheverolet truck, and one Toyota in 30yrs so it hurts me to think we are at a era where their is not brand loyalty. On the manual transmission issue I don’t understand why it can’t be a option, either dealer or other wise. I would buy very few new vehicles because of the way they are equipped and Ford is offering less to entice me every day. The no cars can be similar to the scramble to build small cars before a lot of you were born. Cars will come back, to offer no cars is stupid and all electric is not the answer.

  22. Tried to find a parking spot in the Bay area. Cars can define sport or luxury trucks just don’t. Cadillac trucks very unpopular Lincoln trucks very unpopular. SUVs are and will remain a compromise. Bean counters blundered again!

  23. I have bought cars all my life. Except for one Plymouth all of my cars were Ford products. I like cars. I currently own a 2018 Taurus. Their is actually more cargo space in the Taurus than in most SUVs. I have rented an SUV and I really don’t see why people prefer them to cars. When Ford announced they would get rid of the cars they said they would keep the Mustang. The excuse for this has been the decline in sales. Yet Fusions and Tauruses still sell. They must be selling better than Mustangs, because when I am out about I see more of Fusions and Tauruses on the road than Mustangs. Usually the Fusion outnumbered the Mustang. 4 to 1 or better. The Taurus is just slightly less than the Fusion in numbers. Yes I see a lot of SUV and Crossovers but their are so many different models that Any one model doesn’t appear to be outselling the Fusion. Their is still a market for cars out there. It makes me wonder why Ford wants to abandon those customers. I have been a loyal Ford Customer for fifty years now and Ford is telling me they don’t want my business anymore. I don’t see Chrysler abandoning cars I guess Ford wants me to buy a Dodge Charger when I buy my next car.

    • Probably more about margins on pickups and SUVs. These vehicles have huge margins when compared to cars. Why else can a good margin still be made when offerings discounts of $10,000 or more?

      • They have good margins, because dealers option Ford Expeditions as high as $80,000, and consumers are more than happy to pay for them. $80,000 will buy a great Mercedes-Benz with a better warranty, build quality, much better materials and many more.

  24. Back in 2008, Jerome York offered to fund two complete vehicle programs out of his pocket in return for the family relinquishing their “special shares”.
    Instead, they begged for a 6 BILLION DOLLAR LOAN. Today, they have no new product with any commercial potential and they still have not paid back that loan. Good luck surviving on electric cars.
    Maybe this is why they still sell the same number of vehicles that they sold in 1969…

  25. I wish you all the best but at the same time I will not be told by Ford or any other auto Mfg. what to drive. The younger people want the SUV’s but we, the older ones have the money, so good luck!!!

    • And younger folks can’t generally afford to drop $40-60K on a truck or SUV when all they need is a 40MPG 2-door to get to work, school, etc. Heck, many of us older folks don’t need to be spending more for a truck than we bought our homes for… when all we need is a small, fuel-efficient vehicle for work, groceries, doctor visits, or visiting grandkids!

    • I guess they would rather you give money to their competition… Toyota, Hyundai, or Honda…. or their partner company, Mazda, which may be the goal… leave the sedans to Mazda, and all trucks, SUV, and crossovers to the blue oval line?

  26. I have been Ford guy 60 years .Ford G.m parts and service 35 . LOVE Taurse. ALL YOUR SUV LOOK THE SAME . Lincoln look great look all the same lines .Only got edge and Escape. Get more .

  27. I see a Lexus or Toyota in my future. Have always driven Ford sedans, currently Taurus and old Ranger. Do not like any of Fords pickup line up. Never would buy an ev.

  28. I guess Farley is a clone of the inexperienced unqualified furniture guy, used to drive Ford sedans, currently drive a 2018 Dodge Charger, have no interest in pick-ups, suvs or crossovers. Unless something unexpected happens, no more Fords for me.

  29. Another new CEO? Can’t Ford accept they botched their market? I’ve bought Caddy, Lincoln, but no more. Ford is too risky a brand to survive long term cutting off a whole market segment. better learn Chinese Manadrin if you want a new Ford, cuz they aren’t American and don’t want to be.

  30. I agree with everyone regarding the lack of sedans for Ford. They still make up close to 30% of the market. Even if they don’t contribute a lot of profit , they should still be in showrooms to bring in entry level buyers as well as those who still prefer a sedan. I’m one of those people that still prefer a sedan!! In the long run, those buyers may want to buy a more expensive SUV or truck. Ford is doing what it always does. Puts the short term ahead of the longer term. That’s why the #2 automaker in the world of yesteryear is # 6 or 7 today ? The maker of the model T & inventor of the assembly line almost went bankrupt in 1980, and 2007. My first car was a 1984 t-bird. I loved that car. 3.8 fuel injected engine. Great car! And at the time my family all had GM like half of the country. Today I drive an Infiniti Q50. Ford hasn’t done it for me in a long time !!!

  31. Some folks can’t climb in and out of SUV’s. We will be buying a different brand that continues to offer a Continental type pass car.

  32. My only concern is, how will Ford make up for the lost revenue from 200K cars they sold. How will they recoup the sunk costs ? I really hope the Bronco takes off well, but they need to sell at least 140K, otherwise they will have a hard time recouping the costs. This is made with the estimate that Bronco costs 1.62 times more than a fusion.

  33. Hilarious that people are called Karen’s when they voice an opinion. I bought my first Ford Fusion in 2008 . We’ve bought 5 in total. I test drove a couple of SUV’s or crossovers. I’m a 5 foot woman… I don’t want to have to stretch to get into a vehicle. I also noticed the pedals are small and this is a severe problem when you have small feet. ( creates wobbling when your trying to break or push on gas pedal.) So needless to say I’m disappointed the Fusion was discontinued.

  34. Both Ford and GM will pay dearly for this short sighted vision. I wonder how they will feel when market share continues to erode and they are driven all the way to 10th or 15th?

  35. Ford is undoubtedly kicking themselves because COVID will kill the SUV craze as people are not interested in carpooling with 20 other people in a vehicle anymore. Right now all car sales are very depressed and it will be another year or two before they come back and people will be downsizing on a lot of things for economic reasons. Oh well it was fun while it lasted. Plenty of other makers will fill the void.

  36. I have a 1995 Escort, 2011 Ford Focus, and 2016 Ford Focus. The handling, performance, ride comfort, and economy of the Focus far surpass that of any truck or suv I have ever owned! really disappointed to hear I will now have to try the D word for my next car…

  37. Huge mistake Ford. I will never buy anything but a sedan. When it comes time for me to trade in my 2020 Continental, if Lincoln does not sell a sedan, I will walk to a competitor. Obviously customer loyalty was not a priority in the board room on decision day, and that is evidence of extreme short-sightedness. People don’t replace their cars every year, and no matter what sales trends may say, the loyal sedan customer has been publicly told by Ford that they do not mean a thing to the board room. Once loyal customers walk,, they likely won’t ever come back. Rethink this decision please.

  38. I have also driven Tempo, Taurus and Fusion – which have served me well over the years. I don’t lug heavy loads, bulk or hoardes of people. (If I need to I rent). I have no problem with visability either. I have no desire to drive a crossover, SUV or pick up. It’s a shame the “too lazy to fold the stroller set” or “self image concious” are calling the shots. People’s tastes change. Fuel and environmental standards change. Electric vehicles, I’ll pass too – pass the burden to the powerplants and more batteries to recycle. Ford will pay the price if there is a change in taste. Not every Focus owner will replace with an (ugly) Ecosport – they’ll buy an Elantra or Corolla..Mustang name on an electric SUV talk about destroying a brand. Finally, there’s alot to be said for not having a plan “b” or putting all your eggs in one basket….Toyota and Hyundai are still making “cars” aren’t they….

  39. I’ve always felt the solution was simple. Build a 4 door mustang ( without calling a mustang, maybe a thunderbird or galaxy), discontinue all other platform of sedan and hatchback, and be patient. The SUV trend will eventually fade. Like it or not, Dodge still sells a bunch of Chargers, and that’s a good example to follow.

  40. I’ve had two Fusions and one Focus over the past decade. All leased. I leased a Hyundai Elantra this year. It’s very nice but I kind of miss the feel of the Ford. I suspect Ford will return to making sedans some day. There is a lot to be said for having a trunk when you live in the city and don’t want everyone looking at what you have in the back. Also, sedans are easier to park and parking spaces aren’t getting any bigger.

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