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Ford Authority

Future Ford Vehicles Could Boast Far Fewer Options

Ford CEO Jim Farley and his executive team are currently throwing their collective weight towards electrifying most of The Blue Oval’s global product offerings. Aside from the massive $50 billion expenditure involved with such a monumental task, a number of substantial organizational changes have, or are scheduled to take place in the coming years. As Ford Authority previously reported, part of the Ford+ plan involves splitting the automaker into many different slices, with Ford Blue and Ford Model e being responsible for internal combustion and fully electric vehicle development, respectively. Since battery electric vehicles aren’t expected to generate profits anytime soon, Ford is looking for ways to cut costs, and dramatically reducing available options on future Ford vehicles is one path the company is apparently ready to walk down, according to a key executive.

While answering a question about The Blue Oval’s ability to deliver on its $3 billion cost reduction commitment at the 2022 Deutsche Bank Auto Industry Conference, Ford CFO John Lawler was pretty forthright about how future Ford vehicles may be packaged later on in the decade. “If you start to look at the things we’re doing around that, we could reduce the number of consumer options by 80 percent to 90 percent in many of our vehicles without sacrificing sales. That’s the key part. It’s just too complex and it’s just been the mindset that has been around the industry for way too long that you need the complexity to actually satisfy the consumer. Now, there’s a smarter way to do it.”

As Ford Authority previously reported, some of those changes are already taking place, with the chip shortage being the main culprit behind dealer lots being deliberately stocked with the most popular vehicle configurations. Going forward, more dramatic changes to future Ford vehicles could result in entire body styles being dropped from specific vehicle lineups too. Lisa Drake, a vice president at Ford, stated that the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup’s single bed and cab configuration enormously benefitted the company from a manufacturing standpoint and hinted that those benefits could make their way to gas vehicles underneath the Ford Blue umbrella, based on the popularity of the electric pickup and essentially nonexistent criticism for only offering one SuperCrew model. Dropping entire nameplates from the lineup is a possibility too, as Farley recently suggested that the Ford Escape is facing the chopping block amid the ongoing EV pivot.

We’ll have more on this issue soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for comprehensive Ford news coverage.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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Comments

  1. Tigger

    Translation: give the customers less for more money. Sounds like a great plan to me! Perhaps they can go back to manual windows and AM only radios.

    Reply
    1. BADIH J MAJDALANI

      Or better yet make them available only with cloth bench seats and no cruise control.

      Reply
    2. JDE

      I am surprised they even offer radios these days. most just need the speaker system attached to apple or android car play.

      Reply
  2. Mannix

    No wonder Silverado and Ram sales continue to grow.

    Reply
    1. Greggt

      Agreed, with Ford dropping Adaptive Cruise Control, built in navigation, among other things, glad I got my 2021 Lariat when I did.
      Already looking at the RAMS!

      Reply
  3. David Dickinson

    Is Ford going to launch a “we don’t care about the customer” campaign?

    Reply
  4. Michael G

    All electric is another woke idea. We don’t have the infrastructure to support electric vehicles. Green will not meet today’s needs never mind 200,000,00 + vehicles. Electricity prices will skyrocket. Rationing will be put in place. The government will tell you if, when, where you can go. This is Communist China. Resist. We need ICE vehicles for a long time. Don’t let them take away more of your freedoms.

    Reply
  5. Falcon

    Less options, like getting any vehicle any color you like, as long as it’s black. Eliminating vehicles that are not electrified and limiting options. Sounds like a winning formula.

    Reply
  6. The Gentle Grizzly

    Just another way to compel purchase of a $6,000 “package” to get that one desired $550 item you want.

    In autumn of 1992, long before the internet, long before computer-aided manufacturing, my brother ordered a new 1963 Studebaker Lark 2-door sedan. AM pushbutton radio, check. heater (not yet standard), check. Red paint, check. 3.90:1 Twin-Traction axle? Check. Four on the floor? Check. R2 supercharged V8 engine? Check. One or two other items? Check. The dealer, Danyluck Motors of Glendale California, took his deposit, put the order form in an envelope, and mailed it to factory. Eight weeks or so later, his new Studebaker arrived.

    The previous year, my mother ordered a Pontiac Tempest at Utter Pontiac in Los Angeles. Black, convertible top, 4 on the floor, performance axle, 4-cylinder but with the four barrel carburetor and high compression. AM pushbutton radio, heater. Same thing: they took the deposit, sent the order away by mail, and the car arrived in about six weeks.

    No mandatory packages. No moving up an entire model level just to get the package that had the one item you wanted.

    Reply
    1. The Gentle Grizzly

      I meant 1962.

      Reply
  7. JBbooky

    Our dirsrt new car was an ’80 Aspen coupe. Ordered with slant 6, posi, 4 speed, radio and sport package. No PS, PB,PW, A/C, or 20 airbags. $6200. Try doing that today.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      The problem is, trying to out do each other, these auto manufactures have raised teh bar and ramped up the number of options available, on multiple trims, to now there are up to 1,000 options ( most included in packages ), per model, where like you, when I bought my Aspen in 1980, there were less then 100.

      Reply
    2. JDE

      National Highway safety standards would not allow most of that. and even with a slug of a straight six, the Fuel economy was worse than any passenger car on the road today. 12 in the city 18 on the highway would be no VVT or DOD v8 truck territory now. I would like to see you JB survive these days without AC though.

      Reply
  8. Dave H

    You can have it (Model T) in any color you want, as long as it’s black. Henry Ford

    Reply
  9. Dwayne D

    Seems like with everything computerized it would be easier to customize a car. Sounds like they don’t care about customer satisfaction. I love stand alone options. It would be more like this if they cared about the customer first. The excuses he gives are BS.

    Reply
  10. Barry Coleman

    If you look at some of Ford’s competitors such as Toyota, they are already doing this. As a consumer I don’t necessarily like this, I prefer having more choices, but what he seems to believe is it will not effect sales. Maybe he is right, but we will see. Consumers vote with their wallets.

    Reply
  11. Jen

    too many combinations make manufacturing more costly because of complexity, more chances for errors, and nearly impossible for dealers to stock the vehicles people want. Ford has enough data: If customers a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, and i all want the same group of 10 options, put them in a package, and sorry Mr. j, if you only want one of those items, you have to buy the package. Honda has had limited options for decades, but are much more flexible with dealer installed options, making their cars much easier to customize to fit a customer’s needs.

    Reply
  12. Alan Phillips

    I took it as meaning they were going to package options into groups as all car manufacturers have been doing.

    Reply
  13. Bob

    …reduce…options by 80 to 90%

    They have to sit in these high level meetings and vote on the dumbest thing to say. Meeting adjourned! We have this week’s release.
    They are the world’s best example of talking out your a**.

    Remove the people that buy trucks for actual work – Ford must be selling mostly the XL level trucks to regular consumers, right? They have that “low option” option now and must be using all that data.

    Reply
  14. William J.jr. Offutt

    I have a 1955 Packard 400 -2 dr. Hardtop with torsion bar Suspension with a 352 cu. in. – 260 Hp. V-8 -4 barrel Carburetor with every option including 3 tone Paint under the seat heater, 4pt. Power seat, electric windows, Power Steering. Power brakes, Power antenna, Leather seats, Turquoise carpets, Rear foot rests . The car is loaded and was built to Order. Packard built this carwith Every option available > Guess what with a Warranty 3 mos. Or 40000 Miles In 2022 It is still running with 83,000 Miles on the Odometer . Packard is no Longer but the Packard Club operates with their Original Packard Test Track still there in Detroit.

    Reply
    1. JDE

      I mean most current basic warranties are 3 years 36,000 miles with often a much higher separate drivetrain warranty. Packard basically had to put a warranty out because they were integrating with Studabaker at the time and many were concerned about quality. also the 400 had many issue with the push button trans. 83,000 miles was nearing the need of most vehicle life time up until about the time that Toyota handily reminded the big three that planned obsolescence was not endearing to repeat customers. This whole thing is a bit like carbs versus Fuel Injection. very few these days would willing go back to a carb as they are almost never as capable of running as trouble free. heck most people I know are going Holley Sniper to make the transition simple as possible.

      Reply

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