AD #2341 – Ford Prunes U.S. Car Lineup, Jeep Shows 3-Row Grand Commander, FCA’s Q1 Earnings Beat Expectations

April 26th, 2018 at 11:42am

Runtime: 6:32

0:27 Honda Everus EV Concept
0:54 Nissan Sylphy EV for China
1:18 Dongfeng Venucia Debuts The X Concept
1:29 Jeep Reveals Chinese Grand Commander
2:33 GM Takes a Big Hit in Q1
3:09 FCA’s Q1 Earnings Beat Expectations
4:01 Ford Prunes U.S. Car Lineup…
4:44 … It Could Do the Same in Europe
5:07 Ford Earnings Show Cost Cutting Needs

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36 Comments to “AD #2341 – Ford Prunes U.S. Car Lineup, Jeep Shows 3-Row Grand Commander, FCA’s Q1 Earnings Beat Expectations”

  1. Joe Pastor Says:

    John, now that FCA and Ford have axed most sedans from the NA market, any guesses when GM will follow suit? Gotta be soon,right?

  2. Kevin Anderson Says:

    I understand why Ford needs to cut different models to reduce development costs, but how does VW manage to have so many models and still make money? Can Ford adopt something like VW’s modular architecture?

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    If the ‘big-boys’ can stay flexible, meaning that they can ramp up car models if the trend of trucks/utilities/etc. start to wane, their profits can be maximized. But if they drop sedans, and the time span becomes increasingly long, a fast ramp-up will be difficult (at least getting a competitive car after forgoing continued development) which usually brings improvement incrementally, meaning that they might not be relevant to the current offering from companies that didn’t curtail cars. Depending on circumstances they might be pennywise and dollar foolish. I hope GM keeps a core of cars on hand to avoid what might happen to those less prudent.

  4. XA351GT Says:

    Joe @ #1 Chevy announced they are dropping cars , I know they said the Impala and Sonic ,The Spark and Volt were also mentioned. I can only think that the same will happen at Buick and Caddy. I haven’t seen all that many new Caddys in my area of any type. It’s sad ,because we can all predict what will happen. All the domestics will get rid of cars and then gas prices will spike up and they’ll be left with their pants down again like they did in the 70s when they had all these gas guzzling land yachts and the Japanese cleaned their clocks.

  5. GM Veteran Says:

    I have to say I am surprised to see the Fusion being axed. Seems as though they could have one plant worldwide that would make the Mondeo, Fusion and MKZ, and do so profitably. All of the others make perfect sense.

  6. Drew Says:

    Fusion is one of Ford’s top quality and customer satisfaction vehicles. It could sell better if it lost some weight (better f.e. and acceleration).

    If this is an example of Hackett’s fitness, it is shallow and shortsighted. Congrats Jim. You have ceded 1/3 of the market to GM, Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai/Kia.

    If you can compete in the largest volume car segment, you are vulnerable in EVERY segment. We are witnessing insanity of historic proportions as Ford is on a very slippery slope.

  7. Tom Dubois Says:

    John: Won’t dropping most car models by domestic producers leave them vulnerable to changes in gas prices or are they placing their hopes on EVs to mitigate that potential?

  8. Lisk Says:

    As gas prices continue to inch up weekly, is there a breaking point when truck and C/SUV sales start to drop? Most CUVs get around 25% less real world fuel economy compared to a similar sized sedan.

    By Ford doing away with every thing but the Mustang and Focus this will greatly affect fleet sales, especially Taurus police cars. With the closing of Holden, Chevy got out last year so now Dodge gets all the business

    I see this a knee jerk reaction, but if it helps the bottom line, that’s all that matters. After all, building cars is just like building file cabinets…

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    John The fastest way to cut cost may be to cut models but hasnt Ford added a bunch of SUV/CUV models. So how many models total were actually cut? Seems they just transferred the development costs to different vehicle development.

    #3 Chuck I agree that when gas prices jump the domestic makers could find themselves playing catch-up. but not really in technical advancement. Those things will continue on in the other vehicles. Engine/transmission and tech stuff like the AV and conductivity will progress in whatever they build and can easily be transferred back to a car platform. Plus they will have cars in markets outside the US.

  10. Wayne Says:

    A sad day for the U.S. auto enthusiast. Apparently the public are satisfied with goofy looking bland people movers. Chinese Mustangs and Focus’ certainly don’t excite me. Perhaps the void will be made up by the Germans and Japanese?

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    #8 Lisk most of the local police vehicles in my area are Ford Explorers and State patrol are using mostly Chevy Tahoe so Dodge wont get all the police market just police cars (maybe thats what you meant sorry).

  12. Lex Says:

    To my eye the Honda Everus EV Concept is an electrified Honda HR-V and the same for the Nissan Sylphy EV Concept which is an electrified Nissan Sentra Sedan. I believe these are smart moves by both companies. They are taking existing vehicles and dropping in EV technology / powertrains into them. You can see similar styling between the Chevy Cruze and Volt.

    GM should keep the Impala and dump the Malibu.
    Ford should keep the Taurus nameplate and bring back the Taurus X CUV in North America and clone it for other markets as the Galaxy X IMHO.

  13. Drew Says:

    So Ford will add at least 2 more CUv/SUVs to the portfolio, which have more overlap (canabolize) with other Utilities in the portfolio than any sedan. Still insane.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Where I am, most of the newer local police vehicles seem to be Explorers, but there are still a lot of Crown Vics in service, and some Chargers. The highway patrol cars are mostly Chargers.

  15. Roger Blose Says:

    Wait until the annual Ford stock holder’s meeting on May 10TH. Jim “Buddy” Hackett is turning Ford into GE. Mustang and Chinese Focus passenger cars will not cut it. Read the internet today and the folks are really angry. I just purchased a 2018 Mustang GT and it is outstanding. When my MKZ need to be replaced, hello Mazda, Kia, or Caddy. Bill Ford better grab the tiller.

  16. Lambo2015 Says:

    So if the market is driving the demise of passenger cars whats happening to used car market? If no one wants a new car I would guess there is even less desire for a used car. Are the used car prices reflecting this shift?

  17. John McElroy Says:

    #16. Lambo, used prices for passenger sedans are soft.

  18. Len Simpson Says:

    If I was an assembly man on any US brand stateside, I would be very afraid

  19. WineGeek Says:

    Poor old Henry must be rolling over in his grave seeing the way that his company is being misdirected out of any passenger vehicles while manufacturers from around the world eat their lunch! If almost every other manufacturer in the world can produce a few sedans while they adjust to the preferences of the market why must Ford bring in second rate sedans from China and only sell CUVs made in the USA. What happens when the F-150 isn’t the best selling pickup any longer?

    Where is Alan Mulally when we need him? :)

  20. Albemarle Says:

    I remember years ago when our family didn’t want a truck, but needed a 4wd vehicle to tow and carry 6 people. Practically no choice. Everything was sedans and some wagons. The pendulum has swung. It will swing back.

  21. Drew Says:

    @19 – I think Bill got lucky when he found Alan. Plus Alan was backed up by a very inspirational, active listener, and simply focused PD exec VP… Derrick Kuzak. Proof – 2011-2015 gave birth to a suite of great products… if you I forgive two Achilles Heels (My Ford Touch and the Focus/Fiesta automated manual transmission).

    But Bill wandered in the woods, with one after another flawed CEO before Alan. It looks like Bill is back wandering in the woods again. He better get his bearing real fast, as the capital markets may not be so accommodating in the next crisis.

  22. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Ford is in the bad CEO funk. Hackett and the previous CEO’s have given the company very bad leadership. It reminds me of another bad CEO named Bob Nardelli. Hackett like Nardelli will go on a chop,slice and dice of the companies model inventory which may increae the net profit percentage but dollar revenue may be smaller. Less to sell can equal less dollars in sales. Its like they waved the white flag instead of producing new fresh well engineered cars with engine choices besides little turbo charged weak power. They will have less to sell and unless they improve their quality and long term value, Ford will become just small potatoes. I will be surprised if the Mustang will remains in the future of Ford. Since the car companies like to refer to their dealships as “stores”, stores with shrinking choices doesn’t bode well for the future. Hackett like Nardelli will ruin the car company he runs. And oh, lets not forget the drifting entity Lincoln. It will go the same way as Fords line up.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Mustang is Ford’s “halo” product, to go along with those generic, mediocre CUV’s. That must be where they are keeping it. Fusion alone outsells Mustang two to one,

    Jan 2018 thru March 2018—Mustang sales 19,164
    Jan 2018 thru March 2018– Fusion sales 43,176
    Jan 2018 thru March 2018 Fiesta sales 12,298
    Jan 2018 thru March 2018 Focus sales 35,046
    Jan 2018 thru March 2018 Taurus sales 9,517

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 Ford is getting back to its roots. A Model T was tall, and would turn over if you cornered too fast, like an SUV.

  25. Aliisdad Says:

    Great comments today… It sure seems to me that the worst Ford decision is dropping the Fusion… While I am not a fan of domestics due to past experience, I always liked the Fusion and would give it consideration at trading time…

  26. Brett Cammack Says:

    The modern CUV is just a tall car. I couldn’t purchase a contemporary sedan because I’d smack my head against the roof rail every damned time I tried to get in it.

    If somebody came out with a form factor equivalent to that of a 1955 Chevy sedan with contemporary technology and styling sensibilities, they’d sell like hotcakes, IMO.

  27. Lisk Says:

    Ford lost their sales lead when the Model T went out of production and the Model A wasn’t ready for production. Will history repeat itself?

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 The Impala is a very good car (but pricier) than the Malibu, and Malibu outsold Impala almost 2 1/2 to 1 last year. If they drop Impala, buyers can still get a similar LaCrosse, but it may soon be gone as well.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25. A ’55 Chevy was not tall. It’s 60.5 inches tall, only about 2 1/2 inches taller than a Prius, and 6 inches lower than a CR-V.

  30. MERKUR DRIVER Says:

    Blame it on the cross-overs. Comparing an Edge to the Fusion, it appears that the Fusion gives a buyer 1MPG more in fuel economy. This equates to a savings of $50 per year when buying a Fusion versus an Edge(@ $2.75/gallon). Even if fuel spikes to $7 per gallon, this differential will increase to $200 per year. Still not enough difference to select the sedan over the more flexible CUV.

    I hate to see the sedan die, but Ford is likely making the correct rational choice by putting more focus on cross overs for the family car market. It has the Mustang/GT for the enthusiasts and the Chinese Focus for the cost conscience consumer. It is all very rational, just not very emotionally appealing to admit that the sedan is dissapearing.

  31. Lex Says:

    @27 Hi Kit,
    I just think the styling of the Impala especially the front fascia is far superior to the ugly Malibu. The the 2 1/2 to 1 sales superiority of the Malibu to Impala due to Fleet sales?

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 It could be due to fleet sales, or price, or that “large cars” just aren’t selling. John or Sean, can you tell us?

  33. Pete Says:

    This strategy is just plain wrong! Betting the future of Ford Motor Company entirely on the SUV and truck segment is very shortsighted. Here in Canada gas prices are higher than they ever have been and consumers are looking for fuel efficient alternatives. Allan Mulally must be shaking his head in disgust.

  34. Bill Nelson Says:

    We love our 2015 Impala. It’s a good thing we keep our cars for a long time. It replaced a 2000 Buick LeSabre. In a dozen years, we’ll need to make some decisions. Hoping we can get an autonomous car by then. We’ll need it!

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Bill, by the time your Impala is 15 years old, CUV’s will carry the “soccer mom” stigma minivans now have, and autonomous sedans and coupes will dominate the market.

  36. Dan Says:

    Ford was smart enough to avoid bankruptcy during the last economic downswing.

    But now they have given their rivals a huge gift. Ford will go down the toilet the next time fuel prices spike and people shift away from the bigger SUV’s back to cars again [and we are getting close to $3 a gallon already]. How the hell do they plan on meeting the federal fleet fuel economy standards without the more fuel efficient cars?

    This has got to be the most boneheaded move by an auto manufacturer in history.