In the response to a shift in consumer demand for SUVs and pickup trucks, the company has announced that it intends to trim its vehicle portfolio in North America to just two models: the sporty Mustang, which was introduced 50 years ago this month, plus the new compact crossover referred to as Focus Active effective 2019.
"The company is also exploring new "white space" vehicle silhouettes that combine the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as higher ride height, space and versatility", Ford said. The fact that people are buying more SUVs to the detriment of cars is not exactly news, so we won't be too surprised if other automakers will go down the same road in the years to come.
The full-size Taurus, midsize Fusion, small Fiesta and wagon-like C-Max will no longer be sold in North America, Ford officials said. "We're starting to understand what we need to do and are making clear decisions".
Releasing its first quarter 2018 financial results, Ford said in a sttement, "Building a winning portfolio and focusing on products and markets where Ford can win".
Ford made $1.74 billion from January through March, or 43 cents per share, compared with $1.59 billion, or 40 cents per share a year ago.
Ford sold 33,000 Taurus in the U.S.in 2017, excluding a version of the Taurus sold as a Ford Police Interceptor Sedan (with both models combined, it sold 41,000). "This is what Wall Street demanded".
Ford's revenue worldwide increased 7 percent to $42 billion for the quarter. The C-Max, Ford's only dedicated hybrid in the USA market, will disappear this May.
Pretax automotive earnings fell $443 million to $1.7 billion, mainly due to higher metals costs such as steel and aluminum. The rest will be pickups, SUV's and commercial vehicles which were more lucrative models that the company hopes will secure its future as change tears through the global auto industry.
Ford expects to improve its capital efficiency. It will also continue to produce sport utility vehicles and trucks.
Shanks wouldn't say if employees would be cut but said nothing is off the table. The Asia Pacific region will probably lose money in the second quarter before returning to profit in the back half of the year.
"We'll restructure as necessary and we'll be decisive", Hackett said.