Ford this week announced it would withdraw nearly all of the cars it sells from the North American market (via TechCrunch). The company cited statistics that show nearly nine out of 10 Ford vehicles bought in North America are trucks, commercial vehicles, and utilities. Therefore, it would make sense to phase out its sedans and other offerings.
Specifically, Ford is getting rid of the following models: the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, and Taurus. Meanwhile, the Mustang will remain in the US and Canada. Additionally, the company plans to keep around a new Focus trim dubbed “Active.” We have no idea what this variant will feature since it hasn’t been formally announced yet. We expect more information on it soon, however.
We’ll also likely see some sort of crossover in North America at some point. The company’s press release for its Q1 2018 earnings says Ford will introduce a white space vehicle that will “combine the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as higher ride height, space, and versatility.” Again, details remain scarce, but more information is expected in the near future.
Notably, this doesn’t mean we won’t get Ford’s promised hybrid-electric trims for some of its most popular models. The company plans to release hybrid variants of the Mustang, Explorer, F-150, Espace, and Bronco. Of course, we don’t know when they’ll come, but it’s likely we’ll hear something about them soon.
What does all of this mean for Ford long-term? According to the company, SUVs will have a big impact on the market by 2020 so the manufacturer wants to jump on that bandwagon in the near future. In the next couple of years, Ford plans to have as many as six high-performance SUVs on the market including a fully electric model. By 2021, Ford projects it will surpass Toyota and become the leader in the US hybrid vehicles market in terms of sales, in part thanks to the hybrid F-150 and Mustang.
The company also plans to focus more on new technologies. By phasing out most of its lineup, Ford can begin developing new mobility services and further invest in its “smart city” concept. Tech in cars is gonna absolutely blow up in the next few years so it would make sense for the company to want to be at the forefront of that.
In the end, it’s always a shame to see such iconic cars go. The Taurus has been a staple for many North Americans for decades, while the Fiesta, Fusion, and C-Max also have loyal fan bases. Of course, there are way more people who pay attention to vehicles like the Mustang and F-150, but the OEM has a strong history in the sedan and coupe space so it’s worth pouring one out for the company.