Ford makes sharp cuts to USA sedan portfolio

"We aren't just talking about ideas; we've made decisions". "Ford's announcement to pretty much get out of the vehicle business. comes as no surprise", says analyst Michelle Krebs, per the Detroit Free Press. That is on top of about $14 billion in efficiencies the company had already promised to achieve in the next several years.

Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told reporters it is too early to say whether the additional cuts and "efficiency opportunities" would result in layoffs or staffing reductions.

Hackett said the plan also calls for Ford either fixing or dumping unprofitable global operations.

"We are undergoing a profound transformation", Shanks said, "and are committed to taking decisive action".

Ford will say goodbye to the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Taurus.

Europe was the only other region where Ford was profitable - a $149-million pretax profit.

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Ford said the only cars it will keep in North America beyond their current generations are the Mustang and the Focus Active arriving in 2019. Its margin in North America fell to 7.8 percent from 8.9 percent. By 2021, Ford projects it will surpass Toyota and become the leader in the USA hybrid vehicles market in terms of sales, in part thanks to the hybrid F-150 and Mustang.

Marketwatch has the details on Ford's plans.

But Americans are abandoning sedans and choosing trucks and SUVs. Up to five hybrid-electric SUVs as well as a hybrid Mustang are also projected to be on sale by the end of the decade, as new technologies increasingly break the link between a vehicle's size and performance and its efficiency. The company will no longer make the Fusion, Taurus, CMax hybrid compact and Fiesta subcompact in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The Ford assembly plant on Chicago's Southeast Side is not expecting any layoffs as the company phases out most cars - including the signature Taurus sedan built there - in favor of SUVs and trucks.

The move is bad news for sedans, but good news for trucks and crossovers. They will be available as both gasoline- and battery-powered versions. Instead, the company will focus nearly exclusively on SUVs, crossovers, and trucks in the USA domestic market. The "next-generation Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedan will be built in China to serve that market" as Reuters has reported, she writes - "one of five Lincoln products that will be built locally for China's consumers, a lot of them utility vehicles".

"Ford has been criticized by Wall Street analysts for offering few details on Mr. Hackett's strategy for the company". Crucial to this plan is four new SUVs to be added by 2020.

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