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Ford To Stop Selling Every Car In North America But the Mustang, Focus Active (techcrunch.com) 391

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Ford today announced it will phase out most cars it sells in North America. According to its latest financial release, the auto giant "will transition to two vehicles" -- the Mustang and an unannounced vehicle, the Focus Active, being the only traditional cars it sells in the region. Ford sees 90 percent of its North America portfolio in trucks, utilities and commercial vehicles. Citing a reduction in consumer demand and product profitability, Ford is in turn not investing in the next generation of sedans. The Taurus is no more. The press release also talks about a new type of vehicle, though it sounds like a crossover. This so-called white space vehicle will "combine the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as higher ride height, space and versatility." Currently, Ford sells six sedans and coupes in North America: the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, Mustang and Taurus. This lineup hits multiple segments, from the compact Fiesta to the mid-size Focus, C-Max and Fusion to the full-size Taurus. The Mustang stands alone as the lone coupe.
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Ford To Stop Selling Every Car In North America But the Mustang, Focus Active

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  • I love my antiquated '94 Corolla wagon, not that it's a great car or anything (although it is), but largely because it's got a low and wide profile. Makes it fun to negotiate a curve. Who wants to drive around in a high box?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      I love my antiquated '94 Corolla wagon, not that it's a great car or anything (although it is), but largely because it's got a low and wide profile. Makes it fun to negotiate a curve. Who wants to drive around in a high box?

      The floorpan on most of these crossovers is only an inch or two higher than the cars they're based on. The suspension is dramatically more advanced than your '94 Corolla Wagon, or even a car from '94 that actually handles like something other than a moldy dog turd. Basically any modern crossover will run rings around your wagon in the twisties.

      • Yeh my Mazda CX5 handles very well indeed, and the turbo diesel is both more powerfull and economical than a corolla.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by HornWumpus ( 783565 )

        Your on crack now. An inch or two or three adds up fast. Also 'cars they're based on'? You mean the tall slow cars they're based on, in the few cases that's true. Most are based on light truck chassis.

        Do you realize the work that's done to get a chassis down 1 inch on a fast car?

        The modern car will not only have a higher CG, it will weigh much more. Congress passed rollover protection, perhaps they had never met the car industry and expected them to use better material, in any case modern cars are heav

        • Suck it up, you should be able to drive over a coin and call heads or tails, just by feel.

          She was wearing those three-quarter jeans with the twine belt, all Ellie-Mae-like, and they fit so tight over the pocket you could read the date on the dime on her right front thigh.

        • Your on crack now.

          *You're

          An inch or two or three adds up fast.

          That's what she told you, huh?

          Also 'cars they're based on'? You mean the tall slow cars they're based on, in the few cases that's true. Most are based on light truck chassis.

          Uh no. This is in fact the defining factor between crossovers and SUVs. Crossovers are based on cars. SUVs are based on light trucks.

          The modern car will not only have a higher CG, it will weigh much more. Congress passed rollover protection, perhaps they had never met the car industry and expected them to use better material, in any case modern cars are heavy pigs by 90s standards.

          And yet, they still outhandle them in most cases, especially on broken pavement and the like, because instead of crap like macpherson or even double wishbone (which is at least decent, if bulky) they are using multilink front and rear. Only the most pathetic of econoboxes are still using macpherson. Macpherson has bump steer. I used to driv

        • Nothing new on the suspension front since the introduction of the Citroen DS.

        • Suspension has improved because the industry moved towards using better suspension, not because of new inventions. They also pay more attention to setup. It's impossible to lose control over a modern car. Well maybe not impossible since somehow people manage to do that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Who the hell cares which car goes around corners faster when exceeding the speed limit. The compact/mid SUV much easier access and egress, better vision, far more effective loading area, in fact the most logical body shape for a car. The low end cars are very competitive and the compact/mid SUV leaves more price to play with and upmarket in fitments and more scope for batteries, flat bed front to back. Who knows, eventually a two door rag top mustang mid SUV.

    • by mikael ( 484 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @09:16PM (#56503881)

      Mothers, pregnant, with children and elderly relatives. They don't have to crouch down to get into a car, limbo dance into the back seats through the narrow shaped gaps. Large flappy doors for two door cars (Peugeot) are another dislike. They are impossible to get out of in a supermarket car park. So sliding doors are preferred. Basically like having a personal Hackney cab. All the cars that people drive now seem to be either four wheel drive or something between an estate car and a van.

      • by jezwel ( 2451108 )

        Mothers, pregnant, with children and elderly relatives. They don't have to crouch down to get into a car, limbo dance into the back seats through the narrow shaped gaps.

        This, so many times. So much easier to get a baby into a carrier seat when you're not half bent over.
        I prefer my little sports sedan for actual driving though.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:25PM (#56504329)

        Mothers, pregnant, with children and elderly relatives.

        That's NOT where elderly relatives come from.

      • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        And yet despite having more or less the same relative amounts of mothers, pregnant women, children and elderly, no-one else in the world buys SUVs and crossovers in the same relative amounts as Americans.

        The facts strongly suggest it is not utility that is the selling point...

    • I do. Streets in my city (Asunción) are awful. Lots of potholes and plenty of ill-designed and ill-placed speed bumps. When you have low quality streets, a high ride is a godsend.

    • I feel the same about my little 99 Ford Ranger, it may not be the perfect size truck for most but its the perfect size truck FOR ME. It fits me like a glove, gives me enough interior space (I got the king cab) to carry groceries while when the big county spring clean comes around next month I'll have no issues throwing a couple hundred pounds of junk in the back and helping friends clean up their places.

      I just hear Ford is bringing us the South American Ranger, it looks hellasharp and might be the one tru

    • I love my antiquated '94 Corolla wagon, not that it's a great car or anything (although it is), but largely because it's got a low and wide profile. Makes it fun to negotiate a curve. Who wants to drive around in a high box?

      Indeed

      Though '94 isn't antiquated, my (favorite) car is a 1974 Mini Clubman GT. Weighs all of 750 kg (1650 lbs) with me in it, the modified 1275cc motor pushes out over 100bhp, and you only need 5 spanners, 3 screwdrivers, a hammer and a soldering iron + crimping tool to work on it.

      It's a road going go-kart

      My other car is an MX-5 (miata) but it is nowhere near as fun

  • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @08:16PM (#56503555) Homepage

    Ford stops selling vehicles that consume less gas in line with new mobility taxes so only the rich can travel. Affordable vehicles wreaked havoc when the peasant population was able to leave areas with shitty abusive systems in place.

  • by digitect ( 217483 ) <digitect@NospAM.dancingpaper.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @08:19PM (#56503567)
    I think Honda might have been the first to do this about three decades ago when they based all their cars on just two flexible platforms. The Accord, TL, RL, TSX, Crosstour... all the same car. The smaller was the Civic and the RSX. The SUVs are similar, Pilot/MDX and CRV/RDX. They keep changing the model names to throw us off the trail, but the manufacturing is very carefully designed to minimize infrastructure, support, and design. I never figured out where the odd US models like Fit and Element fit that scheme, but they sure seemed expensive for so few units if they were unique.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Honda's manufacturing is quite incredible. Their factories keep 30 minutes worth of parts on hand, with constant deliveries through the day. They have really got it down to a fine art.

  • by thesjaakspoiler ( 4782965 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @08:23PM (#56503589)
    Or any color as long as it's black?
  • Crown Vic (Score:4, Funny)

    by technosaurus ( 1704630 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @08:25PM (#56503599)
    They had a sedan that sold well and businesses bought in mass, but cancelled it. Bring back the Crown Vic, I can't tell todays cop cars and taxis from an uber.
    • One day if I'm lucky I hope to buy a Crown Vic.
    • I can, it's an energy thing. I can spot 6 inches of a cop car sticking past the end of a cinder block wall.

      Perhaps you should drive faster?

    • A lot of unmarked cop cars still have steel wheels with those shiny silver caps in the center. Some places are getting trickier and ordering alloy wheels and very well hidden LED lights. Fuck everyone that buys a white/grey/black Explorer with blackout tint, how I am supposed to tell you from a cop?

    • by mccalli ( 323026 )
      Yeah, as a non-American I can't really contemplate an America without Crown Vics in them. Used to ride in the taxis all the time when I was over there. Go on, you owe it to yourselves....bring it back.

      Aside - if you bring back those terrible wood panelled atrocities from the 80s, you could start making cool John Hughes-alike films again. 80s - terrible cars, great films.
      • You can thank the Government for that. That 4.6L V8 sucked gas. Now everyone is buying Explorers(or similar) with the same 4.6l V8 but even more weight, but since it is a "Truck" it doesn't fall under mileage guidelines. Unintended consequences are never addressed. We Must Have Our 45 MPG cars! Who cares if nobody wants them.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 )

    Maybe they should try calling it the "Osbourne 2". I guess it's not the same, presumably their trucks can keep them afloat as their car sales die until the new model is really out.

  • Goodbye Ford. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @08:31PM (#56503633)

    You're betting the company on SUVs, and in a few years when gas prices shoot up again, you're gonna lose the company. Does anyone really believe gas prices can stay this low for forever? I think they'll shoot up again within 5 years, just when Ford has ditched all its cars that people will actually want to buy when gas is $5 a gallon.

    • The people who can afford new SUVs will be able to afford the gas for them for some time.
    • You're betting the company on SUVs, and in a few years when gas prices shoot up again, you're gonna lose the company

      They will all be electrics or hybrids by then. The trucks they will sell in 5-10 years will get much better mileage than the cars they sell today.

      Does anyone really believe gas prices can stay this low for forever?

      Nope, and neither does Ford.

      Ditching their traditional cars is a bold move, that's true enough. But I can't think of a single rational argument against it.

    • when Ford has ditched all its cars that people will actually want to buy when gas is $5 a gallon.

      Americans are often confused why Europeans drive small fuel efficient cars. Well I just filled up for $7.80US / gallon. So you can imagine I'm quite happy that my 10 year older beater car gets 45mpg.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @08:44PM (#56503705)

    Ford currently sells five models of sedans: Taurus, Focus RS, Fiesta, Mustang, and Focus Active. They're phasing out the first three models over the next few years, to be replaced with all new electric and hybrid models. Still spending a bit to keep the other two in production for the foreseeable future though.

    • If I could boost you to more than 5, I would. I knew immediately that the headline was totally at odds with the barely announced billions going into a crash program to catch up on the electric. They will of course electrify the trucks and SUVs too, but they'll keep the branding there. It is far more valuable. The best-selling F150 will still be an F150 when it's finally electric and out-towing the diesels.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Ford currently sells five models of sedans: Taurus, Focus RS, Fiesta, Mustang, and Focus Active. They're phasing out the first three models over the next few years, to be replaced with all new electric and hybrid models. Still spending a bit to keep the other two in production for the foreseeable future though.

      Erm... I think you need to look up the meaning of sedan, it's 4 doors and a boot.

      The Focus RS and Fiesta are hatchbacks, the Mustang is a coupe and the Focus Active is a jacked up hatchback (called a SUV).

      The Focus can be had as a Sedan, but not in the RS spec.

  • To stop selling all but two cars.
    To continue selling even more crossovers, SUVs, utes, pickups, trucks....
    Co-incidentally, "non-cars" have much less stringent fuel economy regulations. Small passenger cars need to meet a corporate average of 45mpg, light trucks of the same physical size can get away with 37mpg.
    Large passengers cars need to average 34mpg, while large trucks only need to get to 25mpg.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @09:55PM (#56504019) Journal
    Their masterplan is to use all the money saved by shuttering all these lines into shorting Tesla, drive down its share price and buy the company.
  • Model T (Score:4, Insightful)

    by technosaurus ( 1704630 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @09:55PM (#56504021)
    They forget how the company was built. A Model T was $300 in 1925 => $4,268.42 in 2018. You can't buy a new car for triple that now.
    • The 1908 Model T was powered by a 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine that developed 20 hp. It weighed about 1200 lb, and could probably hit 45 mph with a good following wind. Even if it did get 25 mpg, next to anything Ford sells today it was also crudely made, terrifyingly unsafe, and a gross polluter. (Motor Trend)

      Incidentally, the 25 mpg refers to a Sierra Club lie, the Model T was actually capable of 21 to 23 mpg.

    • Re:Model T (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hans Lehmann ( 571625 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @11:52PM (#56504391)
      If people were willing to buy a 20hp car with no heater, no AC, no electronics, no radial tires, no electric starter, no air bags, no power seats, a life span of 50,000 miles or so, and that needed servicing every month, I'm sure there would be a $4286 car available today.
      • A couple off decades ago we briefly had the Yugo show up in the US. Went about as well as expected. Although that was TWICE the HP!!!!!

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

        If people were willing to buy a 20hp car

        Interesting side note, the cheapest car available in the USA seems to be a Nissan Note at 88hp, it also is one of the weakest on the USA market based on my 10minutes of intense googling.

        My own car, one of the most popular in Europe weighs in at 86hp and it's the 3rd weakest in its range and genre. The SEAT Mii which is probably the cheapest car in Europe comes in at 59hp.

        Different priorities.

        But my point is that Americans are often genuinely confused at how I could possibly drive such a "weak" car. They are

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      I can buy a VW Lupo for 10590 EUR today. A Skoda I can get for 7290 EUR. A Fiat is available for 9390 EUR.
      These are all prices from the websites in Belgium.

      So yes, you can buy a car for tripple the amount now.

      The prices are from the websites, so it could be that you pay less if you buy a showroom model, or more if you add options that are not included. Obviously other models are more expensive. e.g. The Buguatti is another VW than the Lupo and might be a bit more expensive.

      Yet it is still possible to buy a

  • by Ed Tice ( 3732157 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @09:59PM (#56504045)
    They only deliver to GM. Maybe Ford sees the writing on the wall.
  • For years, Detroit taught us small cars are cheap cars, and all small cars were cheap and not cheerful. Eventually the euros/japanese sent up small and NOT cheap cars, so that went away. Still, Detroit was able to charge 10K extra for a larger sedan for a long time. When the CUV/SUV became a thing, suddenly you could get your car super sized, be it a Q5 or Q7, or a Nissan Rogue or a Honda HR-V. At any price point, you can now get a "bigger" car. Most people will go for the larger car, at least in the U
  • Is it just me, or does it seem like focusing your resources and trying to get the most out as little as possible has become something of a religion for companies? I know companies have in the past re-used platforms for multiple products, the best car industry example of this is the VW Golf chassis used in over a dozen different models from 4 different makes, but it seems like literally everyone wants to do that now.

    It's not just re-using underlying tech, you also see companies more often not only farm ou
  • I want one of those "white space vehicles". Though, to be honest, I'm not too bothered about the color...

  • I mean, it's an April Fool's gag, right? It's too absurd to be real.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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