Ford targets higher margins faster, to drop unpopular cars

26 April, 2018, 12:43 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Ford announces a big move to save money

The only cars Ford will renew for the North American market are the Mustang, which is to be replaced with a new model in calendar 2020, and the new Focus Active, which, anyway, the company describes as a crossover SUV.

This news comes as part of Ford's "fitness" plan, outlined by CEO Jim Hackett previous year, in which he said the Blue Oval would cut its operating costs by $14 billion by 2022.

To date, the company has been testing its self-driving technology on its Fusion sedan cars, but Ford told Quartz that it plans to develop an entirely new vehicle, unlike anything it's released to date, for when it starts producing autonomous vehicles for consumers-which the company says it'll be ready to do in 2021.

The company "will not invest in future Ford sedans", CEO Jim Hackett said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts after market hours Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday as the company reported first-quarter results, Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said "we have looked at every single part of the business".

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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.

The company said its net income for the quarter rose 9 percent due largely to a lower income tax rate, as the automaker promised additional efficiencies in the coming years.

In the first quarter of 2018, Ford's profit margin dipped to 5.2pc from 6.4pc a year earlier, as it was squeezed by higher aluminium and steel prices.

The shares rose 0.5 percent to $11.17 as of 4:22 p.m.in NY, after the close of regular trading. We are determined to turn this business around right throughout the whole company.

The changes include getting rid of all cars in the region during the next four years except for the Mustang sports auto and a compact Focus crossover vehicle, CEO Jim Hackett said as the company released first-quarter earnings.

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Ford officials already signaled that some cars would be removed from the portfolio as consumers gravitate toward far more profitable pickups, SUVs and crossovers.

"Everything will be on the table", Shanks said.

Ford's revenue worldwide increased 7% to $42 billion for the quarter.

Hackett also announced that Ford Motor will implement $11.5-billion in cost reductions by 2020, on top of $14-billion in cost reductions announced earlier.

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