Monday 18 December 2017

Ford may cut lineup to as few as 20 models

Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said the second-biggest US carmaker may reduce its product lineup to as few as 20 models.

“There will be less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25,” Mulally said in response to questions on the future lineup of “nameplates” or models after addressing the Confederation of British Industry in London today.

“Fewer brands means you can put more focus into improving the quality of engineering.”

Ford used to build 97 models, said Mulally, who took over as CEO of the Dearborn, Michigan-based company in 2006.

The lineup has been cut partly through the sale of luxury units including Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin.

“It was absolutely clear that we had to simplify Ford dramatically,” said the CEO, who is in Europe prior to visiting the Paris Motor Show later this week.

Ford has also simplified component specifications for each product, so that the Fiesta model, which has about 10 variants worldwide, now has about 65pc of its parts as standard.

“It helps all of our distribution, Ford store owners, suppliers, employees and consumers to know exactly what they’re getting,” Mulally said.

The CEO said Ford’s sales prospects depend largely on economic recovery following the termination of government cash- for-clunkers programs which spurred demand last year.

“The key thing now is to keep the economy going,” said Mulally, who turned 65 last month. “All the fundamentals say that we are moving in the right direction.”

Prospects for expansion are bolstered by the Asian market, which is “just a phenomenal growth engine right now,” he said.

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