Ford is laying out a massive new portfolio of products to better address the fast-changing consumer demands happening right now. Things we never thought would be considered are in the pipeline for production by 2020.
Ford announced it’s radically changing up some of its most iconic brands in the face of falling demand for conventionally-powered vehicles, sedans, and the Trump administration’s tariffs that are confounding sales internationally.
First off: Ford will be releasing a “Mustang-inspired” electric crossover to compete directly with Tesla’s Model X and soon to be released Model Y crossovers. Ford is saying it will be “a very exciting, fast vehicle” according to CNBC.
General consensus suggests it will feature Mustang cues but on steroids, with a higher beltline and a higher ride height.
The new Bronco is also due in 2020, and it will come as a hybrid. With the addition of the Bronco SUV, Ford is aiming to lower its portfolio age according to Ford President of North America Kumar Galhorta. “We are in the middle of these vehicle launches and we have several more coming in the near future,” Galhorta told CNBC.
Ford needs newer products in dealers’ showrooms to snag returning customers and bring in new ones. So, the portfolio age will lower from 5.6 years now, to 3.3 years next year. It will be reduced to three years by 2023. The most apparent change is the elimination of slow-selling sedans.
“As most of you are aware both revenues and margins are very highly-correlated to the average age of any automaker’s portfolio,” Galhorta continues. “Then we’ve put processes and capital in place to make sure we can maintain that very, very short cycle time and a very aggressive average age of portfolio for our products.”
Ford’s biggest-selling product the F-150 pickup truck, will not go untouched. It sold almost one million F-Series trucks in 2018. The new Chevy, GMC, and Ram trucks have prompted Ford to update the F-Series to better position it to fight back against those newer competition offerings.
Ram recently overtook Chevy for the number two best-selling truck, surprising many in the industry. Ford has held the top spot for truck sales for decades and is not about to give that up. The number one best-selling truck is a marketer’s dream for pushing the brand.
The F-Series has held that position for 42 years and has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 37 years. Ford will soon be announcing the release of an all-electric F-Series. Additionally, Ford has invested in tech startup Rivian which unveiled its EV truck and its variants at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. In all Ford is investing $11 billion in alternative vehicle propulsion, mostly centered around EVs.
Even More Redesigns
What’s left for Ford to update? Sadly, there are no new sedans on the way, nor are there any new hatchbacks planned for the U.S. Not even the lifted Focus Active. But there is a new Explorer SUV and Escape crossover for 2020. “This is an incredibly transitional period for us,” Galhorta said. The next 18 months are going to be a wild ride in the automotive sector—stay tuned!