While still considered one of the most successful automotive companies in the world, Ford has struggled to keep up with the automotive industry in recent years.
In 2017, Jim Hackett was appointed CEO of Ford and immediately went about rebuilding company culture and going back to old business practices that had initially made the company so successful. Despite his eagerness and dedication, it’s still unclear whether or not his plan will be successful.
In 2018, the stock price of Ford dropped 28% and the company only made $7 billion in profits, nearly $4 billion behind GM.
Despite its setbacks, Ford is still planning for the future. We already have a tentative release date for the 2020 Ford Bronco, which Ford hopes will be able to bolster sales. The latest recession has dealt a hard blow to multiple automakers, but Ford is facing other challenges in addition to dwindling profits.
No more sedans
Due to little return on manufacturing costs and not enough demand from customers, Ford announced last year that it would cut out a lot of cars from its lineup and shift its focus towards the production of trucks and SUVs.
Popular sedans such as the Ford Taurus and Fiesta will gradually disappear from the market over the next few years.Thankfully, the Lincoln sedans, the Mustang, and the future Focus Active crossover have no plans to be phased out.
A catalog made up exclusively of SUVs and trucks is getting the company more profits from South America, but Ford is still facing problems from other international regions.
Ford is currently the most successful automaker in the U.K., but thanks to higher tariffs imposed by Brexit, manufacturing materials for its vehicles are now more expensive. Even though its SUV sales were up, the poor exchange rate actually led to the company losing profits.
Ford has also lost popularity in China due to a limited vehicle lineup in a competitive market.
Ford has been served with many lawsuits regarding transmission issues. The dual-clutch transmissions in 2011-16 Fiestas and 2012-16 Focus models were reported to be defective. Drivers of these vehicles experience shuddering transmissions that led to other problems like transmission fluid leakage and poor handling.
Ford received lawsuits and fines from multiple countries, totaling over $10 million. In the United States, two million people are involved in a class-action lawsuit against the company, which is being appealed in the federal court.
If the case against Ford is won, $200-2375 will be awarded to each person affected by the faulty transmissions, which could mean a billion-dollar loss for the company.
The Ford Bronco returns
The Ford Bronco was a staple of the company’s portfolio for over 30 years but was phased out after the more profitable Ford Expedition hit the market.
After the company announced that the cherished vehicle would make a comeback, fans were understandably excited. We still don’t have a lot of concrete details about the newest Ford Bronco, but we can make some educated guesses.
The engine is expected to be either a turbocharged V6 engine or a turbocharged 2.3-liter engine like the 2019 Ford Ranger. The 2020 Bronco was also confirmed to have a hybrid variant.
Can the 2020 Bronco save Ford?
Due to the nostalgia associated with the Bronco, Ford is almost guaranteed to see a spike in sales from offroading enthusiasts. While this may work as a short-term solution for the company’s low profits, it might not be enough to save the company from further decline.
A lineup of popular vehicles is important to any auto company’s success, but Ford also needs to tackle tariff problems wisely and repair its reputation among consumers.