Ford line-up to change 0

Globally, the month of November, and 2016 in general, has seen a slump in the amount of passenger-car sales for the majority of car makers. Ford has been no exception to this. When downturns such as these happen, it’s common practise for brand line-ups to change, with the aim of invigorating and refreshing stagnating customer interest.

“Over time, there should be some pruning of the portfolio to support growth in other areas,” a company spokesman said. “Clearly we’re going to invest in growing the SUV portfolio. We certainly intend to have a strong car base, as well; we don’t know where the market’s going to go. But there will be some pruning over time as there should be in a nameplate and portfolio.”

In the US for example, the stodgy Taurus sedan could be dropped if the proposed cull takes placed. It’s down almost 11 percent for the year. The C-Max is down 13 percent, though it revived slightly in November. Those two and the sluggishly selling Ford Flex could all be on the chopping block.

“If you look at our past, there have been some nameplates that have dropped off and other nameplates have been added,” Hinrichs said. “Given where the market is going, the demands for capital investment and the regulatory changes coming at us, we’ll continue to always look at the total portfolio and see where’s segmentation going and where should we be phasing out.”

Stephen Odell, Ford’s director of global marketing, sales and service, said he’s looking at options that add to the company’s SUV/crossover arm and help combat slower car sales.

“You can address both markets in some cases with a similar product offering,” Odell said, referencing the new Active.

Ford also commented that the business decision to move Focus production to Mexico helped establish a future for the small car, something it may not have had in the US with the former’s production costs.

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