In March, Ford executives unveiled ambitious plans to shift the struggling automaker's product portfolio from passenger cars to SUVs, add more hybrid and pure electric vehicles, and reduce development and manufacturing costs - aimed at boosting profits and the automaker's share price.
The change is part of the company's wider $11 billion cost-cutting plan to end most of its auto production in North America and instead focus on SUVs, like the Explorer, and pickup trucks, like the popular F-150.
Ford has also made clear that waning consumer demand and product profitability are two reasons why it's halting investment in the next generation of sedans.
Ford is expecting pretax profit margins to reach 8% globally while 10% in North America in two years, ahead of its previous 2022 target or four years.
It's all a bit ironic, given that just last decade - as it was emerging from the Great Recession - Ford got $5.9 billion in loans backed by the feds to help it build high-mileage cars.More news: Donors pledge $4.4b in Syria aid for 2018
The decision was announced by CEO Jim Hackett as the business released its first quarter profit results. Where would new customers turn for an entry-level offering when Ford's North American dealerships no longer carry a single sedan? The company also is reviewing its strategic plans for South America. And in every region of the world, Ford reported either a decline in profits or a loss. Go down one more vehicle level to the Focus, and even the smaller (but heavier) EcoSport crossover costs more.
Ford said in its 2018 first quarter statement that it would introduce hybrid-electric powertrains to "high-volume, profitable vehicles" such as the F-150 pick-up, Mustang and Explorer, Escape and Bronco SUVs. But since then, Ford has been slow to roll out the new sorts of SUVs that have caught favor with American consumers, and it let costs creep higher.
Ford will drop the Fiesta hatchback and Fusion saloon (the American version of the Mondeo) from its U.S. line-up by 2020. The C-Max, Ford's only dedicated hybrid in the US market, was dropped past year.
However, it's most significant jump is that it is also spending a large amount of money on redeveloping its Dearborn factory in MI to start producing electric vehicles by 2020.