- Ford unveiled its new-product strategy.
- It emphasised SUVs, hybrids, and battery electric vehicles.
- Some new products, such as the Bronco SUV, will hit the market soon.
Ford is frustrated.
Three years of strong sales and steady profits – and the bestselling vehicles in the US, the F-Series – pickups haven’t moved the needle on the company’s stock price, which has lagged the broader markets, crosstown rival General Motors, and upstart Tesla.
But Ford also has a plan. The carmaker rolled it out on Thursday from its Detroit-area headquarters.
It has two cornerstones: more SUVs and more hybrids.
It’s been clear for a few years now that Ford needed new SUVs, but Thursday’s announcement signals that the company will be investing more heavily in the segment.
A small SUV to be named later will join the soon-to-launch, revamped Bronco in the lineup.
In a statement, the company said that by 2020, it “estimates SUV sales could account for 50% of U.S. industry retail sales” and is shifting $US7 billion in capital expenditure from cars to SUVs. The Ford SUV fleet will consist of eight utes.
The hybrids are coming back
Ford had also indicated that it planned to hybridize more vehicles, even icons like the F-150 pickup and the Mustang. The carmaker is betting that hybrids, which haven’t been popular with consumers of late, will undergo a revival and share space with a new generation of battery electric vehicles.
“Hybrids for years have been mostly niche products but are now on the cusp of a mainstream breakout,” Ford president Jim Farley said in a statement.”
“The valuable capability they offer – plus fuel efficiency – is why we’re going to offer hybrid variants of our most popular and high-volume vehicles, allowing our loyal, passionate customers to become advocates for the technology.”
On the BEV front, Ford reiterated that it’s investing $US11 billion to launch six all-electric vehicles by 2022.
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