Ford cuts vehicle offerings down to Mustang, Focus Active crossover


Ford said it expects pretax profit margins of 8 percent globally and 10 percent in North America by 2020, ahead of a previous target of 2022.

For those keeping count, Ford will be left with only two vehicle models after the current generation Fusion, Fiesta and Taurus die off. Ford dealerships will be left only with the Focus Active and Mustang.

Ford said in a release that it's also exploring a new "white space" vehicle that would combine "the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as higher ride height, space, and versatility".

"The threat of tariffs, particularly we believe on steel, had an impact on market prices", Shanks said during an interview on "After the Bell".

This news comes as part of Ford's "fitness" plan, outlined by CEO Jim Hackett a year ago, in which he said the Blue Oval would cut its operating costs by $14 billion by 2022.

Ford announced the improved guidance as the company reported a 9 percent increase in first-quarter net income.

Ford will, however, continue to offer its full gamut of trucks, SUVs and crossovers.

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"We will have a very diverse passenger auto business", Farley said. "We can make different investments; we can partner; we can exit products, markets".

Hackett also announced that Ford Motor will implement $11.5-billion in cost reductions by 2020, on top of $14-billion in cost reductions announced earlier.

But the market in the U.S. has shifted to larger vehicles that consumers perceive as safer; Ford's decision to pare down their model offering to trucks and sports cars appears to be servicing the demand it sees directly ahead of it. "I don't think they're done yet".

Ford made the announcement on the day it beat its Wall Street earnings estimates.

Amid declining consumer demand and product profitability, the company said it will not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans.

Automotive segment revenues totaled $39 billion for the quarter, up by $2.5 billion year over year but automotive pre-tax margin slipped by 1.1 percentage points to 7.8%. It lost $149 million in South America, 37 percent less than in the first quarter of 2017, and earned $119 million in Europe, down 43 percent.

The company's loss in its Asia-Pacific region was down to a slump in sales in China. Ford is choosing the "much higher-performing" [in terms of profitability] utilities and not "traditional-silhouette sedans that tend to be commoditized".