Ford’s head of global markets, Jim Farley, said the company is exploring new vehicles that give people the space and versatility of a utility vehicle without a fuel economy “penalty.”
“We will have a very diverse passenger car business,” Farley said. “It just won’t be traditional silhouetted sedans that tend to be commoditized.”
Small cars lose money
Ford CFO Bob Shanks said small cars and "most Lincoln products" are among those losing money.
Ford officials had signaled that some cars would be removed from the portfolio as consumers gravitate toward far more profitable pickups, SUVs and crossovers. Shanks said Lincoln is not in overall danger but noted that it lost money in China because it is in ramp-up mode there after being introduced in 2014.
Although Ford didn’t mention them, analysts say the Lincoln Continental and MKZ sedans, which share platforms with many of the Ford cars slated to be scrapped, also remain in doubt.
Shanks suggested that Ford could reduce investment in certain geographic regions or exit them if it did not see adequate returns on the horizon. That echoes the strategy General Motors has used in selling its European business and abandoning several other countries, including Russia.
“Everything will be on the table,” Shanks said. “We can make different investments; we can partner; we can exit products, markets. And we will do that."