Ford to focus on trucks, SUVs, discontinue all cars but Mustang

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The Ford assembly plant on Chicago's Southeast Side is not expecting any layoffs as the company phases out most cars - including the signature Taurus sedan built there - in favor of SUVs and trucks.

Ford said the changes will not require additional investment but will instead be enabled by freeing up $11.5 billion (about £10bn) from existing programmes.

Ford predicted that by 2020, nearly 90 percent of its portfolio would be trucks, SUVs and CUVs, and commercial transportation like vans and police cars.

This reduction in sedans has been undertaken as Ford recognizes that North American consumers have increasingly turned to crossovers, trucks and SUVs over sedans and small cars.

Ford announced plans on Wednesday to ax all of its North American vehicle lineup except for the Mustang and Focus, and that won't be available in its traditional form anymore; the company said it will only offer a Focus Active hatchback that debuts in 2019. Ford says all its trucks, SUVs and crossovers will carry on, and they will pursue further models with "higher ride height, space and versatility".

In North America, Ford's largest and most important market/region, pretax profit was $1.9 billion, down $200 million from a year earlier.

Ford sold 209,000 Fusion sedans in 2017 - it's best-selling sedan - compared to 265,000 in 2016, and down from 306,000 in 2014.

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Ford announced that it will stop selling passenger cars, with the exception of the Mustang and the Ford Focus Active in the United States.

The news comes as Ford announced a $1.7 billion profit for the first quarter of 2018.

The automaker's pre-tax profit fell 14% to $2.2 billion for the quarter.

Ford also says it estimates SUV sales could be around 50 percent of retail sales by 2020, which is why it is pulling US$7 billion from cars and putting it toward SUVs. The Asia Pacific region will probably lose money in the second quarter before returning to profit in the back half of the year.

"I don't think you're going to see Ford make any sort of major announcement in the facilities where they're making the Fiesta and Fusion until after NAFTA's done".

So what Ford vehicles are being dropped? The Ford Active as a beefy small vehicle that will have a higher profile like an SUV, but still be considered a auto.

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