By on April 27, 2018

ford focus rs

Unfortunately, I knew this whole Ford “kill all the cars” was coming a few weeks ago. While visiting a dealer, I had a conversation with a regional Ford rep who told me the company’s plan was “Mustang, Focus Active, and Trucks, Baby!” for 2020 and beyond. So it’s easy for me to say I saw it coming, but, more importantly, I can also say that I knew why it was coming.

It’s not Mark Fields’ fault. It’s not even Jim Hackett’s fault, really. Do I think he’s the second coming? No. Do I think he’s going to run the company into the ground? Of course not.

No, at the end of the day, the only person that can be held responsible for the death of Ford’s passenger cars is You. Not me. You.

I’m absolving myself of guilt here, because I bought not one, but two small Fords, and they’ve been the best two cars I’ve ever owned. Well, I should correct that statement — I actually leased my Fiesta ST, and I now wish that I had bought it, because I miss it desperately. 32 MPG, seating for four, and more fun than the proverbial barrel of monkeys.

But you? Yeah, I’m holding you directly responsible. You didn’t buy any of them. You talked about how much you want to save small cars, how important it is to #savethemanuals, and then you didn’t actually do it. No, you said, “I’ll buy one when they’ve depreciated enough.” Ask Saab fans how well that worked out for them.

You caved to the pressure of your friends at work, who nodded approvingly at the new Escape that your coworker bought but whispered behind the back of that poor woman who got a Focus SEL. “Maybe her husband got laid off,” they guessed. No, you didn’t want any part of that, because driving a small car in America will never be “aspirational,” but buying a crossover is “sensible.”

Enthusiasts, you get the double bird on this one. Ford gave you the two greatest hot hatches ever sold in this country (Fiesta ST and Focus RS), and you said, “Eh,” and then you went out and bought a bumper sticker. (Granted, the dealers didn’t help, either.) You talked about how important it will be for American manufacturers to have small cars available if (when) the price of fuel rises again. And then when it came time to put your money where your mouth was, you bought a truck or a crossover, because you “needed the extra space” or because “you like to sit higher when you drive.”

In doing so, you’ve robbed much of America of the ability to buy a cheap new car. In flyover country, there are many, many places where there is no such thing as an import dealer. Eastern Kentucky, for example, has exactly one Honda dealer and and one Hyundai dealer in a geography that covers hundreds of miles. But do you know what they have plenty of? Ford and Chrysler dealers. Chrysler killed off the Dart and 200 already, so that left a lot of rural customers with one option — Ford. Not anymore.

But, I gotta be honest here, guys. I’m not really blaming you (we’ll see in the comments who actually read this far, and how many people read the part before the jump and immediately hit “click to reply”). Because there is no blame here. I wouldn’t blame you for not buying a horse and buggy to prop up the carriage business. I wouldn’t blame you for flying to Oregon instead of taking a conestoga wagon and dying of dysentery along the way. Truth of the matter is that the crossover is simply a better choice for most new car shoppers in today’s vehicle marketplace.

I know, it’s a sacreligious thing to say. But for most people, the ride height and ingress/egress is preferable in crossovers. As I continue to creep along life’s curve here after my fortieth birthday, I admit that I would rather get in and out of something like an Escape than a Focus on a daily basis, and despite my best efforts to restore my youth while sweating along to Tony Horton’s videos, my joints aren’t going to get any better.

Like it or not, people my age and older buy new cars. People in their twenties just don’t. New car buyers are getting older and wealthier all the time, with an average age of over 51 and an average income of over $80,000, while the average American is 36 years old with an income of around $50,000, according to the NADA. And what fiftysomething is buying a Fiesta? It’s too cramped, too difficult to get in and out of.

Ford is a business, and they’re making a business decision, one based on the financials that have simply become too large to ignore. Yes, yes, you can talk about CAFE and NAFTA and any other acronym that you want to throw out there, but if consumers wanted to buy passenger cars, Ford would make them. People don’t want them.

I think the real question to be asked here isn’t about Ford’s decision — it’s about which manufacturer is going to be the next one to follow in its footsteps. I’m guessing that the braintrust at the RenCen will be following this decision very, very closely. If I’m GM, I’m immediately killing every car except the Corvette and Camaro, folding the Encore and the Enclave into the GMC lineup, axing Buick, and calling it a day. And when it (finally) comes time for a remodel of the Charger, Challenger, and 300, I really won’t be the least bit surprised to see them disappear.

Yes, I’m going to miss the Focus RS and the Fiesta ST, but those were both already dead, anyway. I’ve written my eulogy for the Fiesta ST — no need to do it again. At least I can say that I bought them, drove them, and enjoyed them. Who would have guessed in the age of fossil fuel regulations that the Mustang would live while the hot hatch died? These are strange times we live in, my friends.

[Images: Mark “Bark M.” Baruth/TTAC]

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206 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: ReST in Pieces, Ford CaRS...”


  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Gasoline prices in British Columbia have reached record highs. In Ontario they are approaching record highs. A number of pundits are predicted gasoline prices to reach unprecedented heights within the next 12 months.

    And Ford is discontinuing small cars. Mitsubishi is focusing on crossovers. Dodge may have no mass market cars to sell.

    Could 2019 replicate carnage in the auto industry similar to that inflicted by the 1973 OPEC crisis?

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      Only up here. Americans couldn’t care less.

      I think it’ll just result in even more Civic sales.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      CUVs get fuel economy similar to small cars. Ford’s CMAX lives on and will sell more if gas prices go up.

      It is sedans which are dying, not cars. People have noticed that the hatchback, taller roof format is a lot more useful and usable than a sedan.

      Modern sedans have become painful to get in and out of thanks to “coupe like” profiles while outward visibility continues to get worse. Go find a Volvo 850 to get in and out of and then try the same thing in any current generation sedan.

      I will not miss the modern sedan when it dies, and we own two sedans right now.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Natural evolution I suppose.. and I agree, others will follow. I was on vacation in the Caribbean a month ago and got chatting with a Ford Product Planner.. I asked him pointedly about the future of the Fusion and cars in general at Ford- he chuckled and said, “We don’t comment on future product plans.” He kinda did with that statement. I don’t think this will be the great mistake some are making it out to be. Fuel economy has improved greatly with SUV/CUVs and people want ’em.. Give ’em what they want.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    Shortsighted decisions that will bite Ford (and Chrysler) in the ass when the next gas shock happens (and it’s coming sooner that people think). There will be a rotation out of CUV/SUV/Trucks into cars, like what happened before. This time, instead of having non-updated models in the product line up….they will have ZERO models in the product line up.

    Speaking personally, I am an owner of a FiST and am a customer of Ford as a result. When it comes time to replace the FiST Ford in all probability will not have me as a customer (as they potentially neuter the Mustang into something that it’s not). I hate to say it, but Volkswagen or another “import” will see me as a customer…but not Ford/GM/Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      This isn’t the same thing as 2007, which included a recession and gas prices no one has ever seen before.

      This time around, should gas prices go up, I don’t see a mass exodus to small cars.

      Why?

      – Most SUVs sold today are crossovers, or tall wagons, get similar mpg to most sedans. 30+ mpg is average in the most popular crossover class.
      Even fullsize trucks are in the mid-20s and diesels up to 30 mpg.

      – People have experienced high prices in the past now, they won’t have the same knee-jerk reaction like before, when people were spending thousands to save hundreds only to have gas prices drop in less than 2 years.

      – Strong economy this time, not in the middle of a recession like before.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Most SUVs sold today are crossovers, or tall wagons, get similar mpg to most sedans. 30+ mpg is average in the most popular crossover class.”

        What’s the most “popular crossover class”?

        The Ford Kuga per EPA tests does not average 30+ in any configuration per fueleconomy.gov. We know from real world reporting EPA testing is gamed so these figures are probably lower than advertised.

        2016 Ford Escape AWD 1.6 L, 4 cyl, Automatic (S6), Turbo, Regular Gasoline

        25 MPG combined
        22 29 city/hwy

        4 gal/100 mi 23.4 $1,650

        2016 Ford Escape FWD 2.5 L, 4 cyl, Automatic (S6), Regular Gasoline

        25 MPG combined
        22 30 city/hwy

        4 gal/100 mi NA $1,650

        “Even fullsize trucks are in the mid-20s”

        Highway in some cases, not combined overall.

        “diesels up to 30 mpg”

        Which no one is driving from a statistical standpoint.

        “People have experienced high prices in the past now, they won’t have the same knee-jerk reaction like before”

        Sir, are you new to Earth or have you simply been asleep for an extended period? People did not suddenly evolve, its not different this time. Lemming behavior will reign again and again. I suddenly realized my purpose in life was to profit from it. I will drink the delicious tears of lemmings and longs as a champagne.

        “Strong economy this time, not in the middle of a recession like before.”

        Not. Even. Close.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          There was a good bit of fallacy and misinformation in that post. But the following remains true.

          – The most popular crossovers have achieved near fuel economy parity with sedans sharing the same interior space, engines and price (i.e. Escape/Fusion, NOT Focus; CR-V/Accord, NOT Civic). That is what gets cross shopped.

          – High riders are much more efficient than they used to be. ’08 base F-150 was rated for 14 MPG combined; current one is rated for 21-22.

          – Over the last decade the link between gas prices and the flee from high riders was thoroughly broken. Crossovers and trucks steadily increased in sales over the ~4 year stretch where gas was $3.6x/gallon in the US.

          If Ford is making the wrong move, I have yet to hear any argument or evidence proving it. Most of Ford’s critics are just using this move as an opportunity to air out their grievances with highrider buyers, the government, and pretty much any other group of people they don’t like.

          • 0 avatar
            thegamper

            WEIGHT!!!!

            Everyone keep saying there is near parity between crossovers and sedans/small cars etc.

            Weight is by far the greatest factor that will determine fuel economy. A 3600 FWD midsize sedan with 300 hp is going to get significantly better mpg than a 5000 pound midsized crossover with same engine and adding AWD.

            If you cant chop out 1500 lbs from a crossover in one model cycle and don’t have any lighter cars to sell. You are going to have a bad day “if” there are gas shocks.

            Lets not forget everyone…. EPA combined fuel economy is more of a possibility than actuality. Nearly every manufacturer will optimize the vehicle to game the test cycle and up that figure. REAL WORLD FUEL ECONOMY, not the BS you read on your lying bastard of a trip computer either. Those things were designed to make consumers feel good about their purchase first and worry about accuracy later.

            This whole business is a step in the wrong direction. Maybe a necessary one for some manufacturers, but unfortunate none the less.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Facts are such a fallacy.

            The combined mileage range of every F-150 configuration type is 18-21 mpg. City range of all types was 15-19 and highway range 22-25.

            The combined mileage range of every F-150 configuration type is 14-16 in MY08. City range 13-14 and Highway 17-20.

            Thus with data, we see the combined range has climbed about 4.5 mpg in ten model years. However, in MY08 the following motors were available: 4.2 V6, 4.6 V8, 5.4 V8. In MY18 the following were available: 2.7 V6, 3.3 V6, 3.5 V6, 5.0 V8. So, Ford went from offering one V6 to offering three, and only offering one V8 instead of two for a ratio of 3:1 of V8s in MY18 then switching to a ratio of 3:1 V6s in MY08. This is an important distinction. How much of the 4.5 improvement is due to the reconfiguration of motors alone and not technology such as Al bodies? 25%? 50%?

            https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2016&year2=2016&make=Ford&baseModel=F150&srchtyp=ymm

            “Crossovers and trucks steadily increased in sales over the ~4 year stretch where gas was $3.6x/gallon in the US.”

            Without evidence, these sales increases could argued as regional where the fuel price is at the lower end of the spectrum.

            “The most popular crossovers have achieved near fuel economy parity with sedans sharing the same interior space, engines and price (i.e. Escape/Fusion, NOT Focus; CR-V/Accord, NOT Civic).”

            This might be true and I’d be inclined to agree for the most part.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            Good points all. I have a feeling that this news from Ford has been sensationalized to make a point. I would suggest that the point was that American companies cannot compete, but I think that’s a fallacy.

            The market has changed and Ford (and others) are correctly following the market. They are demonstrating flexibility and that some others may not be as flexible.

            S/CUVs are more efficient than they were 10 years ago. Ford (again, like the other two), has global resources. If necessary, they could re-introduce “sedans” as we know them.

            I’m not the biggest Ford fan, but this is not the end of them.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Our 4 pot/CVT Rogue gets worse city/highway/combined than our Pentastar Avenger. The Avenger can carry almost as much in the trunk. It rides better, drives better than the Nissan.

            The Focus and Fiesta are far too small for us, but a Fusion is a nice looking car. Might have been on our short list come time to trade. Looks like a Mazda 6 maybe now.

            My parents drive minivans. Better mileage than a CUV with the same capacity (7 peeps or a few sheets of plywood) and still the right height to get in and out with old joints.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          If the Escape’s fuel economy isn’t good enough during the next gas price spike, people aren’t going to jump back to a Fiesta. They’d rather have something like an EcoSport.

          It’s easy enough to see the development of subcompact CUVs by every major manufacturer as a hedge against fuel prices. The vehicles are uncompelling values otherwise when set next to their compact/midsize cousins.

          Also, CUVs’ major fuel economy disadvantage is on the highway because of aero. They do fine in the city. And as the population grows and urbanizes, highway driving will be an increasingly small portion of total driving.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Or if the gas price spike holds off long enough that they have the Escape Hybrid on back on the market. https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=31509&id=31511&id=39469
            Of course if economy is a top priority the buyer may forgo the AWD espcially if they live some place it doesn’t snow, or where “they always got by just fine with FWD”
            https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=31479&id=39789&id=39605&id=39295

            I fully expect that an Escape Hybrid and/or Escape Energi are one or two of those electrified models that Ford is planning on bringing to market by 2020. I also suspect that the Escape will probably be one of the first to make it to market. The C-Max/Fusion powertrain should drop right in and with the C-Max gone and Fusion sales down they certainly have the capacity. I also expect that it will at least get as good MPG as the 2012 model if not a couple of MPG better. The current generation of the Ford Hybrid system is a definite leap over the 2dn gen system used in that 2012 Escape.

          • 0 avatar

            The Escape has horrible crash test scores. Ford is also skimping on safety as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          I don’t know where you guys are getting your FE figures from???????

          They appear to be very optimistic, or you are confusing Highway with Combined, or just plain wrong.

          Read the link. There are actually some really good informative graphs. The graph contain the configuration of everything from transmission types, to types of induction across manufacturers. Great link.

          Ford as a business is one of the lowest for average FE at 22.8mpg.

          https://www.epa.gov/fuel-economy-trends/highlights-co2-and-fuel-economy-trends

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            That is a puff piece put out by the EPA as both a humble brag about how they are saving the world and why they need more money because they aren’t saving the world fast enough.

            So look at that FE chart and the foot note. Those are their own interpretation of the real world numbers and not the compliance standards by any stretch of the imagination. The also appear to be sales weighted and you’ll see that those mfgs at the top of the chart don’t make trucks so it is easy to get good FE numbers when your best seller is a compact car or CUV compared to the companies at the bottom of the list who’s top seller is a pickup.

            It also doesn’t consider the fact that during that time the market shifted with trucks and xUVs both increasing their market share while car market share decreased.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            Wow! Conspiracy theorist are we?

            Maybe you are a puff;)

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        Although the economy IS getting better, and unemployment is down, our standard of living has been declining for at least four decades, and we have A LONG WAY TO GO to reverse this trend. If it is even possible, which I think it IS. But having said that, we will probably stumble dozens of times along the long and winding road.I hope that the Big 2.5 HAVE some economical cars to sell when that happens.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      The decision to kill off the 200 and Dart was primarily a reactionary cost-saving measure. They sold well enough to make a profit eventually, but the idle plant time was a huge money waster. All that time not spent cranking product out the door is still accruing property taxes, gas/electricity (albeit reduced while the line is down), etc., not to mention the negative opportunity cost. Removing a poorly-selling car that was shutting down the plant and replacing it with a good-selling truck that will likely run two shifts, 6 days a week, is a no-brainer.

      FCA is doing well financially, but they simply don’t have the excess cash to throw good money after bad. Half the time they can’t even throw good money at all of the good opportunities. On the plus side, over the last 5 years or so most of those opportunities are bearing out.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      How many times does this fallacy have to be repeated… from ~2011-2015 regular gas averaged $3.6x across the country, and crossover/truck (I will call them “highriders” from henceforth) sales continued to increase and rebound from the recession.

      This isn’t even factoring in that highriders are way more efficient than they used to be. A base F-150 is rated for ~22MPG- that’s better than my G37 sedan. A CR-V does about 29 MPG combined with the same 1.5T+CVT that yields 31MPG combined in an Accord. The fact of the matter is someone who can afford a $50K F-150 is going to be immune to $4 gas. What will really torpedo the industry is if we have another recession, which affects cheap/expensive and efficient/thirsty cars equally.

      • 0 avatar
        Mitchell Leitman

        Yesterday, here in Ottawa ON, regular gas was the equivalent of US$4.10 per US gallon. An Explorer, Edge or not miserly enough Escape don’t address that reality.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          Around Seattle last week, gas sold for between $3.25 and $3.75 per gallon. I saw cars on the roads, lots of cars.

          • 0 avatar
            John Horner

            The average age of the US vehicle fleet is around 10-12 years. Seeing “lots of cars” on the road says very little about what new vehicles are selling today.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “The fact of the matter is someone who can afford a $50K F-150 is going to be immune to $4 gas.”

        I’m not going to cite evidence but I will point out the majority of buyers cannot truly afford a $50K car which is why we have seven, eight, and nine year auto loans now. Assuming every $50K F-150 buyer “can afford” a 25-30% fuel price increase is specious at best.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        “The fact of the matter is someone who can afford a $50K F-150 is going to be immune to $4 gas.”

        I don’t think that’s quite true. There’s a psychological effect to higher gas prices as a result of seeing it displayed at every station you pass. It gnaws at that part of the brain that is acutely sensitive to loss, and creates a growing sense of unease. Even people who can afford a 30%-40% spike in gas prices will grow unhappy and start to look for relief, even when they’ll spend more achieving relief than they would have spent of fuel.

        However, most of those people won’t start looking for a sedan to replace the highrider. They’ll look for a smaller or hybrid version of what they have, and comfort themselves by thinking that they’ve smartly adjusted to the new normal.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Drive your FiST over to the local GTI store, and take a spin.

      You’ll never look back.

    • 0 avatar
      blackEldo

      You’re forgetting that, at least in the case of Ford, they’ll still be producing regular cars in other markets for the foreseeable future. IF the time comes to switch back to cars, they’ll only have to scramble just enough to bring those same cars over here–they won’t have to do anything ground-up.

    • 0 avatar
      JDG1980

      Everyone who cites the gas price argument overlooked the part of Ford’s press release where they said that they will have hybrid versions of the Escape, Explorer, and F-150 by 2020. These are a much sounder strategy to hedge against gas price increases than continuing to build unprofitable small cars that no one really wants.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Wait.nobody here knows what ford has coming.
      It could be fantastic raised cars like the outback.and there are many other great ideas that fit the raised car/small suv routes they can go down.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    To compare a Mustang to those Euro things you drove is a travesty. A Mustang has heritage, has speed, has panache. A car outside sports cars is driven by poor credit score or out of it people. When you drive a truck or big SUV people know you have arrived. You are a man of means, not a kid trying to fool himself into being a Euro or Japanese car culture hoon.

    I am looking forward to new Explorer and Avaiator so much. Good riddance of Ford poverty level cars.

    • 0 avatar
      tinbad

      .. and has a tupperware grade plastic interior. Granted, they’ve improved but it’s still plastic rattle fantastic in a $40k(!) Mustang GT.

      I’ll take a German anytime over anything domestic unless it’s a BOF something. That’s (unfortunately) the only decent type of automobile the US is able to produce nowadays.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yes, much better to deal with an $8,000 repair way sooner than it should he than to have *gasp* plastic in your car.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        tinbad, you are not living in 21st century. The Mustang has a world class interior. There is a reason it is the best selling sports car in the world, not just America.

        You are still living in 1990s. No one buys 3 series or C class thinking those exceed Mustangs in performance. And their refinement is not that much better.

        Only lease Germans, as they will break down and cost you a fortune. But you have to learn that lesson the hard way it sounds like.

      • 0 avatar
        rcx141

        Tinbad are you serious? You prefer the plastic attack snap off super cheap interior of a BMW over that of a Stang? I have BMW 320i and a 2015 Mustang GT and the interior quality of the Stang is many times better.

    • 0 avatar
      AK

      Yes good riddance to Ford’s “poverty level cars”

      Enjoy spending $50k+ and still getting poverty level build quality, horrendous customer service and god awful resale value all in a bigger, shinier package.

      Great idea. You’re the winner here.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        “Enjoy spending $50k+ and still getting poverty level build quality, horrendous customer service and god awful resale value all in a bigger, shinier package.”

        –trucks have pretty good resale, just to be fair.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        AK, those Camrys and Accords can easily reach 30k. For a little more you get an Explorer or Jeep Grand Cherokee, and you get utility, respectability, ability to see over other cars, and in general be accepted as part of humanity (not a sub-species still driving cars).

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          And, you get to be one of the slow, clumsy witless drones, whose entire sheeplike existence never amounted to more than simply being in the way of their infinite superiors….. :)

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          > For a little more you get an Explorer or Jeep Grand Cherokee, and you get utility, respectability, ability to see over other cars, and in general be accepted as part of humanity (not a sub-species still driving cars).

          A Ford Exploder or Jeep Grand Cherokee (FCA = Dodge testing – RAM it into production)? If that’s what humanity (consuming machines) has become, I’ll pass and remain a sub-species.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          I believe that most people buy a car for reasons other than “respectability” and social acceptance. However, I don’t live in Cali ( or Atlanta )so I could be wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      erlebo

      When you get out of any vehicle, people know you have arrived.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Heritage? That and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee.

      (Can you tell us whether someone in a BHPH fifteen year old Escalade is a “man of means” or “poor credit score”?

      It’s a big SUV, so they’ve arrived, right?

      Right?

      You’re trolling, I hope?)

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        Sigivald, No I am not trolling. Here in Atlanta if you roll in a Camry or Accord or Altima or some Korean car, you are pretty much not with it. Now if you don’t care about picking up hot chicks, getting a favorable reception at the valet, your neighbors not looking down at you, being run over by Trucks and bigger SUVs on the highway, may be its ok with you. With the rest of humanity in America, that is not ok. Hence why cars are dying.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          This has got to be one of the most shallow and puerile comment threads I’ve read.

          Thank you for reminding me that wealth exists apart from class, dignity, and meaningful achievement. There’s overlap in that Venn diagram to be sure, but some of us don’t exist in it.

          • 0 avatar
            pmirp1

            30-mile fetch, stay to topic. This is not about politics, this is a car site.

            Trucks and SUVs are status symbols now. If you think people don’t care about that, everyone would drive the same vehicle. Think about that

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @pmirp1: In my experience and that of many others including social scientists and students of consumer spending, it appears that vehicles no longer serve as ‘status symbols’ to those securely in the middle class and above for many years. For those with ‘real’ money, even further back.

            And they have long ceased being sources of sexual attraction for all but the least discerning females.

            Currently vehicles generally serve as status symbols only to a) teenagers, b) petrol/gearheads, c) those who can afford only to live in their vehicles.

            Consumers now tend to purchase vehicles primarily a) to serve as transport (an appliance), b) provide them with something to do on the weekend, c) because they have a passion for vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          Yes, when I buy a car, my first thought is “Will this impress the valet?”

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Mine was “will my neighbor finally, FINALLY think I’ve arrived?”

            And I believe the answer is yes, because I find a “hot chick” draped across the Camry’s hood every friggin’ morning, and a valet that has appeared seemingly out of nowhere waiting to park it out front where it can be seen.

            I think it’s the XSE trimline that did it, because the Altima before it only attracted payday lenders and vagrants looking to score.

          • 0 avatar

            “Yes, when I buy a car, my first thought is “Will this impress the valet?””

            Mine too and I mean it. I need it so badly (to impress) !

          • 0 avatar
            pmirp1

            Arthur Dailey – Have you ever watched car auctions? Who do you think buys those expensive classics? It is men of means who are usually over 40 at least (mostly over 50).

            Do you know who buy Corvettes? Older men of means.

            Now – there are two types of men. Alpha men and beta men. If you are Alpha men, women are attracted to you. Even when you are old because you show it. Whether its three houses, five cars, retirement account to take you to 150 years old.

            I don’t think you relate because you clearly are not the category of Alpha men. An Alpha always is an Alpha, no matter the age. Hence why he shows off(myself, Corvette Stingray, Mustang GT, Grand Cherokee, just purchased my 17 years old junior to me wife a Toyota 4-runner and considering a Coyote F-150 or Expedition for my next purchase)

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      pmirp1,
      It’s great to see a diehard Ford Freak, like yourself. But have you ever compared the Mustangs plastic fantastic interior to other vehicle from outside the US?

      The Mustang goes fast and looks pretty, but if that’s the only two values you place on car, then so be it. There are people out there that are refined and want more than a fast sled.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Oh Jeebus. I have learned much from this thread, most of which is not good.

        I drive a black 10 year old Suburban (similar to Escalade right?) with black windows, factory LTZ wheels. So do people see me and think BHPH customer? I never thought of it really. I generally think how awesome it is, because they were the same from 07-13 or 14 (don’t recall) and mine looks brand new with its 114k so I figure most think I have a near car when I don’t. Boy I was wrong.

        Wife drives the Lacrosse, pfft what a sub-species. Further when I drive the Lacrosse hot chicks and valets don’t give me the reception I deserve, apparently. It is harder and harder everyday to be 43.

        To pile on the misery that I have just been introduced to, I still have the Vette’ and the classic car. So, lord knows what people think when they see the vette’. Never mind that it is a MT hoot of a good time and I encourage any and every who have the means to find a way to pick up a C5 or C6 (I have an 05′) as they are affordable fun and I think this world needs more fun. Everyone is too serious anymore.

        So, many thanks for clarifying my mistakes….

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        Big Al from Oz, you are thinking last generation. The new Mustang has soft touch material everywhere, toggle switches, great entertainment system, beautiful supple leather, all digital instrument panel (optional).

        Any one who denies those attributes, either has not spent time in new generation (and more specifically 2018 Mustang) or is just not being real.

        Again, it is the number 1 sports car sold in the world.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          pmirp1,
          In Australia we only have the new Mustang. I went down and looked at one around a year ago and the interior was quite poor, in material choice and quality of fit.

          My comparison was against the Ford Falcon and Ranger. The Ranger is even plasticky and not that good.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        30-mile Fetch, I am afraid king Camry will never attract chicks, but at least I understand where you are coming from now. Enjoy the king Camry, it is the best most dependable car out there. It is just not for alpha men

  • avatar
    NoID

    I’ve never purchased a new car (too many dolla-bills) but my used purchases thus far have been entirely in now-challenged segments. Two compact cars (one 2DR, one 4DR), two minivans, one full-size passenger van, and my beloved compact MPV. Given the financial freedom (which I’m rapidly approaching) I’d stay in those markets for new vehicles (my eyes are on a Pacifica 8-seater and a Fiat 500.)

    My dream garage is a top-tier 8-seater Pacifica for the fam and a Fiat 500L Wagon (not sold here) with Abarth parts swapped in where possible and a paper bag over the front end as my daily commuter / backup family hauler.

    As for the FCA large cars, last I checked they are leading their segments so any reduction in competition will likely be in their favor enough that a second generation can be justified. Doubly so if they continue to (partially) share technology with Maserati as they do now.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    What is really happening is a fundamental change in the definition of a “car”. Today’s crossovers as Bark says are a more practical and useful choice for the majority of buyers than a traditional car. Or maybe it is more a return to the “old days” as the characteristics of crossovers don’t seem that much different than that of the Tri-Five Chevy sedan (or wagon).

    Everyone that says Ford is being short sighted is ignoring the other part of their statement regarding the roll out of BEV and hybrid vehicles. Some of these may even look like “cars”. Further, Crossovers aren’t the same economy penalty that SUVs and trucks were before so the hit when fuel prices rise won’t be the same.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “Everyone that says Ford is being short sighted is ignoring the other part of their statement regarding the roll out of BEV and hybrid vehicles. Some of these may even look like “cars”. Further, Crossovers aren’t the same economy penalty that SUVs and trucks were before so the hit when fuel prices rise won’t be the same.”

      This. So much this.

      Its much easier to pick and choose facts that reinforces your opinion rather than look at the whole picture objectively.

      Gas is going up! This is 2009 all over again! All utilities and trucks get 14 MPG! FORD WILL BE DEAD BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CARS! DEATH WATCH!

      Except this ain’t a recession, most popular utilities get pretty decent MPG (and the subcompact ones, although mostly terrible, get pretty good mileage and are really no worse in many ways than the compact cars of yesterday that the B&B seem to recall quite fondly, except, ya know, they’re actually selling), and Ford will still have cars like the all-new Fiesta and regular Focus (even a next-gen Taurus) sold elsewhere, that can easily be reintroduced if worst comes to worst.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Unless the Euro safety and to a lesser extent the emissions standards are brought up to the level of the US standards it isn’t so easy to reintroduce something like the Fiesta. The Fiesta is a great example of how long it would take to make a Euro vehicle US compliant. It took several years for them to bring it to the US after the last fuel crisis because the front structure needed significant changes to do well in the US crash tests which favor occupant protection while the Euro tests favored pedestrian protection. By the time the Fiesta (and C-Max) made it to our shores the gas price scare was mostly over as was the demand for sub-compact cars. In truth they probably would have been much better off not even bothering with bring the Fiesta and C-Max to the US and spending that development on improving the MPG of the vehicles that do sell and getting them to market quicker. Had they done that maybe the Aluminum F-150 would have got here sooner and we wouldn’t be waiting at least another year for the F-150 Hybrid.

        Though don’t take the above to mean that I am happy with Ford getting out of the car business in the US. I prefer a Sedan and would rather spend the same money for a loaded up Fusion than a lesser equipped Escape, or a proper Panther replacement over an Explorer. My wife prefers a sedan and prefers the Fusion she had over the Escape and the various Panthers over the Mountaineer for her day to day driving, more so now that the kids have gone off to college.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Scoutdude,
          Euro safety?? Lesser extent emissions standards??

          You’d better get on the net and do a bit of Googling.

          What cave do you live in?

          The US isn’t some pre-emminent leader in safety and emissions.

          • 0 avatar

            “The US isn’t some pre-emminent leader in safety and emissions.”.

            As a fact it is. Just ask VW.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Inside Looking Out,
            VW screwed everyone over, not just the US.

            I think you also need to read global news articles more often.

            What goes on in the US pretty much goes on in other countries, maybe not the gun problems unless you live in Central America.

          • 0 avatar

            BAFO, proliferation of diesel powered passenger cars means European regulation are weak and air quality in cities is worse than in USA. Don’t you think so? Diesel cars sold in Europe did not comply with stricter US standards, thats why. VW cheating was caught in USA, Europeans did not give a sh*t about that. And in China it is even worse than in Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Inside Looking Out,
            20-30 years ago yes, you are correct. Over the past 30 years the EU has ramped up their emissions regulations. I know here in Australia we were behind the EU and we had to very quickly ramp up our emissions regulations to equal them.

            VW are being pursued in the Courts here in Australia regarding Dieselgate as well.

            The real leader in emissions is California.

            Now there is almost no difference in emissions standards across most OECD countries. Euro6d starts this year. I think the biggest difference now lies in CO2 emissions, which the new EPA will reduce.

            You need to not dwell on the past.

          • 0 avatar
            Len_A

            Actually, unless the Trump administration changes things, pretty much every manufacturer meets California’s standards, and then sells that emissions package in the rest of the country. hat being out of the way, it isn’t even remotely easy to take a Euro designed and spec’ed car, and build it any where in North America for North American sale. It simply doesn’t get done that way.

            Just because they’ve retooled / refreshened doesn’t mean they’re road-ready for here. I’ve been in industrial sales for over 30 years – my biggest customers are the oil refineries (BP & Marathon), the auto industry (Ford, GM, FCA, Toyota, Daimler, Nissan, and Honda), and the machine tool industry. Just because Ford has a Focus & Fiesta ready for sale in Europe and/or Asia doesn’t mean they’re ready for the USA & Canada. They have to, at the very minimum, have different exterior lighting for USA/Canada standards, and completely different bumper standards, PLUS completely different emissions standards, designed around North American gasoline blends, which have a completely different additive package than Europe, especially since the US & Canada blend lot of ethanol in their gas. Just the cost of designing NA lightening, emissions and bumpers, plus crash testing (absolutely mandatory for every variation – if the engine/transmission mounts are different from an automatic version verses a manual version, then each has to crash tested, multiple times (multiple prototypes) and certified. Each powertrain combination has to get 500,000 miles of real world road testing to be EPA certified, plus dynometer tested. All of it, plus North American tooling sources have to be quoted, to source a Mexican, American or Canadian stamping and assembly location. Just the cost of sourcing all the tooling, and working with all the parts suppliers, runs into the low millions.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    Just to remind people, Ford isn’t killing these cars, they just aren’t producing or selling them for the North American market.

    They are still being sold and produced in other markets, and should the market here change back to small cars and sedans to make it profitable again, they don’t have to start from scratch to start selling here in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The decision to produce the new models in certain communist strongholds is going to present a huge impediment if (when) Ford has to bring variants of them back to the US(UV)A and C(UV)anada in the face of $5-per gas. (Or whatever that represents per litre.)

      Is the Civic (yes, a CAR) still the Canadian top-seller, or is one of these things on stilts taking the crown?

  • avatar
    AK

    Read the whole article but I’ll still say it… I did my part.

    I bought 2 Focus STs.

    Though technically, Ford bought the first one back for full value and I paid nothing for the replacement, but still.

    Also, the ingress/egress benefit of crossovers is garbage.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Yes..even at 48 YOA, it feels like a step UP into a CR-V or the like!

      And I’m not a fan of the high driving position! To me, it compromises blind-spot visibility, especially with the form-kills-visibility designs of the various D-pillars! A minivan is an acceptable compromise, since it feels a little lower than the average xUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        The higher you’re riding, the slower it feels like you’re going. Consider a bus vs a go-kart, each going 40; the low one will feel faster. And the higher you ride, the worse the ride will be. Any bump, pothole or other chassis deflection is magnified by the length of the lever arm from the road surface to your inner ear.

        My GTI and my Tiguan w/ sport suspension were the same chassis, but felt like completely different cars- because of these two principles. I always preferred the GTI, unless there was a foot of snow.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Wise.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    I did my part – I bought a Civic – and I own Ford stock. At least Ford has enough free cash flow to keep paying me about a 5.3% dividend, and I haven’t found a CD that will give me that. Time will tell, this is a pretty major decision on Ford’s part, but I agree with another poster – even if the economy takes a pause and gas prices rise, I’d like to think that most folks have tried to clean up their financial house.

    Maybe I’m a loser on both ends. When my son gets home from college, I’m taking my Lexus back.

    Actually, I won’t, because I have more fun on freeway ramps and backroad 2-lane highways even with the crappy Firestone OEM tires, just push that ECO button off and I’m at the limit of my driving capability and I quite enjoy it.

    RIP, sedans, all of those cars through the 60s, 70s that my dad bought. He could shove all 3 of us kids in the cave called a backseat and basically ignore us (except for the occasional “don’t make me turn around”…

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I’m dubious about “rural people can’t buy imports”, too.

    E.g. Eastern KY?

    Tim Short Honda in Ivel. Bill Cole Honda in Ashland. Moses Honda in Huntington.

    Google is your pal here, seriously.

    As far as I can tell, you can get (e.g.) a Honda pretty much anywhere in America there’s enough people … and people in e.g. rural Montana are *used to having to drive to get stuff*, it’s okay.

    • 0 avatar

      Tim Short is the only one considered Eastern KY (by Honda themselves, I’d add). I’ve been to these places. Wagering you haven’t.

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        I have to agree with Bark here…Eastern KY covers a lot of square miles, mostly mountains, and has a mix of poor, middle class, and rich population, mostly from coal. (although many think it may come from more nefariousness sources) Huntington is in WVA, well over a hundred miles from Pikeville, the largest city in what is considered Eastern KY.

  • avatar
    ItsBob

    Bark, probably the most common sense article written about this Ford situation.
    Some fairly smart folks who are saying this will be “the end” of Ford just talked before they thought IMHO.
    They will “still have” a Focus as an entry level car. They can possibly price a stripper version close to where a Fiesta was.
    The Fusion “will be” around for a few more years; just not updated.
    And for the 98 out of a 100 customers who really don’t want a car, Ford has a full selection (and growing) of SUV/CUV plus a “not to bad” line of pickups.
    I predict Ford will be fine.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      A lot of people are just angry (triggered) that the kind of car they like isn’t the most popular, and using this move as an excuse to unload on everyone they feel is responsible.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Why couldn’t Ford make money on 200k sales of the Fusion. Mazda and Subaru make money on their midsizers.

        • 0 avatar
          John Horner

          I’m pretty sure Mazda is loosing money in the USA. Subaru isn’t making its money on sedans.

          In fact, Subaru has been ahead of the curve by focusing on the Outback and other CUVs. The Legacy is its only remaining sedan, and the model name kind of gives the reason away.

  • avatar
    gtem

    In regards to “seating for four” in a Fiesta: yeah, two shorter statured people in front and two amputees in the back! :p

  • avatar
    ajla

    If the starts at $26k Mustang is apparently profitable at lower volume than the Fusion, why didn’t Ford ever utilize the RWD platform for a sedan partner or a Lincoln product?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Exactly, how come a car selling less than 100k units a year (albeit with some expensive variants) can be profitable. Yet a car designed in Europe and covered by their R&D cannot make it here (Fusion or Focus)

  • avatar
    dwford

    The “we can’t make money on these” rings hollow especially with Ford, since in the last 10 years Ford has commonized all its vehicles worldwide with the One Ford initiative – saving billions in development costs. Sales are down on these models because they are ALL OUTDATED. Redesigned versions of all Ford’s cars (except Fusion since it’s not time yet) are available throughout the world RIGHT NOW, but Ford balked at bringing them here. You KNOW that all these cars got designed for the US market also, so why not bring them here? Bring in a many as can be sold.

    It’s sad to watch the old Detroit short term thinking take hold again at Ford. Current management seems to not understand brand equity or the public trust. Coming back with cars agains sometime down the road will not be as easy as people think. People can tell if an auto company is not committed to the product – which is why people didn’t buy the Chrylser 200 or Dodge Dart.

    Something is wrong at Ford. They’ve made $$billions over the last 6-7 years, yet the money all seems to have evaporated. New car development has lagged (which is why sales are down…) and we keep hearing vague promises of all these new alt-fuel vehicles, but not so much as a test mule is running around. The stock dividend is very low, so where did all the profits go??

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      “People can tell if an auto company is not committed to the product – which is why people didn’t buy the Chrysler 200 or Dodge Dart.”

      That’s not why people didn’t buy them. People didn’t buy those cars because they sucked in relation to the other cars in their category. Chrysler is last in reliability. They were not spacious, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      What do you mean by, “the money all seems to have evaporated”? Is this not a company with the best selling vehicle in the auto market which also has high margins and that is still increasing sales YoY?

      The differences between a Fiesta hatchback and an EcoSport or a Focus Wagon and Escape are minor. Hatchback vs Crossover is a marketing exercise more than anything else. One of the most successful auto brands over the last 20 years is Subaru which offers AWD on every car and exploits that with very savvy marketing.

      As an investor, I 100% agree with Ford’s decision.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      +1 dwford and as a salesman you have more experience than most on here. They ate dropping out of segments they cannot easily re-enter, making Lincoln a CUV only brand, and allowing Honda and Toyota to continue to expand market share. Why hasn’t Nissan or Honda stopped selling trucks because they sell so few – they stick with it and are not short term.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Truth of the matter is that the crossover is simply a better choice for most new car shoppers in today’s vehicle marketplace.”

    I’m not even arguing that. If CUVs work the best for the mass market, then whatever.

    But, mid-engine sports cars haven’t been the top choice for people ever and those still exist. Off-roaders aren’t the best choice for the vast, vast majority of people but those still exist.

    It’s odd that the current situation dictates that Ford, GM, and FCA *KILL ALL THE SEDANS NOW*. I expected to see some portfolio consolidation due to UV Mania, not a complete market abandonment.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Mid-engined sports cars, off-roaders and other niche vehicles are profitable. That’s the big difference. Ford was losing money on all the mainstream sedans/hatches it sold (OK maybe not all, but most). At some point you have to stop the bleeding.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      Most mid-engine sports cars sell for ten times what Ford gets for a Fiesta. That leaves a lot more room for profit. When you are selling a car that starts at $14,000 and competing against the Koreans (and everyone else) while still paying UAW wages you are in a losing game. Isn’t it better to be selling pickup trucks where you are protected by the chicken tax and the window sticker is double that of a Fiesta?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Consolidation makes sense but killing all three cars was overkill to impress Wall Street.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Mid-engine sports cars still exist, barely. They certainly are not offered by the majority of large manufacturers.

      I suppose we have to argue for bringing back the Toyota MR2 and the Fiat X1/9?

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Having worked for over 30 years in manufacturing and having observed engineering from the inside, and production, marketing, and management from the outside, I have to say that American executives are mostly parasites who devour a company’s assets and starve the rest of the company. Gone are the days when Alfred Sloan strategized how to get GM’s market share to 100%, while actually achieving an amazing 50% share. Jack Welch at GE popularized the slash and burn strategy to maximize profits at all costs, but he was not the first. The bean counters get the blame, but the executives are the ones who set policy and promote incompetency and short-sightedness in the name of the next quarterly profit statement and a higher stock price.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Thru March U.S. sales
    Regal up 12.1%
    Lacrosse up 41.7%
    Total Buick up 13.1%

    Alive & Kicking

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I recognize it’s Bark’s job to create successful clickbait here. He has, more power to him, so I’ll keep this short since it’s been covered at greater length in the other Ford thread:

    It’s not that nobody is buying subcompact, compact and full-size sedans anymore, though sales have dropped. It’s that nobody is buying FORD’S, because their entrants in all three segments suck. Buyers haven’t voted with their dollars just for SUVs. They’ve also voted for Camry, Accord, Altima, Corolla, Civic and Sentra, which all continue to sell just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Ford’s entire lineup is outdated and needs to be replaced. Perhaps if Ford didn’t have an 8-10 year product cycle when competing against the typical 5 year product cycle of the Japanese/Korean brands, they’s be in better shape. Typical old Detroit thinking: slap a new grill on it and it’s good for another 4 years. Not in 2018!!

      Look at the EcoSport and Ranger. These vehicles came out YEARS ago in the rest of the world. Ford slaps a new grill and new dashboard on them and pretends they are new models. Same with everything else in the lineup. The poor Explorer came out in 2010 and we still have to wait until next year for the new one.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Ford’s lineup is fine. The Focus is better than many of its competitors…. Corolla, Forte, Sentra, Jetta. It was better than the Civic at the time of its debut as well. Fusion is about average for its segment. The problem isn’t the cars, it’s selling them profitably in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Denver

        Isn’t the market the judge of what is better? If the Focus is “better” than the Corolla, then why do Corollas outsell Foci 2 to 1 (and even that is distorted because most of the Fords go to fleet sales)? Even if you know the real truth and it really is a “better” car, it makes no difference because for some reason people don’t want them anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Ford’s current lineup ISN’T fine. The Fiesta and Focus are smaller than competitors, lack the latest features, and still use the crappy DCT. The Fusion’s gas mileage is falling behind the class leaders, and the hybrids are no longer competitive. There’s simply better options out there right now, which shouldn’t be the case. Yes, all of Ford’s vehicles were class leading – 5 years ago. But not today. It was time for a new generation of cars, but instead they just cancelled everything.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          dw, you hit on the problem yourself. The problem with Focus and Fiesta’s DCT isn’t that it’s “outdated,” it’s that the automatic transmission and the infotainment system were unreliable trash the day they were introduced. The Fusion demonstrates that an older design can still sell pretty well if it works. The Focus and Fiesta demonstrate the opposite.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “The Focus is better than many of its competitors…. Corolla, Forte, Sentra, Jetta”

        Better for who? You, the guy who lowers his daily drivers and loves stick shifts?

        On the basis of a roomy interior that can fit child seats and doesn’t have a flaming dumpster fire of a transmission, all of those cars you listed are demonstrably superior to the Focus.

      • 0 avatar
        JDG1980

        “The Focus is better than many of its competitors”

        Solely on the basis of its transmission, the Focus is the worst compact sedan sold in the U.S. by any major manufacturer. The PowerShift DCT simply doesn’t and can’t work reliably under American driving conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      Christopher Coulter

      Don’t forget the Koreans… The stuff available now from Hyundai and Kia is *INCREDIBLE*! And not just “for the price” but straight-up good. And the new Genesis G70 looks to be another home run.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Ford’s U.S. operations and HQ should be renamed as FSERIES.

    Jim HACKett is going to turn out to be Ford’s Roger Smith.

    It is rumored that Martha Firestone Ford, whose had such HUGE SUCCESS running the Detroit Lions, is a big-time booster of HACKett.

    *Ford can’t be expected to profitably and efficiently churn out and sell massive copies of vehicles in North America such as the Accord, Camry, Altima, Civic, Corolla, Sonata, Elantra, Golf, etc etc etc – THAT WOULD BE UNFAIR TO FORD’S EXECUTIVE STRUCTURE!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      DeadWeight,
      You seem smart enough to know that’s how the US industry is structured, protect and promote large vehicles. What else can you expect as a final result?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If any vehicles are truly “protected”, it’s from idiot policies that can and will lead to the ecological and health disaster, cluster fuk they made for themselves in Europe.

        Except large vehicles/trucks from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, whoever, are just as structured/protected.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      What’s just as “UNFAIR” is expecting Toyota, Honda nnd Nissan to “churn out” large and fullsize vehicles/trucks, “efficiently and profitably”.

      Without massive sales, it’s tough to compete with Big 3 large vehicles (or them vs Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, etc, cars) or impossible.

      Corners have to be cut, and or lack of development, further moving away from the target.

      If they quit trying, then focused on sedans, should we think less of them?

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      A F-150 engine in a Ford sedan? That is considered good. 0% F-150 carryover in a sedan? That is considered bad.

  • avatar

    Not me, buddy. I’ve owned three out of four of Ford’s last “World Cars” – 1995 Contour, 2001 Ford Focus and a 2012 Ford Focus. The last Ford Focus was special ordered SE Hatch with a five-speed, winter package in Kona Blue. It had over 120k on it before an accident took it off the road.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    Is it my fault that Ford sedans are seen as fleet vehicles that people are not willing to buy with their own money? Whose fault is it that people prefer Toyotas and Hondas when they are paying with their own $? Sorry, that’s not my fault.

    Ford did the right thing. For whatever reason – cost, incompetence, whatever – they could not come up with a winning formula that allowed them to make these cars and make a profit. There was nothing that lead them to believe that (in a segment that is shrinking anyway) all they needed to do was spend a few more billion $ and they would come up with the magic combination that would enable them to beat the Japs (and Koreans). Businesses are in business to make a profit so they are better off leaving that segment than throwing good money after bad.

    If the market ever shifts back to sedans (and that is a big if) then they can (eventually) shift their product mix back again but they can’t spend billions of $ on a shrinking product segment on the off chance that high fuel prices or something else will blow the market tide in direction of sedans again. It’s possible that if they did this and the shift happened they would get lucky and make tons of money catching the market thus proving all you pundits right (a stopped clock is right twice a day), but it’s much more likely that they will be waiting forever for a shift that will never come again.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Foriegn car Deathwatch
    Toyota-Yaris, Yaris iA, Prius C, 86/FRS, Marai
    Lexus – RC,GS,LC
    Volkswagen -(evey car not named Jetta)
    KIA – RIO, Optima, Cadenza, K900
    BMW – i3,i8
    Fiat- only Arbath will remain
    Genesis- folded back into Hyundai
    +every subcompact

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      For a lot of these brands, the US is not their main market. If 80% of your volume is overseas and 20% is in the US, that’s a very different picture than Ford. In terms of your cost structure, it’s one thing to run a whole factory for a product that is not selling well in the US and another thing to be running a factory where the product is selling well overall in your other markets but shipments to the US are down a bit. Whatever # of cars you put on the boat to the US is icing on the cake.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Jack Denver

        Nope,
        The U.S. is the main market for Hybrids and Lexuses
        South Korea buys less cars than California
        BMW-has a new line of plugins
        VW-Passat made in Tennessee, Golf family don’t sell well enough to crash test.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Denver

          Genesis sells 3/4 of its cars in Korea:

          http://www.autonews.com/article/20170927/BLOG06/170929807/hyundai-genesis-luxury-sales

          VW Group sold 10.7 million vehicles in 2017 of which .6M were in US (and 4.2 million in China). Russia/Eastern Europe is a bigger market for them than the US.

          http://www.dw.com/en/volkswagen-group-achieves-record-sales-in-2017/a-42177892

          The world does not revolve around the US market anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Jack Denver

        A few years ago Motortrend tried to convince readers the starving people of Africa are buying Toyota Land Cruisers.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Denver

          Sub-saharan African car market forecast to reach 10 million units annually by 2030. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

          https://www.gtreview.com/magazine/volume-15issue-3/africas-auto-sector-revving-life/

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “You. Not me. You.”

    I’ve never bought a car and my next purchase will be a truck.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    On wall street, analysts say the new Toyota Camry was the straw that broke Ford’s car business. Ford is unable to match the Toyota Camry at a profitable price. Basically, Ford engineers are not able to match Toyota engineering. Ford should take another look at their engineering staff before exiting the car business.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      This 100%. North American assembly and labor, same part suppliers, same regulatory environment, same customer base, and yet… Toyota grows market share, Honda holds on, Subaru grows its small share, and Ford is retreating from the car market.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      I suspect it’s not the engineering staff that’s the main issue here, but Ford management destroying all the R&D and engineering. It was going on for decades, which is why Ford borrowed Mazda platforms for their cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Guess which company is paying the healthcare for workers who retired in the 1970s?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Pete Zaitcev,
        I agree with you regarding the institutional culture within the Big 2, FCA seems a little different in it’s approach.

        I have had a first hand experience dealing with Mazda concerning my BT50 (which is a rebadged global Ranger). To put is simply, a Mazda engineer looked at my vehicle and decided then and there what action would occur. We had a good conversation and he stated Ford has the same problems but it’s taking months to resolve each issue due to red tape.

        First a vehicle is looked at, at report sent to Ford Melbourne, then forwarded to Dearborn, then back to Ford Melbourne, then to the dealer. You can see the efficiency difference between Mazda and Ford. I think the Big 3 need to sit down and look at why others are more competitive and start restructuring their operations quickly before another bailout is needed.

        Toyota unlike their US peers produces light commercials using a slightly different formula. Take US pickups, they are “general purpose” one size fits all. They are pretty much the same across the board. The reality is by global standards for their size, engine capacity, etc. They are not efficient.

        Like fishing a general purpose fishing outfit will catch fish, but more specialised fishing outfits catch more fish. This is how Toyota have structured their light commercials.

        Toyota has a far greater range of light commercials to do what the pickup is forced to achieve. For little trucks (1/2 ton or less), not base on wheelbase Toyota has everything from Kei trucks (through Diahatsu) to FWD Control (cab over) Hinos. Ford fans can state “the F Series is the biggest selling vehicle” but the fact is, it’s a general purpose fishing rod.

        Toyota has;
        Kei trucks,
        Hilux
        Tacoma
        Tundra
        Toyota 76 Series truck
        Toyota Dyna
        Hino LDT to MDT

        Vans not included in my list only light trucks.

        Frod and GM just don’t have this coverage. A truck for every market and type of work.

        Ford and GM have general purpose fishing rods.

        I do believe Toyota with my above list would challenge the Ford’s different classes of pickups as who’s selling the most. If you consider only the F-150 the Hilux/Tacoma outsells it.

      • 0 avatar
        freedom2007

        Wrong. For the record, the platforms were jointly developed by Ford and Mazda. At a time when Ford owned the majority of Mazda, therefore the platforms are about 75% Ford’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Jimmyy

      Yes, Toyota’s been going dirt cheap for years.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Toyota has been unable to compete with, let alone match, Ford in the pickup truck business, even though they spent billions of dollars trying with the Tundra and a factory in Texas. Does this mean Toyota has incompetent engineers? Your logic says so.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Toyota has never really tried to compete in the U.S. in the full-size truck market.

        If you want to seea massive outcry from the domestics and even a really tangible bankruptcy risk to Ford (and another to GM), just unleash Toyota in terms of full-size pickup R&D, design and production.

        Toyota has literally identified a small % of the U.S. market to sell to, with intentionally restrained efforts, that won’t cause a massive cascade of problems for Ford & GM.

        If anyone truly believes Toyota can’t rapidly gain market share in the U.S., to the maximum detriment of Ford and GM, with better designed, more efficient, more reliable trucks in the space that literally keeps Ford and GM alive, they are naive.

        Toyota has intentionally held back for obvious reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          OK, I’ll bite; what are these obvious reasons?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            el scotto,
            If you look at it logically, why would Toyota invest it’s future in pickups like the Big 3. Toyota doesn’t need to. It hedges itself across a wider spectrum of products.

            The money needed to make the Tundra even a Ram beater would be massive. They have other great performing products to invest in, not just in the US but globally.

            Why would you also waste money in US centric products when it represents 20% or so of your turnover, 80% of your turnover is elsewhere outside of the US and making money, unlike the Big 3 who are challenged outside of the US.

            Maybe Ford and GM need to look at why Toyota, Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi, VW are so successful.

            The US for VW represents a smaller portion of profits than Toyota.

            You guys need to realise the world is global and the US doesn’t determine Toyota investment decisions. The US is important, but there’s lots of cars sold outside of the US.

            That’s why I constant berate the Big 3. They are a protected species that can only really survive in the US with full size pickups and pickup truck station wagons.

            This is not a good situation to be in for the US (Big 3) auto manufacturers.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Show a “protection” singling out or specifically for Big 3 automakers or excluding foreign (offshore) brands.

            You never explain how these “protections” favor The Big 3, you just dump and scamper off.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “Toyota has literally identified a small % of the U.S. market to sell to”

          Very well written, DW, as I can attest that I am one of that small % of the US market they sell to.

          To me, one of the obvious reasons Toyota has intentionally held back is that they (Toyota) don’t want to travel the same path that GM did, going from the largest, most dominant automaker in the world to a walking-dead me-too also-ran kept alive with public handouts, bailouts and nationalization.

          Ford is the ONLY US automaker left, and their stock in trade is the popular, money-making F-series of trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’m actually saying that Toyota intentionally fields a non-competitive full size pickup truck.

        Toyota could easily produce a North American-built full size pickup that would be far better than the F-Series or Silverado/Sierra, and at a more competitive price, if it chose to.

        Could anyone here remotely imagine the outcry from Ford and GM (and politicians) if Toyota took 250,000 pickup truck sales away from each Cord and GM? –

        – especially at a time when both Ford and GM have been proven to be incompetent and uncompetitive at making small or even midsize sedans at a profit, and are abandoning that space altogether?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s the same losing battle. The Tundra would have to beat “Big 3” fullsize pickups, not just dramatically in price, but in every conceivable category, including adding a full line of heavy dutys, duallys, etc, plus cave to fleets, industry and whatnot.

          In some parts of the country, it still couldn’t happen.

          An automaker should know their limitations. Toyota is correct by hanging back and satisfying niche or boutique full-size pickup buyers, no doubt at a loss.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Toyota is correct by hanging back and satisfying niche or boutique full-size pickup buyers,”

            Yup, that’s the way I see it too.

            But I don’t think they sell the Tundra or Tacoma at a loss.

            A smaller profit than Ford, GM or RAM, maybe. But not a loss.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The Tacoma is a whole other story. Way more sales volume, made partly or totally in Mexico (all Tacoma beds have been Hecho en Tijuana for decades), and the Tacoma shares more common parts with the Hilux than uncommon.

            Toyota wouldn’t kill the Tundra at this point, profitable or no. Toyota can certainly afford to take a loss on the Tundra, even if only to save face.

            One good indicator is long they cycle a generation. And without a care since repeat Tundra buyers likely wouldn’t buy a 1/2 ton pickup from GM/Ford/Ram (or even Nissan), come hell or high water.

            Don’t let “The Big 3” trick you into believing fullsize pickups are cheap and easy to build, minus extremely high volume.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “I’m actually saying that Toyota intentionally fields a non-competitive full size pickup truck.”

          Oh, I agree! However, there are a few of us who actually buy them because the Tundra is exactly what we want.

          And I also agree that “Toyota could easily produce a North American-built full size pickup that would be far better than the F-Series or Silverado/Sierra, and at a more competitive price, if it chose to.”

          But Toyota chose not to, IMO as a matter of competitive market strategy and as a tactical alternative for those buyers, like me, who choose not to buy Ford, GM, RAM or Titan.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Better than? It’s possible, but cheaper on top of that? First Toyota would have to stop trying to sell the US a Tundra like it’s a Camry with a bed.

            “Big Three” fullsize pickups are sold like you’re building your plate at a buffet. Tundras (and Titans) are simply “pick Combo #1, #2 or #3” and I’m not convinced Toyota would have it any other way.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Considering the way in which the Big 2.5 are structured and regulated/protected Ford’s move away from loss making vehicles and maintaing larger higher profit vehicles is understandable.

    The other reality is most other external (non US) manufacturers can also procuce CUVs and SUVs more competitively.

    I do believe Ford will reduce in size as a result in the US. The Ranger and Bronco will not make the numbers.

    Its a pity to see Ford reduce itself, but protection and other forms of socialism gradually catches up. Someone at the end of the day pays.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – You spout “socialism”, “protection”, “regulated”, but always scamper off when called to explain.

      If true, BIG Three cars wouldn’t be dying off, and import brand cars thriving.

      And if true, import brands would be the first to be protected.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Now that the debut of the Ranger is near you switch your tune to say that it “wont make the numbers” but it wasn’t that long ago you claimed if they brought it over it would be stealing sales left and right from the F150.

      The Ranger should settle in as #2 in the less than pickup race right behind Toyota and ahead of the combined numbers of the GM twins who along with the Frontier will see their sales drop.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        You know Scoutdude, DeadWeight has a great word he uses …………. MORON, quite apt, don’t you think?

        You and DenverMike should get together, under the bridge where you live with the rest of the trolls.

        Good bye, don’t bother responding to any of my comments in the future.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Showing your true self there again Al. When called out on your comments you resort to school yard name calling.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Actually he’s only directed “MORON” to you. But as far as dictating who can respond to your complete nonsense, you’d love that, but no.

            You can choose not to respond to rebuttals directed to you, which you always scamper off after unloading a tonne of crap anyway.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Yes, it’s easier to get my 54-year-old butt in and out of a crossover.

    Still ain’t buying one. And probably never will.

    And, Ford…I definitely ain’t buying an Ecosport. No freaking way.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Mark Baruth,
    If you can’t understand why the Mustang is still around whilst Ford is unable to be competitive at car manufacture, stop doing what you do for a living.

    The 3 Star safety rated Mustang is one vehicle that the US has right (except for the Chinese quality interior, but this is what is called “Americanisation”). It is moving in overseas markets and it sells enough with a level of profit to keep it viable. It’s a great niche product, but as a niche it can die as quickly as it’s second coming.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yep the Mustang has been a “niche” product for the last 50+ years.

      • 0 avatar
        Christopher Coulter

        To be fair, 1974-1998 was a pretty dark time in Mustang history. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        DM, I used to think BAFO was like some 24yo who sits at the bar talking smack and telling everyone how smart he is. He is closer to retirement than his carefree college days. He still can’t cite facts to back most of his thesis’s.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          I hate to use the word, but he’s just here to stir up sh!t, no other purpose.

          I’ve never seen him comment (or anyone like him) on any of the notable Australian enthusiast’s car sites/forums, and it’s obvious he’s not remotely into cars. “Robert Ryan” is more of a “car guy”, barely, and he’s all over those comment sections, nonstop, daily.

          BAFO’s only “into” disrupting this site and other US based forums where he frequents under the same name, same tired, ignorant fallacies, insults, ad hominems, ad nauseam.

          I’m not convinced he’s even BEEN to Australia.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          el scotto,
          You don’t even know me.

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    I bought a 2017 Fiesta ST and 2018 Shelby GT350, did my part…never thought I would have two Ford’s in my stable 10 years ago! Bummed to see the ST/RS line leaving!

  • avatar
    Aron9000

    I think the big thing people are overlooking as to why Ford can’t move compact cars, is that the Fiesta and Focus are garbage. Who in their right mind would buy a new car that has “transmission slip” as a standard feature???

    Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Kia/Hyundia have no problem moving smaller cars, because they are a better product than what Ford sells.

    • 0 avatar
      freedom2007

      Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Kia/Hyundai are actually the garbage small cars. I’ll take a Fiesta or Focus any day over those. The transmission issue was corrected in 2014.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    If the FiST and FoRS had sold at triple the number they did, these models would still be money losers failing to cast a glow on the other Fxxx cars. Doesn’t mean I don’t like them, just that they can’t support the company on hot hatch sales.

  • avatar
    dartman

    Mark, I think this is one of the most insightful, articulate and well reasoned articles you have written. You are right on the money about the ageing of Americans and the ease of ingress/egress and overall comfort on the Trucks/SUVs/Crossovers. Crossover really means “car-like minivan that looks like a SUV” (sort-of). It is clearly what the majority of the car buying public wants for the foreseeable future. Younger buyers are not into cars or trucks of any sort. They tend to view them as a necessary evil that can be hired out, borrowed or rented when needed. I don’t see that changing anytime soon either.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Younger buyers care a lot about image in their social media dominated world. Things like pickup trucks, Wranglers, 4Runners, and even G-Classes/Range Rovers, etc have a fun and adventurous image.

      Sedans just don’t, even the fast ones. Short of a Rolls-Royce or Bentley the image ranges from rental car for the blah ones, to CEO late for a meeting for the fast ones.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Crossovers are taking over because the higher upright designs of the 1930s and 40s cars are better for comfort than the low slung down on the ground seating of cars since the 1950s. More interior room easier entry and exit. I can wear a top hat while driving again haba. In all serious its true..really a “crossover” is what a “car” should be.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am one of those aging Baby Boomers that has switched from sedans to crossovers for the reasons stated above. If I ever decide to buy another sedan there is always Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia if the Detroit 2.5 get out of the car business.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Since the late ’90s we’ve completely or all but lost:
    Station wagon
    Sedan based coupe
    Two-door hatchback
    Reasonably affordable 2-seater
    Reasonably affordable convertible

    And soon we’ll be losing:
    Hactchback
    Sedan

    Gray cladding for all!

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      We will all be riding in automated, box shaped shuttle craft, just as Star Trek predicted.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      I’ve owned some of the last examples of two of those – an Accord coupe and a Scion tC.

      I wouldn’t say that they didn’t have their virtues but the current generation of sedans has become so fast, luxurious, and capable that it’s hard to make the cost-benefit analysis work in favor of the practicality sacrifices of any two-door.

      I suppose some would make the same argument about modern crossovers versus sedans, but I’d counter that there remain some very real differences between the two form factors in NVH, handling, and long-distance comfort.

      Now the hatch I will cop to missing, but modern crash protection, a lift back, and a low msrp mean miserable visibility even by modern standards.

  • avatar
    orange260z

    When I had two young kids both in child seats, I sadly sold my e90 BMW to change to a large crossover SUV. It had space to carry all the baby stuff, wide-opening rear doors, and was a safe and reliable winter hauler. And I hated every minute I owned it.

    I’ve since bought two sedans, and have no interest in going back to an SUV. That said, it is very convenient to have one SUV in the family, so after a year of trying to have two sedans, we have changed my wife’s vehicle back to a small crossover.

    Closer to 50 now than I am to 40, I have agree that it’s easier to get in and out of a taller, more upright vehicle, but those same old knees find more comfort in the “straight out” leg position of a sports car or sport sedan over the “dining chair” leg position in most SUVs and crossovers.

  • avatar
    Igloo

    . . . going fast and looking pretty (from Big Als post above)

    Isn’t that why we all like cars in the first place?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Again I don’t fault Ford for this decision except maybe Ford should extend the life of the Fusion without any major redesign. The tooling costs are long since paid off and if they cannot make a profit selling it then something is really wrong with Ford. I can understand making it in Mexico to keep the costs low. Fusion at least offers something of a family sedan. Importing the Focus from China should at least give Ford enough room to make some profit but they should offer a 4 door sedan as well as the hatch back. Those along with the Mustang are are they need. Lincoln should not be in the car market and expanding their line up of crossovers is the correct decision.

    US vehicles will be determined more by what sells in China. Even the designs will be determined by what is sold in China. Now the Chinese vehicle market is larger than the US.

    I must be different because I never have viewed a vehicle as being a status symbol and it has never been my goal to impress a valet. A vehicle needs to be safe, reliable, comfortable, and be in decent enough shape not to be embarrassing. I have never viewed Ford cars as being status symbols unless maybe a Lincoln and Lincoln like Cadillac has lost much of its prestige. I am not ashamed to admit that I view vehicles like appliances. Nothing wrong with getting a vehicle that meets your needs and if you are happy with it why should you worry about what others think. I seldom have anyone ask me about my vehicle and most people I work with never even seen my vehicles nor do I see theirs. Honestly they don’t care. It is more important that I can get along with them and that I do a good job.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Can’t blame me dude, I probably won’t be able to afford a new car at all until I’m 40. Thanks student loans!

  • avatar

    It is strange that no one mentions that Lincoln is keeping MKZ and Continental. Apparently they do not lose money on cars.

    “A Lincoln spokesman recently told Automobile Magazine that it is “committed” to the Continental and MKZ sedans. While the Continental may seem like an easy decision, the fact that the MKZ is sticking around, sounds a bit interesting considering how close it is to the Fusion. With Ford’s decision to kill the Fusion, it seemed likely that Lincoln’s version of the Fusion would also disappear.”

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Committed” might just mean “until model year 2020 when we kill all the cars too”.

      However, if Lincoln is actually going to keep their sedans around for the long haul, then that is happy news.

      If the next-gen Lincoln cars go to the survivng RWD Mustang platform, then that is even better news.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Lincoln is committed to sedans in the same way US Presidents express full confidence in their staff, for now.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I don’t disagree with you at all. CUVs are certainly better than sedans, which are just stupid. But even as a tall ‘n fat nearing 50yo, I have zero difficulty getting in and out of a Golf, and zero desire for anything taller than a Golf for more money that doesn’t drive as well.

    Let’s face it, Ford shot itself in the foot for all three cars. The Fusion was smaller and more expensive (by a TON) than the car it replaced (even though infinitely nicer), which was the Taurus. Americans still largely buy cars by the pound. The Focus and Fiesta were both hamstrung by too little back seat space and about the worst autotragic transmission made by the hand of man, in a market that buys mostly autotragic transmissions. The Chinese have the right idea – whatever sedan you have designed will be better if you put an 3-5 extra inches between the B and C pillars. Would work for hatches too.

    I did my part towards #savethemanuals by buying six of them brand new in the past 16years. And of those six cars, five were wagons or hatches, and the sixth was a 2dr coupe, a breed even more endangered than the sedan. If you are going to go useless, you might as well go full on useless and get a coupe!

    And I would buy more if I could – as I have said many times, if BMW would sell me a stickshift 3-series wagon and Alfa would sell me a stickshift Giulia, I would own one of each, because what a delight equip that would be (I can even forgive the Guilia for being a useless sedan!)! But think of how delightful a Guilia coupe or wagon or even 5dt liftback would be. So many lovely wagons and hatches from Alfa over the years, never mind a zillion pretty coupes. But no, we get a bloated hatch on stilts, the Stelvio, and it isn’t as good to drive as the Giulia, because physics is a thing. But I realize I am in the less than <1% who actually cares how a car feels going down the road, and doesn't care about how much "tech" it has in it.

    As I said in another thread, they are saving me a ton of money with these product decisions, so I should probably thank them.

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      100% agree on the fusion. If I were to buy a sedan it would not be in the running cuz the interior is too small and I’ve got kids. Dimensions say otherwise but when you sit inside you can clearly see it’s got a small interior. Its sad because it’s a real fun car to drive even with the base 2.5.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Krhodes1, you hit the nail(s) on the head(s) here. Right on all points. Ford stopped trying a few years ago.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I will take some blame. I like the Fusion a lot and I even liked the Taurus until I sat in one. But I have bought or leased many Honda sedans over the last 20 years because the lease deals particularly have never been there for Ford. Honda almost always has a cheap no money down deal available while Ford – just about never.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    This is a sad day for me. In 1999 I bought as base model LX contour, with steel wheels and manual tranny. After 17 years it still ran well, paint was shiny, and the AC (never repaired) cold, and the fabric seats looked like new. With all incentives I got this car for about 10,500 (12k out the door), but this is really part of the problem, not much profit selling to me (also the manual tranny, steel-wheel market is large).

    The big story is that this is partly a retreat up-market. Korea sells low-priced sedans here, and the big3 are in process of giving up the entry-level market. You see this with trucks also, in the mid-90s’ you could buy a Dodge Dakota for 10k, no more strippers. Part of this is the big3 high cost structure (medical cost) and part my be currency value.

    Part of this is that small car buyers are much less inclined to buy American. If you poll 100 pickup owners many will favor Ford, Chevy or Dodge but if you poll 100 small sedan buyers the preference will be mostly pro Japanese with some Korean.

    You can see the truck/car comparison in fuel economy. US makers lead in big-iron fuel economy, compare Ford to Toyota Tundra. But for cars the opposite, I was amazed how far ahead the Camry is vs. fusion.

    Ford was built on the model-T, the mass produced low-cost, practical car. Now they are moving to higher-cost model.

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    I bought a 2016 Mustang and traded it for a ’17 F-150 two years later when my needs changed.

    Nope, I didn’t help “the cause” at all.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    I think that overall we don’t know all fords true reasons, and they will be fine in the next gas crunch.

    I don’t know about all the other states but here in Oreeguyn, people sold there gas hogs ..

    *And bought USED gas sipper cars* or used foreign sipper cars. They rarely bought new.

    So from fords perspective .. in terms of *new car sales* this decision to cut models means nothing or very little loss compared to tens of billions in savings. Unless the used car came from a Ford owned dealership they saw not one dime.

    Unless the next gas crunch goes on for multiple years.. saving over 50-billion dollars and enduring a 4-6 quarter sales drought is the better idea to them.

    Time will tell.. but this seems their idea underneath it all

  • avatar
    MyerShift

    I can’t wait for fuel prices to spike again!
    It’ll be a joy to see SUV loving goons panic and ditch out for fuel efficient cars. That pretty much means guaranteed failure of FCA and extremely hard times for Ford.
    It’s amazing. I refuse to own an SUV because of physics, and by golly, it looks like Detroit is going to ensure that I never purchase a product of theirs. I considered a Dart until FCA said they weren’t supporting it. I hated Ford’s fish faced Focus, so in 2016 I bought a Toyota Corolla. GM’s Cruze was a non-starter for me because of the Gen I coolant smell issue and Gen 2 is a taffy pulled disaster with no headroom.
    I think it’s time for Detroit to go away.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    I think I pretty much did my part for Ford in the past 5 years. Traded a Mini Van for my wife’s restyled Focus Titanium in 2013. My now 89 year old mother in law lives with us, and I thought it would be easier for her to get in and out of. Turned out not to be the case, so a few months later went back to the Ford dealer and had her sit in other vehicles on the showroom floor. They just happened to have a new Escape, Titanium edition, and mom in law found the seats to be “butt high,” perfect for her to get in and out of.My wife is almost 13 years my junior, and only 62 years old. When mom came to live with us my wife had an E 46 BMW, 325i that she dearly loved. We kind of inherited the Mini van, and really did not need the BMW, so I sold it to a friend who had hounded me about selling it to him for months. Bottom line, my wife was not happy with the Escape, but still drives it simply because of her mom’s needs.

    I really do not fit the profile of a typical Focus ST driver, but even at the ripe old age of 75, I still engage in motorsports, from autocross to track days at various tracks in north Texas and beyond. Imagine the young saleslady’s surprise when I walked into the Ford store and announced I was looking for a Focus ST. Priceless reaction, and a questionable look on her face. Bottom line, 11 months and two weeks ago, I drove away with a race red Focus ST for well under 20 K dollars. I had been tracking my 06 Corvette Z 51 car, but sold it to build a detached garage in my back yard, and the Honda’s I had built for autocross were not a good choice for track days in my opinion. The FoST fits the bill for both.

    I really hate to see Ford drop the Focus, and although I have owned 4 Mustangs over the years, they are not my favorite piece of automotive driving pleasure. Not sure what my next daily driver/autocross/track day car will be, but most likely a Honda Civic.

    I have come to love the ride and seating position of bigger SUVs and pickup trucks. I have owned two Ram Pickups and a Dodge Durango since 2011. I currently drive a 4 WD Ram 1500 Laramie with the EcoDiesel power train. It just turned 4500 miles on a recent trip from Dallas to Central KY, returning an average of 24.2 mpg including trip up, back, and a couple hundred miles of city driving while I was there. Most of all, I enjoyed the ride. 980 miles one way, driven in one day each way, and was not nearly as fatigued as I have been in other vehicles while making that and similar trips. Trucks are getting better, regardless of brand, but they are also getting much more expensive. I looked at a Ford F 150 equipped similar to my Ram, sans the diesel, and I am too old, and too smart to spend 60 K plus, after discounts, when I could buy another Ram for under 45 K…But I can see Ford’s point regarding mid sized sedans, but smaller, sportier hatchbacks? I don’t get it…

  • avatar
    S197GT

    i read the whole article.

    i’d still like to say i did my part. new 2017 ford fusion here. but, i am not surprised by the news, the msrp on mine was over $31k and i got it for $25k, ford credit didn’t even get much money, i took their incentive and then immediately re-fi’d with my credit union. the amount of car i got for my money is crazy.

    i would have liked to have owned a fiST and i still might some day on the used market.

    as for everyone talking about how fuel efficient crossovers/trucks have become, well, not ford. ecoboost only has boost. other manufacturers have been able to do it, but not ford, not in real-world mpg. ford is probably the worst offender at manipulating epa tests.

    ford just can’t compete and make money when it comes to cars, plain and simple. they needed to get out.

    • 0 avatar
      S197GT

      one more thing… ford must hate me.

      bought a 2003 ford explorer from a dealership; in a couple of years it was bought out and then closed.

      bought a 2006 ford mustang gt, in a couple of years dealership went out of business.

      bought a 2017 ford fusion, a few years later they will kill the model.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    “In doing so, you’ve robbed much of America of the ability to buy a cheap new car”

    Baruth, once again, hits it on the head. The guy is a genius. Baruth sees the real issue…..
    This isn’t about the death of sedans. This is about the death of affordable entry-level vehicles.

    I have a decent sedan, a Fusion 4cyl stick. It’s been dead-on reliable. No plans to replace it.

    However, I always took solace in the fact that were my car to get totaled, I could always go to the Ford store for a heavily discounted base Focus or Fiesta. With the typical money-on-the-hood, I’d grab a Focus stick for maybe $14k, perhaps less.

    What would I do now, that is the riddle….The cheapest vehicle in the Ford stable will now be the EcoSport, basically a whored-up Fiesta for $6k more. I’d be lucky to find one for $20k.

    Ford has now ceded huge chunks of the market to the Japanese and has abandoned no-frills entry-level buyers. This includes recent college grads, retirees, and many other demographics.

    Bad move, Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Was it a bad move for Peugeot to retreat from the US car market? Citroen? Isuzu?

      Ford is at least partly staying in the non-pickup, non-pickup-based market. It should make Ford stronger, more focused, and likely more profitable with pickup/pickup based vehicles, but definitely more profitable over all.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/ford/ford-fusion/

    Ford, through March, sold 43,000 Fusions. At that pace, it will be over 170,000 for the year, for a design that’s in its sixth model year. That isn’t profitable?

    My guess as to the real reason: By Ford’s estimate, every Fusion sold is an Escape (or Edge, or Explorer) that isn’t sold. Since the trucks are a lot more profitable than the cars, they would rather not give the buyer the less profitable alternative.

    Personally, I think that every Fusion that isn’t sold in 2020 will be a Malibu, an Accord, a Camry, an Altima, an etc. that does sell.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      I don’t know much about the new Malibu, but from the rear, it is a great looking car. Way to go Chevy !

    • 0 avatar

      I know I said this before, but angry Fusion owners are most likely not going to return to Ford. When GM cancelled Saturn more than a decade ago, Saturn buyers for the most part left GM for Honda and Toyota. People invest a lot of time in their cars and tend to get “personally” insulted when their model is axed. There are a lot of furious Fusion owners on the few Fusion Facebook pages I have visited. I will have never venture into a Ford dealership again.

      I wager many former Fusion owners will purchase the Malibu, which for the first time ever is now a better car than the Fusion. If you don’t believe me look at the reviews.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    Weighing in really late to the party:

    This continues to be one of the longest expansionary periods in the history of the US economy, and it’s not showing a ton of signs of abating. If we last one or two full model cycles from today (so think late 2020s) until we get the next severe (and I mean actually severe) oil spike, all the price spike will do is send customers to BEVs from IC engines.

    We are 1-2 model cycles from full scale BEVs being wholly competitive with IC models on their own terms. Small cars are dead, long live P/HEV and BEV crossovers.

  • avatar
    kamiller42

    Sedans don’t sell in U.S. because we’re fat. CUVs, SUVs, and trucks are easier to get in and out of for fat people.

  • avatar

    I bought an F-150 3.5TT on Friday and promptly proceeded to do burnouts up and down an airstrip.

  • avatar
    Paulinator66

    It was my fault. I’ll take the blame. My most recent purchases were a Mustang GT and two F-150s. Never considered for a moment buying a Focus, Fusion, or Taurus. After getting wind of that revelation, I’ll wager Ford realized selling ordinary cars is now hopeless.

  • avatar
    AKM

    So what you are saying, Mark, is that Americans buy SUVs and crossovers because they are too old, fat, lazy, and out of shape to get in and out of cars?
    Makes sense, actually, although the comfort effectively makes the problem worse. I’m in Sicily right now, and most retirees are in very decent shape and drive small rustbuckets. Coincidence, correlation, or causation?

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    I dunno, Bark, despite the number of replies, I think this is “B-” level trolling. Ford assassinated the Focus using the Powershift transmission. Sadistically, too, I might add, dragging out the inevitable with a meaningless facelift.

  • avatar

    Hackett’s just wanted to do something drastic to appease the stock holders. No auto maker in their right mind would cancel a sedan that sell 200,000 units a year. Does Ford believe angry Fusion owners are going to return to Ford. Maybe rival carmakers should offer special discounts on a Fusion trade in.

    If I was a Ford executive and observed the current car lineup of Kia I would be ashamed.


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