By on April 18, 2019

Image: Ford

“Ford’s future is not about giving up the car,” company CEO Jim Hackett said in November 2017, not long before taking an axe to all Ford passenger car models, save the Mustang.

“We want to give them what they’re telling us they really want. We’re simply reinventing the American car,” Hackett continued in May of 2018, adding, “We don’t want anyone to think we’re leaving anything. We’re just moving to a modern version. This is an exciting new generation of vehicles coming from Ford.”

A year on from that last statement, the Ford Focus and Taurus are dead, the Fiesta bites the dust next month, and the Fusion lives on borrowed time. Also dead is the promise that the mildly lifted, faux-crossover Focus Active would make its way here from overseas. What’s left? A new product promise, and a long wait.

Rumors abound about what Ford might bring to the table in the wake of its car cull. Perhaps a wagony/crossover-type vehicle bearing the Fusion name; perhaps something completely different.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Auto Summit in New York Wednesday, Ford’s vice president of enterprise product line management, Jim Baumbick, offered a spark of hope for loyal Ford customers of modest means who aren’t at all interested in an EcoSport.

By 2022, Baumbick said, Ford will offer Americans an “affordable” new vehicle to make up for the company’s lost car lineup, Automotive News reports.

Sadly, Baumbick didn’t elaborate on the upcoming model’s bodystyle or size, and neither did Ford when contacted by the publication. There was, however, some boasting about what a nimble company Ford has become.

“It’s an example of how we’re moving faster, working together differently and leveraging our five all-new flexible vehicle architectures,” the automaker said in a statement. “We came up with the concept in just 12 weeks using our new product creation process. Previous all-new vehicles could have taken years of research before receiving approval.”

Be that as it may, a company that presumably wishes to court the low-priced buyer probably wouldn’t leave such a glaring gap in its lineup for so long. There will be a multi-year window in which Ford sells zero vehicles with an after-destination base MSRP below $20,000. New product will arrive in the interim, yes, but the 2020 Escape and its yet-unreleased “Baby Bronco” sibling are not entry-level vehicles.

There’s also a legitimately compact, unibody pickup on the way, likely carrying the Courier name, but such a vehicle doesn’t seem to fit the bill of a Fiesta and Focus replacement. Nor does it seem likely that its price will overlap with that of Ford’s discontinued compacts. The speculation continues.

Meanwhile, Baumbick did say that the upcoming 2020 Ford electric crossover (named Mach E, it seems) will birth a better-performing variant. Interesting, as the basic Mach E is supposed to be quite the hot little number, per Ford’s claims.

[Image: Ford Motor Company/Twitter]

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26 Comments on “Gird Your Loins, People – Ford Promises an Affordable Vehicle of Some Description Within Three Years...”


  • avatar
    volvoguyincanada

    The revolutionary EcoSport 2.0!

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      As long as it is not made in India using cheap recycled plastics, Chinese water bottle seconds, and used underwear fabrics, it might be a halfway decent vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve203

        “… made in India using cheap recycled plastics, Chinese water bottle seconds, and used underwear fabrics…”

        My sense is that is exactly what we will get. Ford doesn’t give a hoot about anything smaller than a Ranger/Bronco. In India they are subbing design out to Mahindra. In China, they are subbing design out to Jiangling, and in Europe they are subbing out to VW.

        What we get in the US will be whichever option is cheaper for Ford to supply, so they make the fattest profit margin.

        For smaller vehicles of any sort, Ford Motor may as well change it’s name to Ford Marketing, because that is what they will be doing: peddling badge engineered products made by other companies.

        In China, in February, Ford’s second most popular model, accounting for 28% of their sales, was the Terrain SUV, which is entirely designed and built by Jiangling.

  • avatar
    TimK

    Folkswagen cometh.

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    People need an affordable vehicle now. Quick! Kill all our affordable vehicles. Start a new one… later.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    Ah, Journo-speak.
    Please, pretty please can you journo types quit with the “only in the media” buzzwords.
    “Bracing” for: A labour dispute/higher interest rates/big ass storm/volatility in the market….
    “Swarming” by the police, as its a rule that no one but bees and police “swarm”…
    “Girding” of the loins or anything else…See “bracing”.
    They go on and on…
    Enough!
    “snark”

  • avatar
    deanst

    I think the more appropriate Prada quote is “Details of your incompetence do not interest me.”

  • avatar
    MotorCityMotorhead

    Ford planners need to hit reset button. Fusion is good product, and I don’t see Toyota, Honda, VW and Hyundai/Kia running for the sedan exits. That’s because these companies invest in their product to keep it relevent and appealing.

    Ford should keep Fusion/MKwhatever platform, offer as sedan, and high wagon.

    How in the hell can they abandon a segment that produced 300,000+ sales recently.

    Just absolutely stupid planning on Ford’s part.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Their sedans might be “relevant and appealing”, but their sales are still in a free-fall and the respective brand’s crossovers have taken over the sedan’s former spots on the sales charts. This is despite the major player’s having been completely redesigned recently.

      Pretending something isnt true when the evidence is overwhelming is hardly a good business strategy.

      • 0 avatar
        MotorCityMotorhead

        JohnT

        Sorry, not everybody is an SUV head, and not everyone thinks sedans are dead…seems like Toyota and Honda are not jumping off the “sedans are dead” cliff with Ford.

        Based upon their constant acquisition of market share at Ford and GM’s expense over the past 40 years…not buying your “pretending something isnt true” apology for Ford planning decisions.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        Who makes compact and midsize cars?

        Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, VW, Kia, Hyundai

        Who doesn’t?

        The group formerly known as the big 3.

        Which group has been losing market share for decades and which has been gaining share? Hmmmmmm.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “How in the hell can they abandon a segment that produced 300,000+ sales recently.”

      Because Ford doesn’t make good business decisions. They like to make knee jerk decisions without thinking of the long term impacts.

      They kill all cars aside from the Mustang (which should have been the first to go using Ford’s logic) and then say well we don’t really want to kill cars we just want to give people what they want.

      OK, then do that now. Don’t wait for years and years and then come out with something that is already dated and behind the competition.

      If Ford can justify a 2-door play car that shares NOTHING with other vehicles in their lineup at 80K sales a year then they can certainly justify 500K sales of the Fiesta/Focus/Fusion.

      Again this is just complete incompetence from Ford. This is what happens when a guy who knows chairs and desks runs a car company.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve203

        “Again this is just complete incompetence from Ford. This is what happens when a guy who knows chairs and desks runs a car company.”

        Hackett doesn’t know chairs or desks either. I worked for Steelcase dealers for a large part of Mackett’s tenure running SC. What he “knows” is moving production to Mexico, cheapening the product, and squeezing the daylights out of the dealers. The project managers and installers at the dealership were complaining loudly about how the product was being cheapened, calling it “Tincase”. SC came out with a panel system called “Answer”. The older SC panel systems went together easily at the job site. Answer went together like a Tinkertoy, meaning a lot of the assembly labor cost was transferred from SC to the dealers that had to install that piece of poo. Some of the stuff SC came out with during the Hackett regime was outright laffable. There was one that looked like an overgrown phone booth. To my knowledge, none of the dealers I worked for over a 10 year period ever sold one of those things.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          Wow really?

          In other words, don’t buy any Ford vehicle during or after Hacketts tenure. Mulally brought quality down to unfathomable levels I cannot imagine what Hackett will do.

    • 0 avatar
      Eaststand

      This is because those companies are asian, and sedans sell like hotcakes over there. Hyundai and Kia arent making these sedans for america, theyre just selling them there because they might as well.

  • avatar
    Steve203

    So, what sort of third world grade piece of poo would they trot out? An Indian built Mahindra with a blue oval pasted on it, or a Chinese built JMC, with a blue oval pasted on it? It has to be really, really cheap, so that Ford can mark it up a lot to make it’s profit target.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Did I really just read an entire post recounting a speech by Jim Hackett that did not include the word “mobility”? That’s like Super Troopers without “meow” or SNL-ized Sarah Palin without “maverick”. I demand a rewrite.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve203

      “Did I really just read an entire post recounting a speech by Jim Hackett that did not include the word “mobility”?”

      That’s because, after a few years heading up Ford’s autonomous car program, and pocketing millions a year as CEO touting them, Hackett has finally admitted they aren’t viable.

      “We overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” Jim Hackett said Tuesday at a Detroit Economic Club event. While Ford’s first self-driving car is still coming in 2021, “its applications will be narrow, what we call geo-fenced, because the problem is so complex.”

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-09/ford-ceo-tamps-down-expectations-for-first-autonomous-vehicles

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        No, Hackett’s wrong – not only are autonomous vehicles coming, they’re coming tomorrow, and they’re coming for all our essential rights and freedoms too!

        (At least that’s what a lot of the commenters here like to think…)

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          Nobody has stated that here.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I think you missed my (partial) sarcasm. But, yeah, there’s a large portion of the B&B who thinks autonomous cars are some kind of threat to the Bill of Rights or something. Wait until the next article comes up and you’ll see what I mean.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Nobody thinks they are a threat to the bill of rights.

            The concerns of most people are valid. Vehicle autonomy is still a very long way off and that is a good thing because as of right now, it’s garbage.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Ford has an Idea not a Better Idea. Not too impressed with Ford or GMs leadership.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Ford lost me, GM never had me and FCA doesn’t make anything I want aside from a Challenger (my brief ownership of a 300S notwithstanding). I’m sticking to the Japanese at this point, specifically Honda and Mazda.

  • avatar
    sooperedd

    It doesn’t matter if GM or Ford make a bunch of bad business decisions because Uncle will be right there to bail them out; they are essentially playing with house money and they know it. The precedent has been set.


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