Sedans may be gone, but new entry-level Fords are coming.
As things currently stand, Ford is in the midst of a major transformation in its vehicle lineup. Gone are legacy names like the Focus, Fiesta and Taurus. In their place, we face a wave of new crossovers and trucks in the coming years. That includes the new Bronco, a Mustang-inspired electric crossover, and now, a . Today, a presentation at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Auto Summit alluded to all-new products in the next three years.
According to Automotive News, that includes a new ‘affordable’ entry-level model. Ford executives have promised that they would not abandon customers who want the sorts of products the company left behind this year. Instead, they’re moving in a different direction, although it’s not clear exactly what this new entry-level model would be. In the presentation, Ford did show a new ‘on-road performance’ crossover to slot in below the Edge ST. Whether that will also have a cheaper version as Ford’s new entry-level model remains to be seen.
As of 2019, the U.S.-market Ford Fiesta starts at $14,260. Without it or the Focus to sell, the brand’s cheapest new model will be the EcoSport, which starts at $19,995.
The big picture of Ford’s presentation was its ability to speed up product development. While previous models took years of research before they were approved, a recent statement mentioned how much faster the process has become. “It’s an example of how we’re moving faster, working together differently and leveraging our five all-new flexible vehicle architectures. We came up with the concept [for a new nameplate] in just 12 weeks using our new product creation process.”
Last year, product chief Hau Thai Tang said the brand would grow to 23 nameplates through 2023. As Autonews points out, that’s three more models than it had last year. Nine new nameplates were planned, including seven pickups and SUVs, as six nameplates — including the Fiesta, Focus, Taurus, Fusion, C-Max — were discontinued.
Other models and opportunities
The so-called “Baby Bronco” was another new model shown in Ford’s presentation, alongside the full-size Bronco arriving in 2020. However, it also seems Ford may plan several other models in the white space between its current offerings. Whatever the outcome, Ford’s immediate future undoubtedly lies with trucks and crossovers.
In 2015, Ford’s analysis of global industry segments split the market in favor of passenger cars. Back then, cars comprised 57 percent of the market share, while trucks and SUVs took the other 43 percent. Now, that balance has shifted to 53 percent trucks and SUVs, and only 47 percent cars. As a result, Ford plans to shift 91 percent of its capital toward the growing truck and crossover market between now and 2023.
Here is a first look at the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost – High Performance Package.