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Ford Could Reintroduce Entry Level Vehicles Across The Globe


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Ford Could Reintroduce Entry Level Vehicles Across The Globe

https://fordauthority.com/2024/06/ford-could-reintroduce-entry-level-vehicles-across-the-globe/

 

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Ford is currently rethinking its global lineup in big ways, moving from an aggressive EV-centric strategy to a more balanced approach. This shift comes after the automaker discontinued the Ford Fiesta in 2023 and will wind down Ford Focus production in 2025. However, based on recent comments from Ford CEO Jim Farley, it’s possible the company may course correct and introduce at least one entry level vehicle that can be sold at regions where Ford has regained its footing.

 

 

Speaking at the 2024 Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference, Ford’s head honcho says the company is thinking about expanding in regions that the company has financially turned around in recent years, and that those vehicles would most likely be on the cheaper end of the spectrum. “I’d say the real interesting question is, in South America, Africa and South Africa specifically for us, in Thailand where we have 2 plants and growing Ranger business, all those places we’ve restructured dramatically to be profitable. Which we are now very profitable. And yet the Chinese competitors are coming in with ICE vehicles too there. And we have a choice between do we grow and how profitable is that growth? Or do we stay where we are?,” said Farley.

 

“We think we have to futureproof that business. We think that just staying where we are with Ranger and Everest could be a risk. We believe that the competitors that we’re seeing there in all those markets now are very fit and we don’t want to do what happened in many markets for Ford, so we need to compete in the low end and we need to futureproof the electrification of those products. And we’ll do it smartly where we can make money and we’ll be thoughtful about partnerships,” he added.

 

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Farley made his comments not long after Ford Europe’s outgoing head of passenger vehicles suggested that the company is considering working on a new generation of small cars. The automaker has retreated from smaller segments in recent years as it rationalized in its global manufacturing footprint. In its place, Ford switched to an export-oriented strategy for South America, where the Ford Bronco and Ford Maverick now compete. At the moment, it isn’t clear if the company is thinking about a spiritual successor to the Ford Ka, which was an entry vehicle sold in global markets, but it sure sounds like Ford is evaluating the feasibility of products with a similar mission statement.

 

Ford may be essentially forced to compete in less expensive segments due to the proliferation of cheap Chinese EVs across the globe. As Ford Authority previously reported, the company is planning on introducing a $26K EV for the North American market by 2027 that is also being designed to compete globally. Ford is also considering reentering India to establish a new manufacturing presence in the company as well. In Europe, the Ford Focus was among the top 50 best selling vehicles on the continent in 2023 despite facing cancellation.

Edited by ice-capades
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Man, these guys are all over the place regarding product planning.  Like a fart in a skillet.  Establish a long term plan and stick with it unless you legitimately have the ability to be flexible, which they do not appear to be doing well.  Although I would argue there are two products in China they could sell here without significant modifications to fill some voids.  

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9 hours ago, tbone said:

Man, these guys are all over the place regarding product planning.  Like a fart in a skillet.  Establish a long term plan and stick with it unless you legitimately have the ability to be flexible, which they do not appear to be doing well.  Although I would argue there are two products in China they could sell here without significant modifications to fill some voids.  


Yep.  Farley is like the dog in Up! that chases every squirrel he sees.  Trying for a home run here or there is fine as long as you don’t sacrifice bread and butter stuff.  But Farley likes to go all in balls to the wall for new stuff and when the new stuff doesn’t pan out you’re stuck like Oakville and Edge/Nautilus.  I think Maverick proved they can do affordable vehicles and still make money if they choose the right vehicles and designs.  As opposed to just pumping out cheap blobs at high volume and commodity prices.

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41 minutes ago, akirby said:


Yep.  Farley is like the dog in Up! that chases every squirrel he sees.  Trying for a home run here or there is fine as long as you don’t sacrifice bread and butter stuff.  But Farley likes to go all in balls to the wall for new stuff and when the new stuff doesn’t pan out you’re stuck like Oakville and Edge/Nautilus.  I think Maverick proved they can do affordable vehicles and still make money if they choose the right vehicles and designs.  As opposed to just pumping out cheap blobs at high volume and commodity prices.

 

This is an industry wide problem.

 

Many companies are chasing new technologies and new markets. Not all of them are working out. Whenever there is a downturn in the market, those companies that have more overhead than others with have issues - Hyundai, Geely, etc. 

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19 hours ago, ausrutherford said:

 

This is an industry wide problem.

 

Many companies are chasing new technologies and new markets. Not all of them are working out. Whenever there is a downturn in the market, those companies that have more overhead than others with have issues - Hyundai, Geely, etc. 

I’d call it an industry wide profit taking where all manufacturers decided to raise prices, knowing that competitors are doing the same. So is that a form of “game theory” or cartel where they all know that if everyone raise prices then everyone will make  more money.

Edited by jpd80
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49 minutes ago, jpd80 said:

I’d call it an industry wide profit taking where all manufacturers decided to raise prices, knowing that competitors are doing the same. So is that a form of “game theory” or cartel where they all know that if everyone raise prices then everyone will make  more money.

 

I saw something the other day-what is going on is that algorithms are being used in all industries pushing pricing up on everything from Amazon to rentals, which is driving inflation along with other things. I think your seeing that directly with the Bronco and the amount of huge price increases on it over the past couple years-huge demand vs limited supply and pricing being adjusted (like the Raptor), all without major impact to Ford's bottom line-Most industries are still pulling in record profits even with the various economic headwinds we've been having also. 

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17 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

 

I saw something the other day-what is going on is that algorithms are being used in all industries pushing pricing up on everything from Amazon to rentals, which is driving inflation along with other things. I think your seeing that directly with the Bronco and the amount of huge price increases on it over the past couple years-huge demand vs limited supply and pricing being adjusted (like the Raptor), all without major impact to Ford's bottom line-Most industries are still pulling in record profits even with the various economic headwinds we've been having also. 

We just saw that in the Australian market where combined May sales of Ranger & Everest were just over 8,000 

or 90% of Ford AUS sales because we struggle get anything else RHD. But anyway, the gist of my story is that

those Ranger/Everest sales are nearly all AUS$60k - $95k price range which is like 33% higher than precovid prices.

 

It’s good to see Ford doing well but I have a feeling that many see Fords as $20k overpriced.

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On 6/8/2024 at 11:21 AM, akirby said:


Yep.  Farley is like the dog in Up! that chases every squirrel he sees.  Trying for a home run here or there is fine as long as you don’t sacrifice bread and butter stuff.  But Farley likes to go all in balls to the wall for new stuff and when the new stuff doesn’t pan out you’re stuck like Oakville and Edge/Nautilus.  I think Maverick proved they can do affordable vehicles and still make money if they choose the right vehicles and designs.  As opposed to just pumping out cheap blobs at high volume and commodity prices.

 

I still don't understand why Ford can't take their "F-series focus" and apply it to their other models.  They did well with Maverick, why can't they follow that same path elsewhere in the lineup?

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45 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

 

I still don't understand why Ford can't take their "F-series focus" and apply it to their other models.  They did well with Maverick, why can't they follow that same path elsewhere in the lineup?

 

I think they did with the first and second gen Taurus.  Anyone remember "Team Taurus"?  They lost interest though and moved on to SUVs and such in the mid to late 90s.  I haven't really heard of any other specialized team or group for any other model since then except maybe the Mustang. 

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2 hours ago, Andrew L said:

 

I think they did with the first and second gen Taurus.  Anyone remember "Team Taurus"?  They lost interest though and moved on to SUVs and such in the mid to late 90s.  I haven't really heard of any other specialized team or group for any other model since then except maybe the Mustang. 

 

The Mach E?

 

I think the problem is that management can't or won't keep focus on other projects, since the F-series basically pays for itself and if it got screwed up really badly, that would hurt Ford badly financially, so it has the proper focus on it.

Compare that to other products over the past 15-20 years and you see things going ever which way. Not to mention the multiple repeating of products (Fusion and Mondeo up till 2014 I think for example) in different markets....only in past 10 years or so has Ford's lineup of other products more or less have been the same worldwide.

 

The Maverick was successful because it was done cheap and quickly. Lets see how they manage it going forward over the years. 

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29 minutes ago, silvrsvt said:

 

The Mach E?

 

I think the problem is that management can't or won't keep focus on other projects, since the F-series basically pays for itself and if it got screwed up really badly, that would hurt Ford badly financially, so it has the proper focus on it.

Compare that to other products over the past 15-20 years and you see things going ever which way. Not to mention the multiple repeating of products (Fusion and Mondeo up till 2014 I think for example) in different markets....only in past 10 years or so has Ford's lineup of other products more or less have been the same worldwide.

 

The Maverick was successful because it was done cheap and quickly. Lets see how they manage it going forward over the years. 

 

Well, I think that's the point I'm getting at - they were able to use this more nimble "quick response team" approach for Maverick, and it's been successful.  Why can't they try that on additional products?

 

I guess the biggest problem is they got caught with their pants down two different ways:

1) "behind" on BEVs, thus the "balls to the wall" approach they started with, and now

2) the reverse, since they dumped future ICE product development for BEV but the transition is slower than planned so they have to restart things

 

I don't understand why the "one or the other" approach won in favor of a balanced transition.

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Or maybe Maverick was just a lucky swing…….

 

Seriously though I think it all goes back to money and resources and trying to do everything else other than F series on the cheap which includes cheaping out on production capacity which causes all sorts of butterfly effects on product decisions.

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12 hours ago, akirby said:

Or maybe Maverick was just a lucky swing…….

 

Seriously though I think it all goes back to money and resources and trying to do everything else other than F series on the cheap which includes cheaping out on production capacity which causes all sorts of butterfly effects on product decisions.

Actually, Maverick looks like the kind of pickup that Ford North America was after

when T6 Ranger was being developed. They did an amazing job with interior space

being similar to the Ranger plus a hybrid and an AWD option to boot. Well done.

 

It’s a pity that they didn’t go for broke with the Utility version too even if as an export model.

Amazing how versatile C2 platform can be when done right, so many possibilities….

 

 

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5 hours ago, jpd80 said:

Actually, Maverick looks like the kind of pickup that Ford North America was after

when T6 Ranger was being developed. They did an amazing job with interior space

being similar to the Ranger plus a hybrid and an AWD option to boot. Well done.

 

It’s a pity that they didn’t go for broke with the Utility version too even if as an export model.

Amazing how versatile C2 platform can be when done right, so many possibilities….

 

Well the Maverick was (dismissively) a parts bin special-Escape/Kuga drivetrains and the Transit Connect "frame" improvements. 

 

If Ford wanted a cheaper C2 utility, they'd be far better off starting with the Bronco Sport with a new top hat and keeping it FWD only with just a hybrid or 1.5 I3 only. Maybe AWD, but use the cheaper/not as capable Escape system. 

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5 hours ago, jpd80 said:

It’s a pity that they didn’t go for broke with the Utility version too even if as an export model.

Amazing how versatile C2 platform can be when done right, so many possibilities….


Yet another example of a great product doomed because of limited factory space.

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I said in another thread Ford needs to stop acting like a premium brand.  Having icon products like the Raptor (F150 and Bronco etc) and Mustang Dark Horse and such are all well and good for profits but at the end of the day they need to have some more lower end and affordable offerings aside from just the Maverick.  I welcome this news and hope they start coming out with some more entry level vehicles soon.  

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23 hours ago, Andrew L said:

I said in another thread Ford needs to stop acting like a premium brand.  Having icon products like the Raptor (F150 and Bronco etc) and Mustang Dark Horse and such are all well and good for profits but at the end of the day they need to have some more lower end and affordable offerings aside from just the Maverick.  I welcome this news and hope they start coming out with some more entry level vehicles soon.  

Yes, it’s important for Ford to offer products that range from affordable to expensive. They don’t want to end up like Stellantis in North America with no decent affordable products left. Stellantis is failing and the only thing they’ve got left is to increase prices more than any other automaker and hope someone will buy a loaded overpriced Jeep or RAM to keep them in business. The Dodge and Chrysler brands are dead with no affordable options to bring anyone into the dealerships. The lackluster Dodge Hornet is way overpriced and nobody is buying it. Affordable, efficient models that can still turn a profit are important as a full line automaker. They are even more important to start moving BEVs at greater volume. The high end only BEV strategy worked for early adopters, but it won’t work long term. I predict Stellantis is about to find this out when they get their new high end expensive Charger with the fancy fake engine noise speakers and it doesn’t sell worth a damn.

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20 minutes ago, 2005Explorer said:

Yes, it’s important for Ford to offer products that range from affordable to expensive. They don’t want to end up like Stellantis in North America with no decent affordable products left. Stellantis is failing and the only thing they’ve got left is to increase prices more than any other automaker and hope someone will buy a loaded overpriced Jeep or RAM to keep them in business. The Dodge and Chrysler brands are dead with no affordable options to bring anyone into the dealerships. The lackluster Dodge Hornet is way overpriced and nobody is buying it. Affordable, efficient models that can still turn a profit are important as a full line automaker. They are even more important to start moving BEVs at greater volume. The high end only BEV strategy worked for early adopters, but it won’t work long term. I predict Stellantis is about to find this out when they get their new high end expensive Charger with the fancy fake engine noise speakers and it doesn’t sell worth a damn.

 

The Hornet is a great example.  I was talking with a friend about this he had no idea they were even selling it and was shocked when he looked up how much they were going for at the dealer near him.  

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On 6/11/2024 at 2:13 PM, Andrew L said:

I said in another thread Ford needs to stop acting like a premium brand.  Having icon products like the Raptor (F150 and Bronco etc) and Mustang Dark Horse and such are all well and good for profits but at the end of the day they need to have some more lower end and affordable offerings aside from just the Maverick.  I welcome this news and hope they start coming out with some more entry level vehicles soon.  

 

The average price of a new car is around $48K and if you look at current entry level products, they don't sell in the numbers like say the Escort did in the 1980s (which where most likely being fleet dumped anyways) because they are smaller vehicles that don't appeal to most buyers. The used car market will cater to the low end of the market, but even then pricing is stupid-my nephew bought an Altima that was 3 years old last year and it was 20K. I remember the days of the early 1990s when a used 5 year old car was like $1000. 

 

Luxury car pricing started at 30K about 20 years ago...now that is an entry level C class CUV like the Escape Active. 

Edited by silvrsvt
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9 minutes ago, Andrew L said:

 

The Hornet is a great example.  I was talking with a friend about this he had no idea they were even selling it and was shocked when he looked up how much they were going for at the dealer near him.  

 

The really stupid thing is that the Jeep Compass is built on the same platform as the Alfa/Hornet and starts at $25K, which is more in line with this segment. But the Hornet is nothing more then a badge engineered Alfa 

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