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Ford set to axe small MPVs and import new models amid profitability focus

Date: 10 January 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Ford has announced it is to restructure its product range, targeting near-term profitability and a more competitive business for the future.

It says a new strategy for its business in Europe will establish a more 'targeted' brand portfolio.

As part of this change, the firm says it has begun discussions about ending production of the C-Max and Grand C-Max compact MPVs, citing shrinking sales for the segment.

It also says it will bring in new American import models alongside the Mustang sports car and Edge SUV, with a new SUV to be revealed in April as well as a Mustang-inspired fully-electric performance SUV in 2020.

On the subject of electrification, Ford says all its new cars from now on will include an electrified option, either mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric.

This will include new nameplates and new versions of existing models.

Other changes announced by Ford today include: ending production of small automatic transmissions at its Aquitaine plant in France; a strategic review of the Russian Ford Sollers joint venture; consolidating its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe's headquarters in south east Essex; and establishing three European business groups covering commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and imports. 

Ford says it is starting consultations with trade unions and other stakeholders about its plans. 

Steven Armstrong, Ford's group vice-president and also president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: "We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe. 

"We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term, sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers. 

"Working collectively with all stakeholders, our new strategy will enable us to deliver a more focused line-up of European-built passenger vehicles, while growing our import and commercial vehicle businesses - for a healthier and more profitable business."