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Just saw the following article on AOL.com. Quite interesting...

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Is Ford Really Going To Cut Its Product Line-Up?
Wait, It Already Has?
Posted: Oct 28, 2010
by Julie Roehm - Correspondent, AOL Autos

Ford CEO Alan Mullaly recently announced that his company was going to dramatically reduce its product line-up. Bloomberg reported the following: "'There will be less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25,' Mulally said in response to questions on the future lineup of 'nameplates' or models after addressing the Confederation of British Industry in London today. 'Fewer brands means you can put more focus into improving the quality of engineering.'"


The 2011 Ford Edge is one of just 20 models that Ford is continuing (Ford).

That's an admittedly small number, far less than a high of around 97 models just a few years ago. I counted them up myself just to double check, but getting to that number meant not only counting Ford-badged vehicles but those from the Mercury, Lincoln, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin brands as well.

So the headline-worthy quote here is really a bit sensational in that Ford has already shed the majority of the models in question. You may recall that Aston Martin was sold in 2007, Jaguar and Land Rover were sold as a package deal in 2008, and Volvo was officially jettisoned just a few months ago. Earlier this summer, Ford announced that it would be discontinuing Mercury as well, after years of lackluster sales.

So, the only brands the Blue Oval will have left for 2011, at least here in the U.S., will be its eponymous marque and Lincoln. Overseas, Ford sells its vehicles under just the Ford label, and the Europeans have quite a few models we don't see in showrooms here. But here, Ford's product lineup has become quite concise:

1. Ford Fiesta
2. Ford Focus
3. Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid
4. Ford Mustang and Shelby GT500
5. Ford Taurus and Taurus SHO
6. Ford Edge
7. Ford Flex
8. Ford Transit Connect
9. Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid
10. Ford Explorer
11. Ford Expedition
12. Ford Ranger
13. Ford E-Series
14. Ford F-Series (including SVT Raptor)
15. Ford Super Duty
16. Lincoln MKS
17. Lincoln MKT
18. Lincoln MKX
19. Lincoln MKZ
20. Lincoln Navigator

So, if my count is accurate, we are looking at no more than 20 distinct vehicles between the two divisions - and the Ranger is scheduled to disappear after 2011.

It's really astonishing just how much the company has changed direction in the past three years. Shedding five of seven brands and nearly 75 vehicles is a pretty big deal. In fact, the company is starting to resemble another successful automotive juggernaut, Toyota. Both have bread-and-butter, mass-market vehicle line-ups that extend from small cars to crossovers to people movers to SUV's and pickups, and both have one luxury division. A pretty good formula, it seems.

While Mullaly likes to talk about how these consolidation moves help Ford's plans to standardize features and parts to reduce costs and improve quality, there's another benefit that doesn't sound nearly as impressive when you're addressing business groups -- it immediately gives you more money to spend on marketing.

Let's look at some numbers. Last year, Ford Motor Company (which included Ford, Mercury, Lincoln and Volvo brands at the time) spent $932 million in measured media, of which $750.5 million - roughly 80 percent -- went to the Ford brand, according to Nielsen. (And that number does not include online spending, which we know is significant.) That $932 million was actually down from $945 million the year before, of which only $641 million was spent marketing Ford division cars and trucks, about 68 percent.

Given that Volvo and Mercury were getting at least some percentage of that total marketing spend these past two years, it stands to reason that Ford and Lincoln both will greatly benefit from that boost to their coffers. Last year's increase in marketing dollars going to the Ford brand, along with a great deal of turmoil among its chief competitors - Toyota with its recall woes, and GM and Chrysler with their bankruptcies -- helped to grow Ford's market share by over a full point, from 12.7 percent to 13.8 percent. So, say what you will about marketing, but if the product is solid, marketing helps put butts in seats.

In this attention-deficit-disorder world, where consumers have little loyalty and a "what have you done for me lately" mentality, it is essential that car companies not only keep their product fresh, relevant and made with high quality but that they also keep the customer base informed and aware, consistently, not just when they launch new products.

As a former marketer at Ford and DaimlerChrysler, I can tell you that there is nothing quite so frustrating as the "launch 'em and leave 'em" strategy that we would inevitably employ when the funds dry up and other vehicles require whatever cash we have on hand. By eliminating so much internal competition for scarce marketing dollars, Ford should have plenty of cash available to keep its remaining models in the limelight.

Julie Roehm is a marketing strategy consultant working with all industries and segments to provide strategic insight, planning and execution particularly in the areas of marketing, new media, insight and positioning. She was… most recently the Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications for Wal-Mart Stores. Prior to this, Julie was the Global Director of Marketing Communications for Chrysler Group, responsible for all branded marketing for the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands. Her responsibilities included marketing strategy, media, creative, interactive, loyalty management, CRM, auto shows, sponsorships, merchandising and licensing, and dealer advertising. Today she owns her own marketing consultancy firm, /Meta and contributes to Fox Business on a regular basis.
 

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I didn't hear anything about cutting the Ranger before...... :stop:
 

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I have heard about cutting the ranger before, and also the sport trac. By comparison, the F-150s are more practical price wise than either of them. But still there are LOTS of rangers around here. the rangers have too low of a safety rating for me.
 

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Good piece of information for the consumer. Glad the Escape will be around though.
 

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Ean-The-Escape said:
Hopefully Escapes don't get cut. They are extremely popular. Wouldn't make sense if they did. :bang:
Absolutely no sense at all dear "J".See what happened in Europe with the Escape.Ford decided to withdraw it from the beginning of 2007 in order to favor Kuga which in itself was a totally different car with few if any advantages against a fierce competition in the cross-over category.
End result:Ford as of 2007 does not sell any small or big size SUV in Europe.
 

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SUVord said:
Ean-The-Escape said:
Hopefully Escapes don't get cut. They are extremely popular. Wouldn't make sense if they did. :bang:
Absolutely no sense at all dear "J".See what happened in Europe with the Escape.Ford decided to withdraw it from the beginning of 2007 in order to favor Kuga which in itself was a totally different car with few if any advantages against a fierce competition in the cross-over category.
End result:Ford as of 2007 does not sell any small or big size SUV in Europe.
Well if that end result happened in Europe it could certainly happen here. :rant: :(
 

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RobtRoma said:
1. Ford Fiesta
2. Ford Focus
3. Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid
4. Ford Mustang and Shelby GT500
5. Ford Taurus and Taurus SHO
6. Ford Edge
7. Ford Flex
8. Ford Transit Connect
9. Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid
10. Ford Explorer
11. Ford Expedition
12. Ford Ranger
13. Ford E-Series
14. Ford F-Series (including SVT Raptor)
15. Ford Super Duty
16. Lincoln MKS
17. Lincoln MKT
18. Lincoln MKX
19. Lincoln MKZ
20. Lincoln Navigator
If this is a global plan, I would expect that the Sport Trak (which I think is named the Ranger here) sized utility would remain.

Also would there be a sub Fiesta model for the european market?

And the Mondeo which would be about the same size as the Fusion (?) is also very popular in Europe, so would be interesting to see which of those survives.

Downunder I expect we will lose the Falcon. :(
 

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Hi Stone,

I expect the Falcon only has a few more years in it. It cannot use the Mustang platform, so I cannot see Ford keeping its rwd platform for a small domestic market when they are going to global platforms.

And when it is replaced by a front drive car, I expect most buyers will opt for the Holden Commodore. If that happens I think even Hyundia will be outselling Ford.
 

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It hasn't been announced yet, however. The Ranger replacement will probably be a F-Series truck in name, thus ensuring the F-Series dominance in the marketplace. It will probably slot into the truck lineup just below the F-150 and maybe named the F-100. A true 1/2 ton pickup once again. I am guessing, but I am thinking it will be an eco-boost engine of either four or six cylinder configuration. I also am thinking they are planning on producing the truck in Louisville, KY. I am going on nothing but gut feeling that Ford will do anything to maintain it's dominance in the truck marketplace, and some disconnected facts. One: Ford has ordered new equipment for the Louisville plant. Two: Alan Mullaylee has stated that factories must be flexible. The factory that I think will produce the new truck is the same as the Focus factory. Mix and Match building flexiblity. Three: They have been testing several new chassis designs that are 1/2 ton truck builds over the past several years. No other product introduced resembles these chassis other than a light duty pickup. ;)
The Escape replacement is going to be a Eurodesign, not unlike the Focus based minivan which is also coming.

You missed that the number of differing chassis designs produced by Toyota are four. IIRC, up till last year, Toyota had only four car chassis designs. All cars are platformed from them. I see Ford doing the same thing. :yes:

;) Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :blush:
 

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I posted a pic of the new "Ranger" on here somewhere. It's like a small Sport trak with a little Nissan (found in Asia) look in my opinion. I also think they may go back to the F100 name as Stone stated.
 

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Ean-The-Escape said:
SUVord said:
Ean-The-Escape said:
Hopefully Escapes don't get cut. They are extremely popular. Wouldn't make sense if they did. :bang:
Absolutely no sense at all dear "J".See what happened in Europe with the Escape.Ford decided to withdraw it from the beginning of 2007 in order to favor Kuga which in itself was a totally different car with few if any advantages against a fierce competition in the cross-over category.
End result:Ford as of 2007 does not sell any small or big size SUV in Europe.
Well if that end result happened in Europe it could certainly happen here. :rant: :(
Th escape/Maverick topped being sold in Britain in late 2003, as mine was one of the last to be sold, by that time they were very hard to find in dealers.

Ford of Britains lineup is as follows...

Cars...

Ka
Fiesta
Fusion
Focus
Focus C-Max
Kuga
Mondeo
S-Max
Galaxy

Commercials

Fiestavan
Transit Connect
Transit
Ranger
 

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But then Ford GB has also done some absolute blunders, such as..

Being Britains No1 HGV manufacturer for decades, (Thames Trader, D100 series, Cargo, Eurocargo) then selling it all to Iveco Fiat :shrug: :shrug:
Being Britains No2 tractor manufacturer, then selling it all to New Holland :shrug: :shrug:
Trying to make a bus and coach chassis (the R series), using the lorry chassis and the loudest possible engine with the worst form of gearbox syncromesh that was physically possible...... :shrug: :shrug:
Selling Britains most popular and well built small sports car, the Puma, then ending production of it abrubtly :shrug: :shrug:

Trying to sell a 4.0 litre SUV (explorer) in a market that demands diesel engined SUV's due to the high cost of fuel, then wondering why sales were so miniscule.... :shrug:
Trying to sell the Probe over here, and branding both that thing, and it's replacement Cougar as a Capri replacement.... :shrug: :shrug:

To be fair, Ford could easily cut back the number of different UK models it sells, indeed why make 2 different 7 seater people carriers (Galaxy and S-max)???

Get rid of the Ka, as a Fiesta is not much larger...

Transit Connect, well it's overpriced really, a SWB Transit does the same job, carries a similar weight and is approx the same cost new...

Ditch the Kuga, as Landrover is the 4X4 of choice here (aka Freelander), and is a poor seller (well, thats what they did with the Maverick 2 (aka Escape)...

Just my thoughts.....
 

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So true and real I read in your post camusdarrah.
The :cuss: thing is that all these "brains" that take these decisions get paid millions of money!!!
I cannot see a Leeds United manager surviving after a couple of blunders.
 
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