Ford May Reduce Lineup to as Few as 20 Models

Alan Mulally Says Ford May Reduce Car Lineup Ford Motor (F) may reduce the number of models its sells to as few as 20, CEO Alan Mulally (pictured) said Monday.

"There will be less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25," the former Boeing (BA) CEO said following a speech to a business trade group in London, Bloomberg News reported. "Fewer brands means you can put more focus into improving the quality of engineering."

The second-largest U.S. automaker recently offered nearly 100 models, but the disposal of its portfolio of European luxury brands, including Volvo, Land Rover and Austin Martin, has reduced the number of offerings. Ford also plans to dissolve the Mercury brand later this year.

Mulally, who is in Europe ahead of the Paris Motor Show, said it became clear to him after he took over the reins of Ford in 2006 that the company needed to simplify its operations. A key component of the restructuring plan includes devoting greater resources to the Ford brand.

Mulally also said he expects Ford to make a "solid profit" in 2010 and plans to invest £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion) in its U.K. operations during the next five years. Ford is the U.K.'s second-largest auto manufacturer. It employs some 15,000 workers there.

Sales and Accolades Are Rising


The Dearborn, Mich.-based company was the only one of Detroit's Big Three automakers not to go through government-sponsored bankruptcy last year, which some analysts say has helped its sales. Ford also has benefited from Toyota Motor's (TM) ongoing recall woes, mostly related to reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. So far this year, Ford has outsold Toyota in the U.S. every month except one.

In 2009, the company posted a $2.7 billion profit for the year. More recently, Ford reported it earned $2.6 billion in the quarter ending June, the largest profit the company has seen since 2004. The company also reported a 30% boost in revenues.

Ford has also benefited from industry accolades, which include surveys showing its products are among the best made in the U.S. auto industry, according to a recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. In June, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded five Ford models the group's highest safety rating.

Though Ford appears on a roll, Credit Suisse Securities warned last week that Ford is likely to be less profitable next year than in 2010, due to higher structural and material costs, as well as burgeoning pension expenses.

Still, Mulally said Monday that he expects to improve overall performance and solid cash flow in the 2011 fiscal year. "All the fundamentals are moving in the right direction," Mulally said, even as he acknowledged that the overall economic recovery has slowed.

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Linda

i think the car giants should limit their choices to a few good models - with makes at every price level (i've wondered for years why they haven't done this) who needs so many choices have two - three at the most- at each price point - that should keep the price down and make for a more sound/reliable car

September 28 2010 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Sesto

i think the writer confused his brands. Ford sold Aston-Martin, not Austin-Martin.

September 28 2010 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GENE CIURA

FORD NEEDS TO BUILD 'MIDSIZE' TWO DOOR CARS. THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS THAT PREFER 2-DOOR CARS OVER ALL THE 4-DOOR BARGES THAT ARE BEING PRODUCED TODAY. A 2-DOOR FUSION WOULD SELL VERY WELL. THE INCREMENTAL COST OF BUILDING A 2-DOOR WOULD BE VERY SMALL AND THE SALES POTENTIAL ENORMOUS. HOPE FORD WAKES UP BEFORE ALL THE IMPORTS START PRODUCING MIDSIZE 2-DOOR CARS AND CAPTURE THIS SEGMENT OF THE MARKET.

September 28 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dvdsn61

I commend Ford for not accepting any government bailout money. But, they are still planning to invest 2.4 billion dollars into a manufacturing facility in the U.K Why should I buy their product if they are just going to invest their profits in producing jobs somewhere other than the U.S.?, just as G.M. and Chrysler are doing.

September 28 2010 at 10:28 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
DemocracyInPeril

Isn't it interesting that Ford, without government bail out money, is doing so well. Management leadrship / responsibility and the FREE MARKET work afterall instead of the Obama crisis driven "too big to fail we must act now" approach.

September 28 2010 at 10:12 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
allyndp

What American auto makers have to do is get back to standardization. Why does every model have to have a different tail light or other common item. Integrate that same unit in every model and start bringing costs down instead of up. Too many choices in models is another expense we con no longer afford. A four door and a coupe in each of the small compact, midsize and fullsize is all we need. Same with the SUVs. All the brands are starting to look identical anyway. Its got to come to a head soon.

September 28 2010 at 9:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to allyndp's comment
ocutv

They make good cars that people want to buy, that's why they are doing well. I currently have two Mustangs. Both delivered perfect and nothing has ever gone wrong with either of them.

September 28 2010 at 9:23 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Henry ptnm

I always prefer Fords. Out of all the Fords, I ever owned, I only had one bad Ford. It was a 1984 Ford Bronco II. Only thing that was good was the engine. The automatic transmission was the wrong type of transmission for this vehicle. I now own a 2004 Ford Ranger XLT. This automatic transmission is made for the vehicle. A lot of improvements made between 1984 to 2004.

September 28 2010 at 8:47 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rjmmillis

Have A ford 500 with A cvt transmission the transmission is A joint venture with jenco and toyota it fails between 40 and 70 thousand there is no aftermarket parts. the tranmisssion is $5000.00 and thats just for the tranny no labor. Ford will do anything they can to get out of warranty. they are sweeping the problem under the rug.The transmission is A major pice of sht.the rear differential is volvo, hell the only thing ford on this is the letters. So when all you people say buy A ford to support america you might want to look under the hood you will be in for A suprise.When I go shopping for another car it will not be at A ford dealership.

September 28 2010 at 8:27 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
malcolm

like my mustang but damn..seems like every other car i see on the roads are mustangs

September 28 2010 at 8:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply