Ford plans to cut Fusion, Taurus and Fiesta from auto lineup

Mustang, Focus crossover will be only Ford models on the market in North America by 2020

The only cars Ford will renew for the North American market are the Mustang, which is to be replaced with a new model in calendar 2020, and the new Focus Active, which, anyway, the company describes as a crossover SUV.

Cutting its slow-selling sedans and hatchbacks will serve to free up even more capital for light truck and mobility development. Dropping all but two auto models will supposedly net another $11.5 billion in savings according to Ford's Chief Financial Officer, Bob Shanks.

Shanks wouldn't say whether Ford would need to eliminate jobs to achieve the additional $11.5 billion in cost cuts.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday as the company reported first-quarter results, Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said "we have looked at every single part of the business".

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This reduction in sedans has been undertaken as Ford recognizes that North American consumers have increasingly turned to crossovers, trucks and SUVs over sedans and small cars.

"The automaker was very blunt in its confirmation of its plans, saying simply "[will] not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America". Profits before taxes fell to $2.2 billion from $2.5 billion.

Ford shares rose 2.6 percent to $11.40 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

In its statement, Ford said it will rely exclusively on a two-car lineup, the new Focus Active-a raised, body-cladded version of its all-new Focus hatchback (a crossover, in other words)-and the Mustang. We will have to make choices around how we disposition those businesses going forward.

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The company reported a first-quarter net profit of $1.74 billion, or 43 cents per share, up from $1.6 billion, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier. For the quarter, the automaker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.43 on revenues of $41.96 billion. Ford's sedans are slow sellers with profit margins that aren't as high.

In the first quarter of 2018, Ford's profit margin dipped to 5.2pc from 6.4pc a year earlier, as it was squeezed by higher aluminium and steel prices.

Shanks suggested that Ford could reduce investment in certain geographic regions or exit them completely if it did not see adequate returns on the horizon. Its Asia Pacific business swung to a $119 million loss, from a $148 million profit a year ago.

Shanks said the Lincoln brand still is losing money in China, where it launched in 2015, but now plans to begin local production there in 2020.

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Ford will use the excess capacity created in its plants by vehicle models that are ending to introduce new truck and SUVs.

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