Ford Europe to Concentrate on SUVs and Crossovers in Future
Ford Ka Microcar Could Be Cancelled For Slow Sales
Much like their American counterparts, buyers in Europe are going crazy for crossovers and SUVs. Although their Continental sensibilities sway them more toward compacts like the Ford EcoSport and Citroen C4 Cactus rather than our American-sized GMC Acadia and Honda Pilot, Europeans still find much to like in the high seating position and rugged image of a crossover SUV.
As such, and following in the footsteps of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Europe announced plans to refocus its attention on highly profitable vehicles like the aforementioned EcoSport, as well as the Ford Kuga (known here as the Escape) and Edge crossovers. In a press release, the company stated that its future product strategy would “add new vehicles and derivatives in segments with the highest growth and profit potential such as crossovers and SUVs, and [eliminate] less profitable vehicles over time.”
According to Autocar, one of those less profitable marques may be the sub-subcompact Ka city car. Positioned under the Fiesta, the Ka should make sense in the tight confines of London and Rome, but nevertheless, the company will center its efforts on new and revitalized SUVs.
Autocar suggests two more crossovers, which the magazine says will be based on the Fiesta and Focus, will join Ford EcoSport, Kuga, and Edge in the next few years. That’s a bit surprising, as the Kuga/Escape already shares a footprint and running gear with the Focus, and there’s not much segment room between the Kuga and slightly larger (but still five-seat) Edge. However, we do think there’s space in Ford’s stable for a sub-Kuga compact crossover, positioned above the EcoSport, and we’ll be watching Ford Europe carefully for any signs that such a vehicle would swim across the pond into American showrooms.
Ford Europe’s strategy and the rumors that are swirling around it smacks of the plan recently laid out by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). FCA chief Sergio Marchionne recently announced the company would channel resources into revitalizing its Jeep and Ram brands, showing less profitable products like the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 the door. Axing those sedans makes sense, thanks to their lethargic sales and tepid enthusiast response. Ford Europe’s tactics are a bit more surprising, however, given the company’s robust sales thanks to stalwarts like the long-running Fiesta, popular Mondeo, and evergreen Focus.
Source: Ford Europe, Autocar