We’ve been hearing about it for a while, but it seems the breakup is now imminent: America has fallen out of love with the sedan.
It’s not you, sedan. It’s us! There was a time when this worked, but we’ve just changed over the years and as gas prices have slumped, so has our interest in practical fuel economy and a smaller profile.
Automakers have been responding to this trend for years, with many ramping up the business end of their portfolios with additional trucks, SUVs and crossovers.
Nonetheless, the announcement from Ford this week still felt like the ripping of a band-aid: the carmaker said it would be dropping all but two of its passenger cars from dealerships in North America within the next four years.*
So which made the cut? Ford thinks there’s still a market for the cult-favorite muscle car – the Mustang. As for the other – it’s one you’ve never even heard of: the “Ford Focus Active” which is a newly launching model described as a “crossover-like hatchback.”
That means Ford’s iconic Ford Taurus will all but disappear from this continent, along with the Fusion and the Fiesta. Car & Driver is calling this “by far, the most dramatic production change for the 115 year old company since Henry Ford adopted the assembly line.”
So what will this mean for Ford’s manufacturing employees? Company executives, after just posting strong Q1 earnings, spoke to reporters on the company’s highly publicized cost cutting strategy. When asked whether headcount would be reduced, CFO Bob Shanks wouldn’t say yes or no, but did admit that nothing is off the table at this time.
*Editor's Note: This was updated to reflect that Ford's timeline of cutting the models will be within four years, not two years as originally stated by IEN.