Ford accelerates cost-cutting plan, will drop most U.S. sedans

Ford seeks to accelerate profit margins, drop less popular models

Ford didn't quite get out of the auto business when it released its first-quarter earnings Wednesday, but it did take a few steps closer to selling nearly nothing but sport- or crossover-utilities, pickup trucks and commercial vehicles.

To date, the company has been testing its self-driving technology on its Fusion sedan cars, but Ford told Quartz that it plans to develop an entirely new vehicle, unlike anything it's released to date, for when it starts producing autonomous vehicles for consumers-which the company says it'll be ready to do in 2021.

Ford stock rose almost 3 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday to $11.40.

President Donald Trump's announcement to impose a tariff of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum comes at a tough time for US automakers, which have faced flattening sales in recent months. "We're going to feed the healthy part of our business", and dispose of marginal operations, Hackett added. The company will still produce a range of SUVs and trucks, including the Escape, Explorer, Bronco, and F-150-the best-selling truck model in the US. "We are driven to turn this business around".

The move is bad news for sedans, but good news for trucks and crossovers.

These are some of the most common options if you rent a full-size vehicle at a USA airport location: 2018 Ford Fusion.

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"Everything is on the table", Shanks said in a statement to The Detroit News. "We can make different investments, we can partner, we can exit products, markets - and we will do that".

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

Automotive segment revenues totaled $39 billion for the quarter, up by $2.5 billion year over year but automotive pre-tax margin slipped by 1.1 percentage points to 7.8%.

He said the company will cut $5 billion from capital spending from 2019 to 2022, reducing it from $34 billion to $29 billion. It lost $149 million in South America, 37 percent less than in the first quarter of 2017, and earned $119 million in Europe, down 43 percent. The entire team is focused on improving the operational fitness of our business, as well as meeting and exceeding our accelerated 2020 target of 8 percent margin and ROIC in the high teens.

The company's loss in its Asia Pacific region was driven by slumping sales in China, where Ford has just begun to introduce new models.

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