Ford held its annual shareholders’ meeting earlier today and, as expected, the company’s executives were grilled about plans to drop its entire sedan lineup in North America.
Automotive News reports Ford CEO Jim Hackett defended the move by saying the company isn’t killing them but rather “reinventing the American car.” He went on to say Ford will give consumers “what they’re telling us they really want.”
Ford’s car lineup will soon be reduced to the Mustang and Focus Active. However, the company has previously hinted at the possibility of other crossover-like vehicles as they are exploring “white space” models that “combine the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as higher ride height, space and versatility.”
Hackett seemed to expand on that earlier today as he said “We don’t want anyone to think we’re leaving anything. We’re just moving to a modern version.” He went on to say there is “an exciting new generation of vehicles coming from Ford.”
Interestingly, Hackett blamed the media for the negative reaction to the company’s decision to drop its sedan lineup. As he stated, “The headlines look like Ford’s retreating. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.”
This is ridiculous as Ford is abandoning the sedan segment where they offered mostly uncompetitive and slowing selling products. This decision could turn out to be a wise and profitable move but trying to play of it off as anything other than a retreat is mostly nonsense.
While a Lincoln spokesperson recently said the brand was “committed” to sedans, Hackett’s comments weren’t very reassuring. He briefly mentioned the Continental and said the model would continue to be offered “through its lifecycle.” However, he didn’t mention if there were plans for a next-generation model.