Ford’s Test Fleet Shows It Really Is Giving Up On Passenger Cars

Automakers say things all the time. What really matters is what they do. And judging from these reader-submitted spy shots of what Ford is testing, it’s clearly serious about its intent to all but completely abandon passenger cars in favor of hotter-selling, taller vehicles.

Spotted in convoy running through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, our man-on-the-scene Brett sent us these photos of a handful of Dearborn’s crossovers, trucks, and vans.

Some are more obvious than others. Like the Explorer, Transit Connect, and F-Series trucks, spied completely undisguised in their current forms. But there are more full-size Transit vans and what appears to be the next-generation Escape/Kuga among them as well, all wrapped up in camouflage to keep them from our prying eyes.

They form part of a growing lineup of tall vehicles coming out of Dearborn these days, alongside the EcoSport, Edge, Flex, and Expedition. Soon there’ll be a new Bronco as well, and whatever Ford ultimately decides to call the project known until now as the Mach 1 – an electric performance crossover inspired by the Mustang pony car. And all that’s to say nothing of all the luxury crossovers that the Lincoln division is churning out and working on, like the MKC, MKT, Nautilus, Navigator, and the upcoming Aviator.

With erstwhile mainstay models like the Fusion and Focus vanishing from US showrooms, they’ll form the bulk of Ford’s offerings moving forward, with the performance-oriented Mustang and Ford GT standing among the last holdouts among passenger cars from the House That Hank Built.

more photos...
  • Marty

    My English seems to be failing me. A SUV or a crossover is still a passenger car, isn’t it?

    • Ilbirs

      Yes, but a passenger car designed for people too ashamed to be seen on a proper passenger car for reasons I don’t know why.

  • Socarboy

    Ford should look at history, automakers that gave up on cars didn’t live too long afterwards…first International Harvester…company was forced to dismantle in early 80s Then Isuzu…after dropping cars like the Impulse and taking on re-badged GM SUVs it didn’t survive for a few more years afterwards…so time will tell if Ford made the right move

    • 101st ASS

      Poor examples… Not very relevant.

    • Miknik

      I’d add Mitsubishi in as well….

      • Dennis Scipio

        They still have the Mirage in their line up, don’t count them just yet.

        • Miknik

          Dear me, how could I forget that marvel of engineering 😉

  • Liam Paul

    Right now this will work in fords favor but there will be another time when fuel prices rise so high, people will run away from suv’s and yea I know suvs get better mpg now but beside the none car gear heads, the general car buying public does not know that. I think Ford should have 2 sedans that would be ready to be sold right away in the USA if needed, having a backup never hurt.

  • Six_Tymes

    Go where the money is, if they don’t they sink, and that phrase doesn’t always mean sink and drowned. Obviously that’s the thinking, and to all who bash them for this move, quit assuming they are wrong on the bet, gamble or whatever you wish to call it. At this point “only time will tell” if they were right. They know more accurate information, so at this point i think they might be correct. Its sort of like, scale back and go lean with your business, and put full focus on what the majority of your customers want. Some times in business you have to do that, and maybe they know a trend or statistic we don’t. Kudos to Ford for making a bold business strategy move, before other did.

  • 101st ABN

    I think Ford’s decision is Flexellent!

  • Mike anonymous

    ALSO DID ANYONE ELSE SEE THE LINCOLN AVIATOR THERE…. (It actually has different body panels (mirrors, sheet-meal, headlights, etc) then the Ford model and shares basically nothing with the ford vehicle!).

    Now for some this may be a “whatever” moment,.. but for me (and those who know how I feel), this is BIG. Lincoln (Continental, MKZ, and MKC, aside) are making a vehicle that really does not (primarily) share the same components as a ford….

    I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me, but I am EXCITED. (also the Aviator is only in one picture btw)

  • charlotteharry57

    I hope and pray it’s a huge fail for Ford.

  • MarketAndChurch

    Okay, but what sedan should they have kept? And, perhaps more useful, what sedan should they have kept in place of an even more profitable suv that Ford intends to take its place?

    • Mike anonymous

      The Fusion. (The Fusion really has not seen many updates since the first time it was revealed back in 2011/2012). If they gave the vehicle the attention and care it deserved then I am sure it would be worth keeping around.

      I personally know a lot of people who own (the current generation) Fusion. They don’t really want a Camry, or Honda, or Chevy, (unless they plan on moving up-market with their next purchase) they just want a great sedan built by Ford.

      I would say to personally give the Fusion a full 100% redesign (inside and out). Understanding business, it would be smart for Ford (long term, not just to make profits quickly in the short term) to keep at least 1 mid or full-size sedan within their line-up.
      What they can do is lower the volume production of the Fusion, raise the price if needed by about few grand, and come out with an all new Fusion (opposed to slightly updating a nearly 10 year old vehicle).

      Seeking profits in the short term is almost never a smart decision for any company. If ford can create a great enough sedan (assuming they actually go ahead with a next generation Fusion), they would likely be able to steal much for the market from competitors in addition to a number of upgrades from current customers who are waiting on the next generation of the vehicle.

      …. also in a quick addition Ford has the Edge which starts in the early 30K’s & the Escape which is around the $24K price range. The Fusion sits around the Escape in terms of price, so they couldn’t really “replace” the Fusion. BUT if you do have another perspective or side on this I’d actually love to hear it.

  • MarketAndChurch

    Kia and Hyundai don’t sell many cars. Same with VW and Mazda. The only ones selling cars profitably is Honda and Toyota. Even if Ford brought out a new Focus, people will still buy Toyota and Honda, just like it doesn’t matter what Acura, Lincoln, Infinity, Buick, Cadillac, Genesis, Volvo, and Lexus bring out, people will still buy Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Porsche.

  • ThatGuy

    The cynic in me wonder if this will burst into flames as well.

  • Jason Haddad

    Ford is actually bringing back the Crown Victoria. Don’t believe the lies. It will come with a 2.7-liter inline-6, a 2.3-liter turbo inline-4, a 3.0-liter twincharged (turbocharged and supercharged) inline-6, while the ST gets a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 505 hp, and the GT gets either a 5.0 V8 with 560hp or a 7.0 V8 with 737hp. Top speed of the GT7 is 238+ mph

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