Ford's Product Strategy: New F-150's total performance upgraded
Enhancing high performance car and Lincoln brand to target 300,000 unit sales
Ford's GT Supercar slated to be launched in 2016
This report summarizes product strategy by Ford Motor Company, which is forging ahead with enhancing its light trucks and high-performance cars, as well as strengthening the Lincoln brand.
The percentage of light trucks sold by Ford, in relation to its total sales volume, has always been high. It has exceeded 66% every year since 2011. Ford is working to increase its profitable light-truck range even further, riding on the tailwind of the recovering U.S. economy and lower oil prices.
The all-new F-150 launched in the fall of 2014 is the first mass-market pickup truck with an aluminum-alloy body, which improves fuel economy. In addition, its stronger steel frame contains more high-strength steel, which enables the F-150 to tow even heavier loads. Ford plans to incorporate these latest technological advances also into its next-generation Super Duty series as well as large sports utility vehicles (SUVs) such as the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.
Ford is considering reviving the Ranger midsize pickup truck that it discontinued in North America in 2012, as well as launching a new body-on-frame SUV based on the Ranger platform. These models will presumably be produced at its Michigan Assembly Plant, which underwent a considerable amount of renovation just a few years ago to switch from building the F-150 and other light trucks in order to build small, fuel-efficient cars such as the Focus and the C-Max. If Ford moves ahead with its latest plan to again build light trucks at the plant, the plant will once more need to be revamped accordingly.
Ford plans to offer 12 new high-performance cars between 2015 and 2020, in order to enhance its brand image and increase its profits. In 2015 and 2016, it will launch the Mustang Shelby GT350, Focus RS, Ford GT, and the high-performance F-150 Raptor.
Although Ford has basically neglected the Lincoln brand for 20 years, it plans to invest USD 2.5 billion (USD 5 billion including spending on engineering, advertising and other sales-related expenses for Lincoln) in the coming five years to significantly strengthen the Lincoln-brand model lineup. In 2016, it plans to revive the Lincoln-brand, large-sized flagship luxury sedan, the Continental. Ford launched the Lincoln brand in China in 2014, anticipating sales growth there. Ford announced that by 2020 it plans to sell 300,000 Lincoln vehicles globally, which is triple the number it sold globally in 2014.
Aggressive new car launches these past two years, including the launches of the F-150, Mustang and Edge, succeeded in setting new business performance records for Ford in the second quarter of 2015. Ford reported its highest quarterly profit in 15 years, with a pre-tax profit of USD 2.9 billion and net income of USD 1.9 billion.
Related report: Ford：Continued growth due to North American market recovery (Jul 2014)