Alan Mulally, President and CEO of FoMoCo, told an audience of business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry in London today that Ford is looking to downsize its current lineup to 20-25 models in an attempt to "simplify" and build better cars.
It seems to make sense; instead of spreading yourself too thin and trying to be everything to everyone at the cost of quality, spend more of your resources on fewer models to ensure a well put-together product.
Clearly addressing the euthanization of Mercury and its badge-engineered wonders (as well as parting out Ford's Premier Automotive Group), Ford CEO Alan Mulally said:
"When I arrived, it was absolutely clear that we had to simplify Ford dramatically...Fewer brands means you can put more focus into improving the quality of engineering."
For the record, Mulally came into a FoMoCo that had ninety-seven (97!) models in 2006. Thanks to cutting back models and standardizing components, Ford has helped bring down the cost of multi-market cars like the Fiesta (65% of which is standardized parts).
With Volvo's sale - at a huge loss - to Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ford's golden child already is now making sure those wasted Mercury funds are allocated properly (i.e. to Lincoln and its non-cohesiveproduct range). What's next?
Mulally says, "The key thing now is to keep the economy going. All the fundamentals say that we are moving in the right direction."
I'll believe that when Lincoln is a true-blue luxury brand once more.
By Phil Alex