Ford sells more full size trucks than any other company, and it has been doing so for a long time. The most popular full size pickup in North America is the F150, and for good reason. Ford has made other models that sold well. The Ford Ranger was quite popular for some time. However, the Ranger is being retired after 2011. Also retiring is the only other light truck made by Ford, the Sport Trac. All trucks under the Ford banner except the F series are being discontinued.
Sport Trac is no more
After the end of October, 2010, Ford won’t make another Sport Trac, according to the Courier-Journal. The model is being retired, after performing dismally the last few years. Like just about any vehicle, there is a cult following for it. However, that following just isn’t enough to justify continuing to make them. After holding steady at 60,000 units sold from 2000 to 2005, sales have kept dropping. Fewer than 6,000 have sold so far this year. Small trucks are a declining market segment, making up only 2 percent of all auto sales. It will cost Ford more to keep making Sport Trac and Ranger models than it will to emphasize the F150.
Ford cleaning house
Ford, just like GM, is trimming away the fat. The automaker is getting rid of models and brands that aren’t selling. Ford is paring down the models the company makes by a lot. According to Automotive News, the company is trimming the lineup to fewer than 30 vehicles. Ford offered as many as 97 as recently as 2006. Ford has sold off underperforming brands such as Aston Martin, Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar. Also, Ford is closing one of its longest running brands. Earlier this year, the end of Mercury was announced.
Keep it simple
Ford is also actively paring down its current roster. Ford is also redesigning vehicles to share more parts. Take the Fiesta, which has 10 variations offered worldwide. About 65 percent of the parts of that car are shared with other vehicles. Ford believes the turbo V6 in the new F150 will appeal to more people.
Courier Journal: http://courier-journal.com/article/20100925/BUSINESS/309260013/1008/NEWS01/Ford+to+end+Sport+Trac+production+in+December
Auto News: http://autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100927/OEM04/100929868/1257
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