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End of days for Ford Fiesta and Taurus

End of days for Ford Fiesta and Taurus

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I have spoken before about the increasing trend towards crossovers and the potential end of the car. Ford, according to the Wall Street Journal at least, are moving ever closer to that reality. According to a recent report from WSJ, Ford are ending production of the Fiesta and Taurus in North America.

The piece here, says that Ford and other automakers are stepping away from slower selling cars and towards better selling trucks and crossovers. That both crossovers and trucks have a much higher markup than cars is a happy coincidence for automakers.

However, the Fiesta and Taurus are decent cars. There are a lot of Fiestas in our cities and the Taurus is a fleet favourite across this continent. Both are going to be missed by some drivers at least. Other countries in the world will retain the Fiesta for now and their version of the Taurus, (Mondeo in Europe) will also remain.

Ford isn’t the only automaker moving in this direction. Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, Fiat and others are all reportedly looking to reduce car production and axe less popular models. The same WSJ piece said the Chevy Sonic and perhaps even the Volt are for the axe too.

Market forces
Automakers are under pressure to maintain growth and sales and axing slow selling models is an answer to that. As a result, we as the consumer will end up with less choice and fewer options. While automakers are keeping up with demand and demand certainly seems to be with crossovers and SUVs, what about all those that don’t want a big car?

What about new drivers? What about drivers who are not confident in driving a larger vehicle? What about those who don’t like the SUV profile? They must be in the minority right now as sales figures clearly show crossovers and SUVs are where it’s at. But that isn’t the point.

With domestic automakers shifting from cars and narrowing their focus, it opens the market to imports to fill the gap. We know that Kia and Nissan both produce top class sedans and hatchbacks and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Does this mean people who want a car shift from domestic makes to imports? While Canada certainly doesn’t want to go the way of the US with a trade war, we do want to protect our domestic manufacturing base as much as possible. If all they make are crossovers and SUVs, we may not have that option.

There is no right answer to this one. Consumer demand obviously favours crossovers and SUVs, so automakers are concentrating on them. If we aren’t buying cars, manufacturers aren’t going to make them. Ford is not the only manufacturer to contemplate ditching models and many others are likely to follow. This will inevitably result in less choice and fewer options in the future. I do not think this is the way the industry should be going.

What do you think the future holds for cars?

Categories: News