“We are very focused in orienting our portfolio with where consumers are going," he said. "Many buyers are moving into the utility space, but for us the key question is where buyers are going next."
When asked if these new cars would indirectly replace slow-selling D-segment models such as the Mondeo, Galaxy and S-Max, Rowley said the three models “remain part of our product portfolio for now. However, we need to adapt to the changing market”.
Alongside this announcement, Ford has released a status report of its European business strategy changes, which will result in three new ‘business groups’ - commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and imports - established. The organisational changes to implement this will come into force on 1 July.
The restructure will mean a substantial number of job losses, from factory worker level up to a managerial rethink. Ford employs around 53,000 people across its European operation, so the cuts represent a total of 22% of its workforce. Including Russia, around 12,000 jobs will be “impacted”, including 2000 salaried positions set to be axed. Around 3000 jobs will be “affected” in the UK from now until the end of 2020, including 1700 jobs at Bridgend.
This is made up of “agency employees, salary employees and management”, Rowley said. By the end of 2020, Ford will have 18 manufacturing facilities in Europe, as opposed to 24 at the start of this year.
The leaner structure and strategy rethink mean Rowley expects profitabiity for the second half of this year to “significantly improve” over the £315 million loss posted in Europe last year. The long-term goal is to achieve a margin of 6% on earnings before taxes and interest.
Rowley also claimed Ford is “on track to meet its obligations” with European Union emissions targets, with car makers facing huge fines if they can’t lower their fleet CO2 average by 25% before the end of 2020. Ford will achieve this by launching 16 electrified models, including eight by the end of this year.