This morning’s announcement by Ford of Europe that it intends to drop out of unprofitable market sectors to drive harder into the niches that make real money follows close on heels of a very similar plan unveiled by Fiat-Chrysler (FCA).

Last week FCA boss Marchionne revealed a new strategy that would see run-of-the-mill (and barely profitable) US-market saloons such as the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart dropped and factory space given over to RAM pick-ups and Jeep models, both of which are experiencing booming demand.

Ford of Europe boss Jim Farley didn’t say directly which models the brand would be dropping in Europe, but his future strategy was not dissimilar: more SUVs, more premium-trim Vignale models and a push on performance models, which already do pretty good business in Europe.

While this is sound business practice for the medium term, established car makers are also facing longer-term societal shifts. The move towards the market splitting between budget and premium or upmarket branding, which began over a decade ago, is the new norm.

For example, a whole generation of future car buyers have grown mixing budget clothes from Top Shop and pricey Apple iPhones. The middle market - although it still has traction with older buyers - has been buckling under the strain.