Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday (Aug. 9) that it’s picking up the pace of new vehicle launches, responding to a sharp drop-off in sales of larger SUVs and trucks.
CBS MarketWatch reported that Ford’s focus on smaller cars and crossover SUVs is in response to a “tectonic” shift toward customers – Baby Boomers specifically – downsizing their vehicles to cope with hefty prices at the pump.
“We as an industry can’t sit back and complain about these changes,” said Mark Fields, the man in charge of turning around Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford’s key North American market. “We have to act on them – and quickly.”
He made the remarks during a Center for Automotive Research gathering in Traverse City, Mich.
Fields said that Ford, which has depended heavily on sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks during a time when gas prices have crippled demand, will invest up to $1 billion that would be dedicated to making factories more efficient and developing hybrid vehicles.
As part of Ford’s pledge to bring more vehicles to market, nine new products are slated to roll into dealer lots and showrooms over the next six months, including the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX crossovers – part of an increasingly popular segment aimed at bridging the gap between fuel-efficient cars and bigger, roomier SUVs.