Ford motor company plans to phase out all cars except the mustang. Talk about bad timing. I’ve been plotting a replacement for my venerable Ford Taurus for several weeks. I love the car but the palliative care costs are getting expensive. With 275,000 miles (442,570km) indicated on the odometer, the Taurus has served me well for 17 years but it may be time for a replacement.
With this in mind, I recently auditioned several cars to help me make my decision. I, apparently unlike the rest of the world, would prefer a sedan. Who knew I was the only one? I drove the Honda Accord Sport, the Hyundai Sonata Sport, and the Toyota Camry. I liked the Camry the best. That is until I wandered into the Brondes Ford dealership in Toledo, Ohio. For a guy comfortable with big numbers, Brondes spoke my language: 62 years of business experience and over 1,000,000 cars sold or serviced.
And boy did they! There it was, a heavily-discounted 2018 silver and black Ford Fusion SE with 2,242 miles on it, will a full warranty and a new car smell. Despite it’s minuscule 1.5L engine and modest array of bells and whistles, it was, by far, excluding my Taurus, my favorite sedan. I decided immediately that if I replaced the Taurus it would be with a Ford Fusion. God bless America!
The next day I read that Ford was “phasing out all cars except for the Mustang” as early as 2020! What?! Good bye Fusion? Good bye Taurus? Now I want Ford Motor Company to thrive and in order to do so it must win. Apparently they are not winning in the sedan segment so they are quitting so it can focus on trucks and SUVs. Ford’s goal is to create “a winning portfolio and focusing on products and markets where Ford can win.” Crushing to me as a consumer but I suppose I would make the same decision if I was Ford, but what a disappointment.
Will I buy a sedan from Ford knowing that they are divesting from this market segment and will no longer produce cars such as the Fusion and the Taurus? I find it hard to do so and so my search for a successor to my Taurus must resume. The Fusion is still on the list but no longer in the “winning“ position. Instead it is likely to be at the end of the line behind the Toyota, the Honda, and the Hyundai.
Ford’s decision is a symptom not the cause. A closer look reveals the real culprit responsible for the demise of Ford’s sedan production is low demand. And the cause of this low demand? Trucks and SUVs. And for this I can only blame Clark W. Griswold. After all, he purchased the Wagon Queen Family Truckster - a station wagon and forerunner to the SUV - beginning a national trend away from sedans. Thanks Clark, you killed the sedan.