Ford Motor Company sent shockwaves through the automotive industry on Wednesday when it announced it would be axing most of its small and midsize auto lineup in North America, leaving just the venerable Ford Mustang, a new raised hatchback called the Focus Active, and a whole lot of crossovers and pickup trucks.
Most likely, sedans Lincoln will also disappear, although it is not explicitly stated.
The cuts will take place over the next few years, Ford said.
Ford's decision makes Fiat Chrysler's move in 2016 to ax two of its sedansappear tame. Ford delivered increased revenue, up 7 percent year over year, and net income of $1.7 billion, up 9 percent year over year, more than explained by a lower tax rate.
Ford sold 33,000 Taurus in the U.S.in 2017, excluding a version of the Taurus sold as a Ford Police Interceptor Sedan (with both models combined, it sold 41,000).
"We're going to feed the healthy part of our business and deal decisively with areas that destroy value", Hackett said on an earnings call Wednesday.
Ford made $1.74 billion from January through March, or 43 cents per share, compared with $1.59 billion, or 40 cents per share a year ago.
"Everything will be on the table" to fix the company, CFO Bob Shanks told reporters on Wednesday at the company's headquarters in Dearborn. The automaker has been under pressure from investors to improve its product lineup and lift its profit margins.
Edmunds.com analyst, Jessica Caldwell says that while Ford may be making a good choice by focusing on its best sellers like the trucks and SUVs, but it is also taking a huge risk by alienating its sedan customer base and giving away market share in that segment.
On Wednesday the automaker confirmed rumors that it will phase out traditional sedan vehicles in North America over the next few years and shift focus on SUVs and trucks.
The Ford Taurus, introduced in 1986, was the best-selling vehicle in the United States from 1992 to 1996. Ford stock rose almost 3 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday to $11.40.
Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at AutoTrader.com, said Ford's move is no shock. "But most people aren't expecting it until late 2019 or 2020 and that brings up the wild card of, 'Will we be in a recession by then?'"
"The hand-wringing that has been around in our business is gone", he said.
"We're starting to understand what we need to do and making clear decisions there", Hackett said.