Ford will kill its entire lineup of passenger cars in North America, but ahead of each model’s death, the automaker has officially ended national advertising campaigns.
Automotive News (subscription required) reported Tier 1 (national) advertising has ceased for the Ford Taurus, Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta. The Taurus, Focus and Fiesta models will die off in 2019, while the Fusion hangs around for a few more years.
Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service, said the marketing funds will be funneled to support Ford’s lineup of crossovers and SUVs, such as the new EcoSport, and the Ford Mustang.
“If we can take that money from sedans, where we have a middle-of-the-road position, to be the leading brand in SUVs, that’d be a really good position,” he said.
The Blue Oval was prepared to export the Ford Focus Active model from China to the United States to carry on the Focus nameplate in the country, but ultimately killed the car as both countries escalate their trade war. Ford said it would not entertain the option of building the car in the U.S.
As Ford waves goodbye to its passenger car portfolio, Chevrolet can certainly take advantage. The brand has gone on the record to declare it has no plans to scale back its passenger car portfolio in a way similar to Ford, though the Chevrolet Sonic is reportedly on the chopping block. Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s marketing director for cars and crossovers said the brand plans to invest in every segment from sub-compact to full-size, which appeared to breathe life into the Chevrolet Impala.
“As other people are making noise about leaving the car business or thrifting back their portfolio, there’s still business to be had there. It’s just going about the business in a smart fashion,” Majoros said in a report last month.
GM CEO Mary Barra also backed up the automaker’s position on sedans and passenger cars earlier this year. However, she appeared to contradict Majoros when she said, “we need to deploy little-to-no capital as we move forward.”