Ford is phasing out classics such as the Fiesta or Focus and concentrating entirely on new character actors: adventurers, outdoorsmen and wild performers should characterize the portfolio in the future. Motorprofis.at explains the transformation in detail: what innovations are coming, when and how they will look, which Americans will be imported and which Europeans will be redesigned, how the drives will continue and why the dealers are also repositioning themselves.
13.12.2022Photos: Plant, FOTObyHOFER / Christian Hofer
Why is Ford repositioning itself in Europe?
Because it is necessary. Although classics like Fiesta and Focus are good cars, you can’t make much money from them (anymore): VW and Stellanis combine a lot of brands and thus have synergy effects that are difficult to counter with smaller quantities. Ford reacted drastically and withdrew completely from the classic European volume segments: the Fiesta expired in 2023, the Focus in 2025. The Mondeo was already discontinued in 2022.
What is the future plan?
Ford is completely repositioning itself in Europe and pushing for sharper vehicles. The portfolio must consist of character actors more influenced by the American lifestyle than by the European mainstream: freedom, adventure and outdoors are the key words, a new “Adventurous Spirit” must change the face of the brand – style direction Patagonia and North Face . From a car perspective, Land Rover and Jeep come to mind, but there will still be sports models similar to Toyota.
What technology will Ford use in Europe in the future?
Because separate model developments for Europe are no longer economically viable, Ford is going in two new directions in the future: On the one hand, you get car platforms from VW (and in turn build Wolfsburg’s commercial vehicles), on which your own vehicles are built. On the other hand, more cars from the American portfolio are imported to Europe, but if they are successful, they will also be built here. Ford maintains its factories in Germany (Cologne), Romania (Craiova), Spain (Valencia) and Turkey (Kocaeli).
What does the model family of the future look like and which innovations will come when?
The sporty pickup Ranger Raptor will hit the market in 2022, additional variants of the new Ranger generation such as Limited and Wildtrak will follow during 2023. The angular Bronco off-road vehicle, which will be launched in the fall of 2023 (possibly even a little earlier). The electric mega pick-up F-150 Lightning with a curb weight of three tons, a length of 5.91 meters and a 131 kWh battery is also explicitly wanted in Europe – but the latest symbol of the American “anything goes” is so popular in the States (over 100,000 pieces the first year!) that Europe will have to wait a little longer.
The well-known SUVs remain mainstays in the range: the Kuga is well positioned in the medium term with its plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and the Puma with its electric drive (BEV), which will be available from the end of 2023 also on longer term. In the luxury SUV class, Ford relies on the Explorer, which is just over five meters long.
One can be excited about the two fully electric models, both based on the modular electric drive system (MEB) from Volkswagen, built in Cologne and specially reserved for Europe: Ford promises that these innovations will only take over the vehicle platform from Volkswagen, but becomes completely independent – and cool – outside and inside. A mid-size MEB-based crossover with a range of up to 500 kilometers will be available in mid-2023, followed by a larger SUV in 2024.
The performance department continues to have a permanent place at Ford: electric in the form of the Mustang Mach-E and the wild Mach-E GT. But also classic with the new, seventh Mustang sports car generation from autumn 2023.
As the leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Europe, Ford will continue to introduce practical derivative products to the passenger car market: a compact multi-purpose vehicle is, for example, the Tourneo Courier, whose new generation comes with an internal combustion engine at the end of 2023 and then with an electric drive in 2024. The Tourneo Custom MPV, on the other hand, will start electric in mid-2023 and deliver the combustion engines later.
What design can be expected in the future?
Some models already show pretty well the direction things are going optically: the cars with an outdoor orientation will be more angular and distinctive (like the Bronco), but at least they will be close to nature and rugged (like the Explorer). The sporty crossover look of the Mustang Mach-E is predestined for the performance-oriented models.
What drives does Ford rely on?
From 2026, there will be plug-in hybrids (PHEV) or electric drives (BEV) for every car model – plus full hybrids (HEV) and normal petrol or diesel engines. As with all brands, however, the combustion engine variants are being phased out, and from 2030 there will only be pure electric car models from Ford in Europe.
What is changing at the retailers?
some. Alongside the brand’s image change, the retailers should also become cooler – with a natural look, outdoor kitchens and much more. In addition, Ford switches to a so-called agency model: the customer then buys directly from the manufacturer, the car dealer handles the transaction and receives a commission. The prices are standardized across the country.
That classics like the Fiesta and Focus are being phased out is a shame for European customers – they have always been a bit sportier than their direct competitors. Ford is repositioning itself: with models that are based on VW technology but look very different. And with recreational vehicles from the American portfolio that could later also be produced locally – a European-made electric Bronco as a vision of the future, why not? It remains to be seen whether the image change to a cool car brand will succeed in Europe – one thing is certain: Ford will soon become another brand.
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