Could the Fiesta make a comeback?
Change is in the air at Ford and it involves more than key model launches such as the return of the Ford Bronco and the announcement of the all-new F-150. Following the stepping down of Jim Hackett as CEO back in August, the new CEO Jim Farley has outlined some of the leadership changes and hinted at some interesting developments to come within the manufacturer's lineup of cars.
Farley said that Ford will move with "urgency" to reduce costs, restructure underperforming businesses, and improve quality. Intriguingly, it was announced that Ford would be adding more affordable vehicles to its lineup, both globally and in the US.
Currently, the cheapest vehicle that Ford sells in North America is the EcoSport which starts at just under $20,000. This comes after the discontinuation of passenger cars such as the Fiesta and Focus during Hackett's tenure. With Farley at the helm, could we see the return of these nameplates in the near future? The latest Ford Puma is a stylish subcompact crossover that could also potentially appear in the US.
"During the last three years, under Jim Hackett's leadership, we have made meaningful progress and opened the door to becoming a vibrant, profitably growing company," said Farley. "Now it's time to charge through that door." Other goals for Farley include the release of technology and software that distinguishes Ford from the competition, increasing diversity across the company, and forging ahead with autonomous vehicles.
The company will be targeting adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of eight percent of revenue. Among the other high-profile new appointments include John Lawler to the position of CFO, who had a recent stint as CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles. Jeff Lemmer, Ford's chief information officer, will retire on January 1 2021, with his successor to be announced soon.
Fawley spoke of the company's goals as a means to "earn customers for life through great products and a rewarding ownership experience." It remains to be seen how far Ford is willing to stray from its current truck- and SUV-heavy lineup.