But it will mean less choice for the consumer.
Ford is currently in the process of simplifying its model lineup, beginning with a tunnel vision focus on trucks and SUVs. The shift is already paying off, as the company's SUVs and trucks have far outsold its passenger cars. As Ford continues to find ways to maximize profits, it will continue to revise its lineup. Cutting out all passenger cars except for the Mustang was a good start, though the company's next move will have to be more subtle.
If an automaker can cut even a few dollars from the cost of building a car, it can save millions across a model production. According to Automotive News, Ford is currently in the process of simplifying several of its models in order to maximize profits.
The Ford Explorer's mirrors are a great example of this cost-cutting. For the 2020 model year, Ford has reduced the number of different mirror options on the Explorer from 139 to 25. Ford has done this by making blind-spot monitoring standard on every model and only using black mirror caps instead of matching them to the exterior color. This little change alone is enough to make a big difference for Ford's profits. Ford made a similar commitment to simplify its model lineup back in 2009, though the company quickly regressed when it launched a record 23 new or updated vehicles in 2014, including a new Mustang and F-150.
Other changes as part of this simplification plan include cutting the orderable configurations of the Fusion from 2,000 down to just 30. This change alone has lowered the delivery time of the Fusion from 80 days down to 30. The company is currently conducting the same process with the Escape, lowering the orderable configurations from 1,000 down to 25. "We're going part by part and product by product to attack all this complexity in the business," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations.
These changes may be small but they will make a huge difference for Ford's bottom line over the next few years.