Ford will focus on growing utility lineup to fund future electric vehicles and autonomy projects.
Ford hosted a number of media outlets, including CarBuzz, at an event it dubbed "Ford Uncovered" where it provided the best look yet of what to expect from both of the company's brands over the next 24 months. The plan going forward includes more SUVs—one which was a complete surprise—and more hybrids as Ford looks to shore up the financial ship. Ford previewed a number of models to gathered journalists, including forthcoming redesigned versions of the Escape, Explorer, a new Explorer ST, Bronco, and an as-yet-unnamed off-road model.
During prepared remarks, Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets, said the new "small SUV … is purpose built for getting off the highway and delivers the performance that matches its looks." Lincoln will also see the addition of two new SUVs before 2020, the first being the new Aviator later this month in New York. Those launches will be followed by four more new or redesigned SUVs that are "just around the corner," said Farley. Electrification will be a big part of Ford's SUV plans, too. Going forward, Farley told gathered media to expect a hybrid model of each and every utility going forward. Once Ford is finished its transformation, "trucks and SUVS are going to be almost 90 percent of our volume," Farley exclaimed.
In the nearer term, Ford will release its next iteration of the Mustang Shelby GT500, which the company billed as the most powerful street-legal production Ford ever built with over 700 horsepower. Ford also announced the introduction of Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of advanced safety features—automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, backup camera, and auto high beams—that it will roll out on nearly all its models by 2020. The redesigned 2019 Ford Edge and Edge ST will be the first models to receive the suite.