Ford’s Surge of New Vehicles Reflects Consumer Trends, Builds Toward Future of Smart Vehicles in a Smart World

by Jim Farley, President, Global Markets, Ford Motor Company

At Ford, we know our customers put a lot of faith in us. That’s something we appreciate, and we take that trust very seriously.

When we make changes here, we do so only after a lot of thought, research and careful consideration. So the changes we’re making now are dramatic — we’re replacing more than 75 percent of our lineup with smarter, more connected vehicles, and we intend to deliver these vehicles with improved speed and quality. At the same time, the average age of our vehicles will drop to just more than three years.

This is important, because we want our customers to find vehicles and services that fit their lifestyles, and we want to continue to earn their trust in every decision we make. By listening to our customers, we’ve determined what features and technologies they want and need.

We’ve heard consumers talk about simplifying their lives. We’ve watched the trends and heard how they are getting outdoors, finding time away, and enjoying authentic experiences with their family and friends. Listening to our customers and incorporating their feedback has always been a part of Ford’s DNA, and we plan to continue to work that way. Which is why you’ll soon be seeing more trucks and SUVs in our showrooms; in fact, they’ll be 86 percent of our volume.

Of course, F-Series, the best-selling truck in America for 41 years, represents the epitome of earning customer trust with our products.

Because our truck team is never satisfied, we keep making F-150 tougher, smarter and more capable; the new Power Stroke diesel that goes on sale this spring will set new levels of capability and efficiency in a half-ton diesel — including a targeted 30 mpg on the highway. 2019 will also see us bringing Ranger back to the midsize truck segment in North America, and a new F-Series Super Duty debut.

We’ve already set the foundation for our SUV growth with new entries on both ends of the market — our all-new subcompact EcoSport and all-new full-size Expedition. Both are strong sellers already, which reinforces for us that these are the vehicles our customers have been looking for.

But we’re not stopping there.

We’re adding a lineup of true off-road SUVs that allow people to get out there and really use their vehicle for its intended purpose. Not too spartan and not too menacing, our new SUVs are amazing — inspired by the incredibly popular F-150 Raptor, which, incidentally, outsold the entire Porsche car lineup in the U.S. last year. Raptor is comfortable running at high speeds both off-road in the sand and on the road to your next destination.

We’re starting with an all-new small off-roader, which will join our highly anticipated Bronco, a versatile vehicle with maximum all-terrain capability in 2020. We’re also adding a new line of on-road SUV performance models, starting with our recently introduced new Edge ST. Next is an Explorer ST — and there will be more.

It’s all about choice, after all — making sure our customers have what they want when they want it. That’s why we’re moving forward on our hybrid and battery electric strategy at the same time. The foundation for this strategy is to bring hybrid powertrains to our most iconic nameplates and our highest-volume vehicles.

For Mustang, we’ll amp things up by delivering V8-like performance from a hybrid powertrain. A hybrid powertrain will also add capability for F-Series with more low-end pulling power, along with the added benefit of serving as a mobile generator.

As for our utilities, it’s all about maximizing capability, while serving as a hedge against higher gas prices. Every time we launch a utility in North America, we plan to add a companion hybrid to the lineup — regular, plug-in or both. It’s our way of bringing more excitement and emotion to electrified vehicles, offering our customers products that don’t compromise on style, room, capability or range.

Ford’s new hybrid system is both more efficient and less expensive than previous generations. Lower costs — achieved through new technology — mean a lower cost of ownership for our customers and a better experience overall.

So many changes have been happening behind the scenes at Ford, and I’m incredibly excited we’re finally able to start unveiling them. It’s going to be an amazing ride.