Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] will invest–and gamble–heavily on electrified vehicles in the next two years as it introduces new hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of its most popular vehicles, including the F-150 pickup, the Mustang sports car, and the Escape and Explorer crossover SUVs.
At the same time, Ford plans to introduce a series of new battery-electric vehicles that it hopes will get its buyers hooked on the electric plug. The first of six battery-electric vehicles due by 2022 will go on sale in 2020.
Executives confirmed a slew of new products coming by 2020 at a press conference in Dearborn, Michigan, on Thursday. Ford executives said the company will introduce four new truck and SUV nameplates and will refresh or replace three-quarters of its truck and SUV lineup by 2020.
Those launches include the new 2019 Ford Ranger and 2020 Ford Bronco, previously confirmed to join Ford’s family.
By 2020, Ford will sell a total of eight crossovers and SUVs. Five of those will be hybrids, one will be battery-electric.
As a result, Ford’s president of global markets Jim Farley said, by 2021, Ford hybrid sales will pass the global leader in hybrids. Toyota has long sold more hybrids under more nameplates than any other manufacturer, mostly behind the power of the Prius name.
Farley, a former Toyota executive before he was hired away by Ford, called hybrids “mostly niche products” that are now posed to break into the mainstream.
Toyota has sold more than 10 million electrified and hybrid vehicles worldwide since it launched its first Prius in the late 1990s. Today's hybrid and plug-in hybrid universe includes vehicles from the stalwart Toyota Prius, to the brand-new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid, to Ford's own C-Max family of Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrids.
Ford's upcoming small off-road crossover SUVEnlarge Photo
The incredible shrinking car
As Ford electrifies, it will reduce the number of passenger cars it sells as it harmonizes its global vehicle lineup around five platforms. The front-drive, rear-drive, and commercial-van families will have unibody architectures; a body-on-frame architecture will include vehicles such as the F-150 and Expedition/Navigator SUVs. The final architecture will underpin the range of six new battery-electric vehicles.
Ford said as it introduces new vehicles, its portfolio of cars will shrink to 14 percent of its sales from more than 20 percent today, while trucks and SUVs will account for 86 percent of all vehicles.
Ford includes future battery-electric vehicle sales in with its truck and SUV portfolio, which suggests its future battery-electric vehicles will all be classified as trucks by the NHTSA.
In addition to powertrain technology, Ford says each of these new vehicles will have 4G LTE connectivity available, and will offer over-the-air updates for software and data-driven features.
Ford also will introduce a bundle of safety gear that includes automatic emergency braking, automatic headlights, blind-spot monitors, active lane control along with the mandatory rearview camera. The cluster of technology will be called Co-Pilot360.