If there was still any of hope that Ford’s car models would somehow survive the commitment to turn exclusively to trucks, crossovers, and SUVs, that spark has been extinguished. The company confirmed Wednesday that it will be stopping national advertising for all its car models.
Speaking to Automotive News, Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service added some reasoning behind the move.
“It allows us to focus our resources,” he said in an interview. “If we can take that money from sedans, where we have a middle-of-the-road position, to be the leading brand in SUVs, that’d be a really good position.” LaNeve went on to add: “We clearly have the right strategy.”
The blue oval stopped production of the Focus in America this summer, and will cut off the Fiesta and Taurus by the middle of next year, so putting a stop to national ad campaigns for those models is a reasonable move.
However, the Fusion sedan is slated to be built into the 2020 model year, and is likely to suffer in the sales department even further without the help of advertising to move models off dealer lots, placing the burden entirely on the nationwide dealership network.
While there were initially plans to bring a Chinese-built version of the next-generation Focus wagon with a raised ride height to pass as an SUV, those plans have been derailed in part by President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China.