Ford to refocus its efforts on SUVs, electrified vehicles and connected services

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In recent months Ford's new CEO Jim Hackett has been reviewing Ford's product plans to look for areas of improvement.

"We've done lunch-and-learns where we have brought over powertrain engineers to the Ford engineering lab, where the electrification team works". Hackett also said that in the last seven years we've averaged a 6.1 percent margin but that is a minus.

Hackett, who as CEO of Steelcase led that company through a high-tech transformation, initially came to Ford to run its future-mobility subsidiary, Ford Smart Mobility LLC. Hackett traveled to Russian Federation and Turkey and visited North American plants and Ford's Silicon Valley research center as part of the review.

'The world's impression of Ford is that they are behind on a lot of these technologies, ' Emmanuel Rosner, an analyst with Guggenheim Partners, said in an interview. One of his first moves was to pare down the number of people reporting to him.

The $14 billion cost reduction would be acquired from $10 billion material cost and $4 billion from the decreased labor costs.

He declined to say how many new electric vehicles Ford expects to add in the future.

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It also plans to simplify what vehicles customers can order. Ford is reducing that to 96.

United States carmaker Ford Motor will move away from producing traditional cars in favour of trucks and SUVs, its new CEO has said. Ford plans to introduce 13 new electrics and hybrids over the next five years, including a small electric SUV coming in 2020.

"Ford also has plans to build the next-generation Focus for North America in China, saving capital investment and ongoing costs", it said. The automaker plans to cut some cars from its lineup, but didn't name them on Tuesday.

A current Ford Focus, for example, can be had in 360 different combinations of engines, transmissions, colors, trim lines and so on. The stock is up 1.7% this year, trailing Ford's US peers and the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index. A shift to e-vans and e-trucks in China would also fit with Ford's reckoning that a best play globally for electrification and autonomous driving might be in commercial and delivery vehicles - a part of the market where it is already strong in the United States and Europe. That will allow things like software updates or apps that help drivers find parking. "We try to manage everything, all aspects of the business under "One Ford", and that hobbled the company's ability to move quickly, costing market share.

Two of the world's largest auto companies announced major strides this week in their development of electric vehicles, marking the latest milestone in a significant shift towards EVs in the automobile industry.

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