Ahead of Ford sending its passenger cars out to pasture, the automaker has ended national advertising for the Ford Taurus, Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta models.
(subscription required) reported Wednesday that Tier 1 (national) marketing efforts for the models has finished. Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service, backed up the move and said the budget will be reallocated to vehicles such as the EcoSport subcompact crossover SUV and Mustang sports car. In the future, the funds will be used for a slew of new SUVs and crossovers heading to North American showrooms. “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,” he said.
Regional and local spending will continue for the models on smaller levels, though Ford has already dialed back regional spending for car advertising, too.
Ford made the shocking decision to cull its car lineup this past April and announced only the Mustang and Focus Active would remain. The Focus Active is a crossover-like version of the next-generation Focus family. However, an escalating trade war between China and the United States has now killed the Focus Active as well. The model was to be produced in China and exported to the U.S. and its death spells the end of the Focus name in the country.
The automaker has already ceased production of the current North American Focus, and both Taurus and Fiesta production will end by mid-2019. The Fusion will soldier on for two more years, and the latest rumors peg a Subaru Outback-esque replacement for the traditional mid-size sedan.
In explaining the passenger car pruning, executives expect to save $25.5 billion by 2022 from cost cutting, up from an estimated $14 billion previously. Of course, that doesn’t take into account any money Ford may have made on the vehicles. Instead of cars, North Americans will see new vehicles like the forthcoming Ranger pickup, reborn Bronco, a “baby Bronco” crossover, and an electric crossover SUV with an estimated 300-mile range.