The Ford Mustang is the Last Car Standing as Ford Cancels Chinese-Built Focus Active Over Trump’s Auto Tariffs
Ford decides to make the Focus in-Active in the U.S.by Sidd Dhimaan, on
Trump vs. Jinping is not turning out well for importers in the U.S. The latest car manufacturer to bear this brunt is the Blue Oval. Ford has canceled its plan to sell the China-built Focus Active in the States, thanks to the high-tax imposition on products imported from China. The result of this is that the Focus nameplate will become extinct by the end of next year Stateside. This makes the Mustang the last car standing in the company’s line-up.
What Does The Future Hold?
Ford has witnessed the untimely deaths of many of its sedans already and is now in the midst of cutting $25.5 billion in operating costs to prepare for the industry’s uncertain future. It is also spending $11 billion to restructure its global businesses.
Ford projects nearly 90-percent of its vehicles sold in North America to be SUVs, trucks, or commercial vehicles by 2020.
Previously, Ford had planned to ship the Focus Active from China to the U.S. by late 2019 for the 2020 model year, but the 25-percent import tariff would have lowered the automaker’s profits margins to a huge extent, declaring the car dead before arrival.
What They Had To Say?
"Given the negative financial impact of the new tariffs, we’ve decided not to import this vehicle from China," Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America, said Friday. "The significant thing that moved was the tariffs going up substantially higher. We’re choosing to deploy resources elsewhere."
An industry analyst for Cox Automotive, Karl Brauer, said, "Whatever Ford gets in brand recognition from the Focus might not have helped much attached to what's supposed to be a crossover or an SUV."
"With the transitory nature of the tariff situation, they may have been looking for an excuse to not sell (the Focus Active) in the U.S."
Although the product with hiked prices wouldn’t have contributed to the sales figures, dealerships were happy to have the car in their showrooms, since it filled the gap between the hatchbacks and crossovers pretty well. Sam Pack, a dealership owner, said, "We need products at an affordable price range, they’re very important for a lot of different reasons. But if Ford had brought in the Focus Active at the price range with those tariffs, it just would not have been affordable. There’s a strong lineup on the way, but it needs to do two things: we need to have the product that will fill the void from the cars that we’re losing, and then we have to have products that go beyond that and grow our share."
Given how the industry has moved from sedans to SUVs and Crossovers recently, the Active was supposed to be the company’s lone wolf in the sedan segment.
Despite witnessing a plunge of 15.3-percent in the U.S. in July, Focus sales amounted to 84,100 examples, which was a decent number considering the demand of the body-type.
Now, will Ford develop a new product to fill that void, or will it get some other sedans from other nations where it builds the cars, like India? Might very well be the former, but the bottom line is that the Mustang is the only one carrying the torch for Ford in the car segment. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Source: Detroit News