Ford drops auto lineup to only 2 models

New Ford Focus ST to get RS engine?

Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will stop investing in sedans in North America, bowing to US drivers' seemingly never-ending zest for crossovers and pickup trucks.

The Ford Fiesta, Fusion, Taurus and most Focus sedans all will die as their current generations play out. The 9% increase in quarterly profit can be nearly entirely attributed to a drop in the automaker's effective tax rate to 9% from 28.6%, Ford officials said. Ford's automotive revenue increased to $39 billion, exceeding the average projection for $37.2 billion in a Bloomberg survey.

Company officials said the shift was based on declining demand and profitability, but Ford reported $1.7 billion in profit for the first quarter in 2018 - a 9 percent increase compared to the same period previous year.

Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told reporters it is too early to say whether the additional cuts and "efficiency opportunities" would result in layoffs or staffing reductions.

The No. 2 automaker in the US said it is now planning to cut up to $25.5 billion by 2022 in costs, which is up from its previously announced amount of $14 billion last fall. As part of the move, Ford will be phasing out sales of traditional sedans and hatchbacks in the North American market.

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Ford, backing up its promise to double-down on trucks and SUVs, is killing the Fiesta subcompact, Fusion midsize sedan, Taurus large sedan and C-Max van in the US, it announced Wednesday. By 2020, Ford says 90 percent of its portfolio in North America will be trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles.

Ford is making choices because of the amount of money that it plans to spend on new powertrains and electrification to meet fuel-economy and carbon-dioxide targets, as well as to invest in future mobility businesses and technology, including autonomous cars. Europe was the only other region to turn a profit for Ford.

The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt and the 1968 Mustang from the movie "Bullitt" are shown at the North American International Auto Show on January 15, 2018.

The deep cuts to Ford's auto lineup are part of the company's goal of creating "a winning portfolio and focusing on products and markets where Ford can win", the company said. The company plans to have refreshed 51 percent of its vehicles by the end of 2019 in a process that began in 2017, and it boasted of 11 launches in 2018.

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