Ford has announced that it will no longer sell cars, except for the Mustang and Focus Active, in North America. And by cars, we mean sedans, hatchbacks, coupes, and convertibles — basically anything that isn’t a crossover, SUV or truck.
The latest Taurus, Focus sedan and Fusion will not be replaced after their current production run comes to an end. Once they are gone, 90 percent of Ford’s sales will come from trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles by 2020.
Just two car models, the Mustang and the Focus Active crossover, will live on. The former is the most popular sports coupe in the world, while the latter is crossover-esque enough to warrant its continuation.
Jim Hackett, president and CEO, stated:
“We are committed to taking the appropriate actions to drive profitable growth and maximize the returns of our business over the long term. Where we can raise the returns of underperforming parts of our business by making them more fit, we will. If appropriate returns are not on the horizon, we will shift that capital to where we can play and win.”
Ford says it is looking at new “white space” vehicles that could combine the best attributes of cars and SUVs. It will reallocate the spared resources to its ambitious electrification initiative, which will see models like the F-150, Mustang, Explorer, Escape, and new Bronco all receiving hybrid powertrains variants in the near future, as well as the introduction of an all-electric SUV in 2020.
In all, Ford’s plan to release 16 full or partial electric vehicles by 2022.
GM, Ford, BMW, Renault Form MOBI Blockchain Consortium
A group of automakers, suppliers and other automotive industry players has formed the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a consortium tasked with exploring potential uses for blockchain technology in the automotive industry.
The consortium’s ranks include General Motors, Ford Motors, BMW, and French automaker Renault, as well as car-parts manufacturers Bosch and ZF, tech giants Accenture and IBM, and blockchain industry groups Consensys and Hyperledger. CEO Chris Ballinger stated:
“Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles.”
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin use blockchains as a distributed ledger. The system is open but cryptographically-protected to provide a secure record of transactions.
Appropriately, MOBI aims to create a blockchain ecosystem custom-tailored for the automotive industry. with potential applications including vehicle identity, supply chain tracking, vehicle payments, data markets and usage-based pricing systems. IBM automotive industry VP Sachin Lulla added:
“Bringing the industry together and building interoperable blockchain networks is key to helping the automotive industry unleash the potential of blockchain.”
MOBI has not disclosed the standards for its open-source blockchain tools or when it will be launched.
New, 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Is The Fastest, Most Powerful Cobra Jet Yet
The 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet celebrates the iconic drag strip race car’s 50th anniversary and is the fastest and most powerful Mustang Cobra Jet ever created.
Built by the Ford Performance Parts team, the latest Mustang Cobra Jet is powered by a supercharged 5.2L Coyote V8 that lets it complete the quarter-mile in the mid-8-second range at a top speed of 150 mph (241.4 km/h), which is faster than the Dodge Demon’s claimed quarter mile of 9.6 seconds at 140 mph (241.4 km/h).
Other performance highlights include a unique four-link rear suspension, a 9-inch solid rear axle from Strange Engineering, and a drag race-specific coil-over suspension with specially designed Weld Racing wheels with 50th anniversary badging
The interior is equipped with Racetech FIA seats and A NHRA-certified roll cage. There’s also an optional 50th-anniversary graphics package for those who want a bit more flair.
Only 68 units of the purpose-built drag racer will be made, each painted in either Race Red or Oxford White. Unfortunately, none of them will have VINs, meaning they can’t be registered to drive on the street.
Needless to say, performance has reached a whole new level of bonkers. Two American, V8 drag-racing monsters — the Mustang Cobra Jet and the Dodge Demon — going at it at the drag strip. Brace yourself, folks.
Ford Mustang Is World’s Best Selling Sports Coupe For 3 Consecutive Years
The Ford Mustang was the world’s best-selling sports coupe in 2017, marking the third year in a row that it has claimed the top spot.
Ford sold 125,809 units of its popular muscle car in more than 80 countries in 2017, with the United States accounting for most of those sales at 81,866 units.
With 7,125 registrations, the Mustang was also the best-selling sports coupe in China, while the most popular global configuration was the GT trim powered by the 5.0-liter V8 engine.
Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle stated:
“The world loves Ford Mustang. For years, Mustang was unobtainable for customers on most parts of the planet. It could only be found on TV or the internet, and now it rolls down streets from Beijing to São Paulo.”
Ford also announced that the Mustang will participate in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series — professional stock car racing’s top league — for the first time, starting with Daytona in February.