Why Ford Will Stop Building Cars | WheelHouse

Why Ford Will Stop Building Cars | WheelHouse


– The Mustang, the Thunderbird,
the Crown Victoria.
Since 1903, the Ford Motor Company
has been responsible for some
of the most iconic cars ever.
But as the world changes
and new trends emerge,
Ford has announced the company will
stop selling sedans in North America.
When I head the news, I was shocked.
I asked my coworkers what they thought.
But they were speechless, too!
So on this episode of Wheel House,
we’re gonna find out why.
The American Automotive industry
has always adapted to the world around it.
Cars have helped shape pop
culture, but if you look closer,
cars are a product of the
time, and not vice versa.
Cultural and socio-economic
events influence
car design more than one
single person ever could.
It may be cliche, but the Model T changed
how the world viewed cars
in the early 20th century.
Automobiles were seen as a luxury,
and therefore inaccessible
to common people.
Rather than court aristocrats,
who already owned luxury motor carriages,
Henry Ford chose to pursue a demographic
that had been neglected,
blue collar working people
who didn’t know they needed cars.
Not only was the Model T
redefining how cars were sold,
it was also revolutionizing
how cars were made.
In 1913, Ford introduced
the automated assembly line,
which brought production time down
from 12 hours, to two and a half.
The Model T was probably
the most famous instance
in which a car company succeeded
by adapting a new business model.
(upbeat disco music)
Fast forward to 1973,
American cars were gigantic,
inefficient, but looked cool as hell.
Small Japanese imports
felt wimpy by comparison.
The Chrysler Imperial Le Baron
was the biggest of the bunch,
clocking in at 19.6 feet.
The 439 cubic inch, 7 Liter
V8 cranked out 208 horsepower,
and got a whopping 9.8 miles per gallon.
Pretty extravagant, but
all the extravagance
of the early ’70s was short-lived.
OPEC, short for the Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
is a group that includes Venezuala,
Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.
The organization was
outraged that the U.S.
had supported Israel in the Yom Kippur war
and proclaimed an oil
embargo against the U.S.
The price of gas nearly tripled
over the course of the next year.
Suddenly, those small,
efficient Japanese imports
didn’t look so bad, they had
great MPG and were reliable.
That meant that drivers
didn’t have to wait
in long lines to fill up on gas.
And the Japanese weren’t the only ones
giving car manufacturers a headache.
The federal government introduced
the CAFE regulations in 1975.
Cah-fay? Cah-f? C-A-F-E?
Cah-fay, is how I’m gonna say it.
The Federal government introduced
the CAFE regulations in 1975
to improve fuel efficiency
in U.S. produced vehicles
and light trucks.
This throttled back performance,
a pretty important selling point
for American vehicles at the time.
Gone were the days of the muscle cars,
and thus began the era
of small, cheap, and efficient commuters.
The only American made vehicles
comparable to Japanese imports were cars
like the AMC Gremlin and Ford Pinto.
Notoriously crappy beaters.
Cadillac even came out with the Cimmaron,
an 88 horse power sports
luxury abomination,
that delivered neither luxury
nor sport in terms of ride quality.
American car manufacturers were destroying
their reputation by trying to compete
with Japanese sedans,
and they were losing.
However, consumers were
finding that they could
still get the power and room they expected
from U.S. made vehicles by purchasing
one of the few vehicle
types which were not
subject to CAFE regulations, trucks.
(slow instrumental music)
U.S. manufacturers like
Ford and Cheverolet
focused on making their trucks better,
because the market demanded it
and they were less
restricted by regulations.
As their car division became
less and less relevant,
their trucks surged to
the front of the pack.
Cut to present day,
the F150 is the best-selling
vehicle in America
and Ford just hired a
new CEO in Jim Hackett.
The previous CEO was laid
off because of stagnant
stock prices, rising production costs
and so-called uninspired vision
when it came to the Ford product line.
Historically, Ford has always had
rigid leadership and business models.
And Hackett’s free-thinking
methods are all but rigid.
In addition to quoting
theoretical physicists,
Hackett uses words like fitness,
Auto 2.0 and design
thinking when explaining
the direction he has planned for Ford.
But when it comes times
to actually describe
what all that means, Hackett
falls a little short.
I guess you could say he doesn’t hack it.
That was stupid, alright. (laughs)
The new CEO might sound more like the head
of a new-age start-up rather
than a major car company,
but to be fair, he does
have some progressive ideas
that could usher in a new era for Ford.
Whether that’s good or bad is up to you.
Hackett’s vision for
Ford is to transform it
from a car company into
a mobility company.
His emphasis is to make smart
vehicles for a smart world
and focus on developing electric vehicles,
self-driving systems and
ride-sharing systems.
The company recently
acquired a majority stake
in an autonomous vehicle
engineering firm, ArgoAI.
They’ve invested in Japanese
tech company SoftBank
and rolled out a plan to invest
11 billion dollars in
electric vehicle development,
soon to be built in Detroit.
I tried looking up what ArgoAi
and SoftBank actually do,
but their websites are incredibly vague,
yeah they do autonomous
vehicles and technology.
With all that expensive
innovation happening,
something has to be sacrificed.
The sacrificial lambs are the Taurus,
the C-MAX and the Fiesta.
The Focus line was gonna continue
as a weird lifted variant
thing called the Focus Active,
but Ford was planning on
building them in China,
making them subject to the new tariffs.
Tariffs that put a 10% duty tax on top
of what it already takes
to import goods from China.
So Ford said “Alright, nevermind.”
And canceled the Focus Active altogether.
This means the Mustang is Ford’s
only traditional car left in their line-up
for the foreseeable future.
Those Pep Boys really
like them burnouts, huh?
Hackett and the Board of Directors at Ford
saw the competition with Japanese sedans
and cross-over SUVs as a losing battle,
Americans have been
loyal to Japanese sedans
since the ’70s, which is when they
started topping best car lists.
Plus, Ford sees 90% of sales coming
from trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles,
so contextually, as much
as we might not like it,
this move makes sense,
it just really sucks
to imagine that there might be a day
without any Ford cars on the road at all.
(melodramatic instrumental music)
Thanks for watching Wheel House.
We look at the issues that affect
you in the car world every week,
so hit that yellow subscribe
button right there.
We talked about tariffs
on a previous episode,
check it out right there.
The Director of Marketing at Kia
said he learned a lot
from it, so that’s cool.
(laughs)

100 Replies to “Why Ford Will Stop Building Cars | WheelHouse”

  1. Does the future of cars upset anybody. I’m way too young to see the muscle car age or even the tuner age but new autonomous cars just seem so lame

  2. I’m gonna miss the focus and fiesta great cars and fun to work on and make your own looks like I’m moving to dodge or Chevy as my go to brand

  3. Why don't General motors stop lies about paying back the money they are crooked as NASCAR France is a crooked drunk n was found guilty on dui.

  4. Ok i am 14 and when i turn 18 i really wanted a Ford focus rs or st but i dont think i will be getting it😭

  5. Ford got my Grandpa to America and put food in my dads mouth, my entire family is loyal asf to Ford and seeing this shit makes me sad asf

  6. The Japanese had screwed over American cars for decades. Now, with Chinese cars in the market, it’s just pointless.

  7. I hate the fact they are doing this… I'm not a foreign fan.. every Chevy I ever owned was a piece of junk and same for every Dodge but my current Dart Rallye… But I hate they killed everything… And I'm mainly a mustang guy in general but if they kill it off too im gonna lose my shit… The Camaro just got cancelled I got a feeling the Stang ain't got much left

  8. But what if Ford went in the direction of new technology at least for some of the cars such as compact cars, and then SUV's where there is plenty of room for batteries, and then trucks?

  9. I want the Fiesta and the Focus to return. Without those hatchbacks, who would buy a single car by a car manufacturer that made millions of interesting cars from the past? Ford killed off all their cars from their current american lineup. But hope is not lost(except for the Focus RS), and hope won't be lost.

  10. SUV’s are popular on the Uk and Europe but pickups are usually bought by tradesmen. Hatchbacks and small fuel efficient cars are still the normal though as our fuel is much more expensive than the US. My favourites will always be hot hatches as they do all I need from a car and are nice and sporty for all the twisty UK back roads. Long live the likes of the Focus RS.

  11. well without being an assh….! american industry is going to be a adventure. if the US dont step up. your whole industry gonna be a legend of the past.
    to describe the american car industry: lazy, out of touch, more intrested in fast profit then long goals.

  12. Just remember some moves destroys your fan base. They got rid of the Taurus, They got rid of me. I owned two Taurus in a row. A 1993 second generation and at present a 2004 fourth generation both contain vulcan engines one of the best modern engines ever made bar none!

  13. I don't see why they would cut the fusion, that's an incredible popular car at least around the upper Midwest. Cheap, comfy, and cosmetically appealing.

  14. The CEO just drove his Mustang off a cliff and dragged the company with it. Ford has stayed so relevant because of making their regular everyday sedans that almost any family can afford into race cars and winning. It's so sad to see them throwing that all down the drain.

  15. Basically my eyes wont bleed and no more mustang guys saying "hey dude, bet my car could smoke that demon " count me in

  16. Americans make muscle cars and trucks, germans are luxuries, japanese gas savers, italians supercars and korea is …

  17. So mustangs, trucks, and those weird industrial vehicles

    Cool they got rid of most of the trash, now they need to get rid of wreck prone mustang drivers

  18. My 2012 Ford Focus SE hatchback has been the toughest and best automobile I have ever owned. It has over 100k on it. I was planning on getting a new one but I guess not now.

  19. ICE Cars are dying everywhere not just from Japanese competition, but technological obsolescence and electric cars becoming affordable. The model 3 is the model T of electric cars. The shift to SUV and trucks is a temporary illusion as well because when electric versions of those reach affordability people will move there too. As a tool electric kills ICE and as people hate traffic and sitting in a car not going anywhere electric and autonomous will take over 90% of cars on the road. It's a countdown for the big companies to figure out the technological lead that Tesla has already developed.

  20. Ford and GM and big oil are the dinosaurs and Tesla and electricity are the comet. The game is up innovate or die at least Ford is getting out in front.

  21. America is known for beefy V8. But what about now? It doesnt make sense for the American car industry to no longer be American.

  22. i don't think the mustang will ever vanish, it's pretty much the first sport car anybody can afford to buy, it's an introduction to the sport world, and it's everywhere in my country, and i hope it stays forever alive, would be a real shame if that one goes away

  23. the only vehicle ford does right, is the mustang, all the others are shit, keep the mustang and scratch all the others

  24. Most fords suck so whatever. But the history is important so i do feel like they should still be on the road ig

  25. This makes me feel somewhat sad, as my Father first worked at the big Ford plant, The Rouge, after moving to Detroit from Kentucky after the end of the Second World War; he was there at The Rouge when the assembly line was shut down for one minute upon the announcement of the passing of Henry Ford I; Father even mention that every fourth engine block that came down the assembly line would receive a dot of green paint placed on – that meant that particular engine was to be installed into a Mercury automobile – I managed to determine the color code on those engine blocks: Blue for Ford, Green for Mercury and Black for Lincoln.

    It just saddens me to see the legendary Ford Motor Company come to this – to paraphrase the late, great Lee Iacocca, for the Ford Motor Company to devote themselves to producing mostly light trucks while producing only one or even two models of automobile is like running a shoe store that only offers size nine and up.

    I welcome your comments, and I thank you for listening to me.

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