0 Comments
Ford model production Photo: Supplied
Ranger Raptor Photo: Supplied
 
 
Andrew Maclean | Aug, 14 2018 | 0 Comments

Ford has outlined its vision for the future will revolve around five key platforms.

The blue oval's executive vice president of product development, Hua Thai-Tung, presented the company's updated five-year strategy at the J.P Morgan Auto Conference in New York last week, confirming it will build a portfolio of vehicles based on five basic platforms in a bid to cut development costs by up to $35 billion.

Ford has already slashed its global platform line-up from 30 down to nine in recent years and confirmed last year that it would delete conventional sedans from its US showrooms and place a greater focus on top-selling trucks like the F-150 and Ranger, as well as commercial vehicles and SUVs. The iconic Mustang has, however, received a stay of execution.

Thai-Tung last week confirmed the company will further rationalise that plan. Ford claimed that in 2015 it allocated 63 percent of its development budget to trucks, commercial vehicles and utilities. From next year, that figure will increase to 90 per cent to develop a range of "vehicles Ford's customers want" it said.

The five platforms are said to be both scalable and flexible enough to create a full family of vehicles.

The all-new Focus introduces the company's latest small car platform that is lighter and stronger than before while capable of both front- and all-wheel drive configurations. It is therefore expected to spawn a raft of compact SUVs including the replacement for the current Escape due in 2020 and the next Ecosport.

A larger monocoque platform will be dedicated to rear-drive vehicles such as the Mustang, but also capable of featuring all-wheel drive for next-generation SUVs like the Explorer and Edge, which will arrive in Australia as the Endura later this year.

Ford will also develop a unique platform dedicated to pure electric cars, the first of which is expected to be a compact hatch-cum-SUV and will be revealed in 2020, as well as another exclusive platform for commercial vehicles like the legendary Transit.

Thai-Tung made no reference to the potential technical tie-up with Volkswagen on commercial vehicles that is currently being investigated by both companies.

The final link in the chain is a bespoke body-on-frame platform for vehicles such as the F-150 and Ranger, as well as spin-off SUVs such as the full-size Expedition in the US and Everest here in Australia.

Ford has yet to outline whether its Australian engineering division will play a key role in the development of any of the platforms, or specific models, as it has done with the T6 architecture that underpins the existing Ranger and Everest.

 

 

 
Filed under ford
 
TMR Comments
LOAN CALCULATOR
i
Latest Comments