Car Pro Show Host Jerry Reynolds: Ford’s Move to Drop Sedans Is A “Really Bad Idea”

Ford Will Phase Out Sedans

Talking about focusing on SUVs is one thing, but killing an entire sedan lineup is quite another. However, that’s what Ford’s decided to do as it lays out new plans for the future.

Wednesday, Ford announced that it will phase out sedans from its North American lineup in favor of trucks and SUVs. So that means we won’t see future generations of the Fusion, Taurus, C-MAX, and Fiesta. The automaker broke the news to shareholders as it reported a $1.7 billion profit in the first quarter of 2018. Only the Ford Mustang and a new Focus Active crossover coming in 2019 will survive.

“You can’t just ignore a whole segment.”

If anyone’s going to have an opinion on Ford’s decision, it’s Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds. Reynolds spent more than 35 years on the retail side of the car biz and at one point was the #1 selling Ford Dealer in the United States. He also served as chairman of the Ford National Dealer Council more than once.

Check out this transcript of Jerry’s interview with the KFYO Radio morning team for his take on Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s cost-cutting decision. Also, tune in to the Car Pro Show this Saturday to hear much more as the industry absorbs the news.

KFYO Radio Transcript

KFYO: Ford is dumping all but two of their cars?

Jerry Reynolds: “I think it’s all a plan of the new CEO of Ford Motor Company, his name is Hackett, and I think he just signed his termination papers and he just doesn’t know it yet. That’s a really bad idea on their part and I was involved with Ford for a lot of years.  I’ll tell you now when you start dumping nameplates like the Taurus and Fusion, you know, Focus is a little different they needed a car to replace that car, but you can’t ignore a whole segment and that’s what they are doing. They are putting all their eggs in the truck and SUV basket.”

KFYO: So are they trying to push everyone up to SUVs?

Jerry Reynolds: Yeah, they are because they are more profitable. But the answer is not to cut the cars but to figure out a way to make people want them. I mean sedan sales are down, we’ve been talking about that for a year. But there are still a lot of them out there and still people who want them.  And when you take those out of your playbook you’ve left a vacancy and those people are going to find another car. That Ford and Fusion buyer is going to look at the brand new Camry or brand new Accord and once they find out those are great cars, they won’t be back to Ford.”

KFYO: Jerry the other question is isn’t this pretty bad timing as oil prices and gas prices are starting to shoot up?

Jerry Reynolds: “It’s horrible timing. And I tell you, I sat down one of one with Alan Mulally in 2010 and Alan was the CEO at Ford at that time and he is the man credited with saving Ford. When Chrysler and General Motors went into bankruptcy, Alan Mulally saved the Ford Motor Company and they were headed that way, too. That’s less than 10 years ago and he was scrambling to get smaller, fuel-efficient cars from Europe over to the U.S. because gas was $4 a gallon. It could do that again easily and then what is Ford Motor Company going to do. 

Jerry Reynolds:  “This is a bad plan, a stupid plan and going to be the death of this guy, and by the way, this is exactly what he did with the last company he was CEO of, which was a furniture company. He cost-cut them to death and cost them a lot of market share and he is doing the same to Ford.  I hope Bill Ford wakes up in time to get rid of this guy.”

Listen in to the interview below.

  1. Curtis Bender 8 months ago

    All sounded pretty stupid to me, good for GM and FCA though!

  2. Ted Jongbloed 8 months ago

    Killing Ford Sedans, Bad idea comment, Agree! Cutting a segment of cars that still appeal to a set of customers is really stupid. They go else where and you loose them forever. Plus you also just killed your Lincoln sedan division because you no longer have any economy of scale without the Ford sedans. Cutting whole product lines is just the start of a downward cycle. I can’t think of a single industry that downsized, killed products and remained relevant. Just slow death.

  3. Joe Worley 8 months ago

    Agree totally. As you stated this morning on WBAP, Joyce and I fit exactly as you stated. My 98 Ranger on one side of the garage and her 03 Avalon on the other side. If Ford puts a big enough engine in the 19 Ranger so I can pull something, I. will have a long awaited Ranger next year. Joyce will stay with Toyota now that Ford has dropped the Taurus.

  4. Tom Thompson 8 months ago

    Jerry Reynold’s one of the most knowledgeable experts regarding the car industry. I think the trend is twofold: 1) SUV’s (even Rolls Royce, saw my first Bentley SUV today); 2) electric vehicles. Even though US is exporting oil (remember the 70’s gas lines?) but prices keep going up, less gas demands, the oil folks will need to raise prices to incease revenue. Car sales could slow down for a couple reasons, 1) 2nd Qtr GDP lowest in 5 years, this fact along will cause auto executives to lose sleep and 2) interest rates increasing making it more expensive to carry low lease rates, etc. bottomline will cut into profit. Makes a lot of sense if auto manufacturers are going to offer gas and/or electric, they will need to cut something … logically cannot cut trucks/SUVs. As side note, a guy in San Diego took a burned out 1978 Ferrari 308 GT, The Magnum PI car, and converted it to an electric car, although quieter it’s faster!

  5. David Wolf 8 months ago

    When I first heard this, I thought I had misunderstood… until I listened again. What a colossally bad idea. Wow… talk about short-sighted!

  6. Ralph Haus 8 months ago

    An analogy!

    Back in the 80’s IBM decided to stop making common platform personal PCs instead focusing on their own design, hardware and software. They KNEW what the customers wanted. Michael Dell’s antennas went up (read GM, Chrysler, Japan) and he ramped up production of his own design, including cards that would fit into the old IBM’s . History now. Anyone remember the PC2? I thought not.

  7. Ron Koudelka 8 months ago

    How about designing and producing a Sedan that is appealing, not appalling, to the consumers, plus one that has comfortable seats and a smooth ride, don’t need every gadget made in California!

  8. Robert Murray 8 months ago

    Is the fusion a top seller for Ford ? Alfred E. Numen in charge of Ford.
    Good grief.

  9. Todd Willett 8 months ago

    I have 3, F350’s in the drive and garage. Newest one is a 18. There is no way the woman of the house is going to trade her 16 Taurus Ecoboost in 2021 for a Honda Accord or Camery !
    I own stock in ford. Bill ford needs to run” this guy off..
    My first new ford , 74 f250 high boy, My dad drove fords. Grandpa drove fords. The kids drive fords .

  10. Patrick Scott 8 months ago

    I totally agree with Jerry. Innovation breeds synergy and being more efficient is certainly understandable but this bean counter mentality has only one destination. DOWN! And after a great profitable year. Earth to Bill Ford…where are you? I think Detroit has a huge potential problem. And yes there is a reason Toyota Camry leads the pack in U.S. market share…ahhh a 4 door available with and without all the bells and whistles. Good tag Jerry!!!!!

  11. Kevin Tallant 8 months ago

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Jerry. I do not like this movement towards Crossovers and SUV’s, and I think that Hackett has made a short-sighted move at Ford. I own a Dodge Dart with a Manual Transmission, and I would like to continue to by this type of Compact sedan.

  12. Don Sumners 8 months ago

    The history of big business is littered with failures caused from destructive decisions pushed by company CEO’s. In many cases these decisions severely harmed the companies; sometimes dooming the company’s existence. Recently, these irrational decisions have been by CEOs recruited from an unrelated business area. One instance that immediately comes to my mind is the decision of a new JC Penny to eliminate promotional sales in favor of so called everyday low prices. It nearly bankrupt Penny’s and cost the CEO his job. Over the years many bad decisions have been made by auto manufactures but the decision of Ford’s new CEO to eliminate sedans from Ford’s lineup, if implemented, may go down as the all time, worst. Hopefully, the Board will see the danger and stop this action. There are too many reasons why this is a bad idea and the proposed action apparently rests solely on the desire to the CEO to make immediate profits .

  13. Augustine 7 months ago

    Ford will continue making sedans in Europe and South America. If there’s any demand for them in the US, Ford will just import them for sale. Meanwhile, Ford will invest where there’s more return for it: trucks. As much as I loath trucks, it’s Ford’s business to stop making sedans in America.

    • David 7 months ago

      Actually you can not simply import a car made for an overseas market. I own a fision energi. No truck space, but I use it for commuting. Nicest car I ever owed. And 45+ mpg. This New ceo needs to be the old ceo

  14. Stacy 1 month ago

    I think you are completely right, it is a really bad mistake he’s fixing to make they are going to lose a ton of money from sedan drivers like me.

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