2019 is going to be a stellar year for Ford. Their line up keeps getting better and better. The car industry isn’t without it’s challenges though and it’s proving to be highly competitive and demanding for every car manufacturer on the planet. Good news for Ford though, they have been one of the dominating forces in the truck market and they probably won’t be losing their top spot any time soon. Americans love their trucks and have for some time. The part of the market that they’ll have to continue to prove themselves in however is the car/sedan market. Or will they? There are a lot of options out there for sedans and Ford hasn’t always been a contender. They have always put a bigger emphasis on crossovers and SUV’s. In a somewhat dramatic twist, they are killing off almost all of their cars so that they can continue to put their time, effort, and investment into their trucks and SUV’s. The Mustang and Focus will remain on their line for the time being. In fact, Automotive News interviewed the Ford CEO Jim Hackett, and he told them that Ford was going to focus on the “healthy part of its business”. That’s the crossovers and trucks, which easily makes up for 90% of their business and a whopping $3 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Hackett continued by saying that Ford would “deal decisively with the parts that destroy value” which is their hatchback and sedan models. They had originally stated that they thought they would be able to save about $14 billion dollars by 2022 by focusing only on SUV’s and trucks, but now they have stated that the amount of savings is almost double that at $25.5 billion. That’s a lot of cash.
Ford has decided to stop producing their small cars in the United States.
As for the couple of cars they plan to keep for the meantime, they are trying to improve the smaller engines that they use by adding turbocharging and direct injection. Ford is also adding a few new CUV’s, which are crossovers that are electric. So let’s dive in and look at the 2019 line up to see where they are strong, and where they may have room for improvement.
- Ford Focus: Over the last few years the sales on Ford’s sedan the Focus has had a steep decline. It was rumored for a while that they were going to cut the Focus from the lineup all together and then they confirmed it. Looks like they are going to replace most of their cars. But before they say goodbye forever, they are first giving the Focus another go under a completely redesigned package. If this next generation Focus-Active can wow the audience and turn favor back to this car then it may stand a chance of staying on the Ford production line long-term, but we highly doubt it. Ford has already pledged their allegiance to the larger vehicles. The new focus has a fresh new feel and is lighter and longer than the previous versions. Right now the current models produce about 350 horsepower and torque, but Ford has been potentially developing a new hybrid powertrain that delivers close to 450 lbs. ft. of torque and 400 horsepower with the 48-volt electric system. That would definitely spruce up the whole model. The edges have also been freshened up and have a slightly sleeker look. We should also note that the biggest change is coming from the fact that Ford moved production of the Focus over to China instead of where they have been traditionally made in Wayne, Michigan. We’ll see how that change works from them.
- Not everyone realizes that the Lincoln group of vehicles is actually the luxury division of Ford. So, we can’t have a Ford lineup list without talking about the Lincoln Nautilus. The new Lincoln has also been redesigned and is trying to distance itself from the failed experiment of trying to rename their mid-size luxury crossover Nautilus to MKX. They’ve decided that was a bad idea and gone back to the Nautilus name. They retired the old V6 3.7 L engine and have redesigned the vehicle to have a 2.7L turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that has 380 lbs. of torque and 335 horsepower. They also retired the old Lincoln split-grille and replaced it with an all-new one-piece grille. The vehicle is not only sporty but also strikingly beautiful. The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is definitely going to turn heads.
- The Ford Mustang is now on it’s sixth generation of the vehicle. This vehicle isn’t going anywhere any time soon and will probably be one of the only cars that Ford will continue to make. There isn’t anything strikingly new about the 2019 version that wasn’t there for the 2018 when it went through its mid-cycle makeover. But that doesn’t mean the Mustang isn’t still a totally sexy car that’s fun to drive and fun to be seen in. In fact, the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt made waves and in honor of that famous car, Ford is making a 50th anniversary special edition Bullit. This version of the car has an enhanced 5.0L V8 engine that delivers 420 lbs. of torque and 475 horsepower. It also has 87-millimeter throttle bodies, a 6-speed manual transmission, a remapped PCM, and the Shelby GT350 intake manifold. The car also features Brembo brakes, Torsen limited-slip differential, Recaro seats that are leather wrapped and fancy green interior accents that matches the famous Highland Green hood. It’s basically a special-edition Mustang GT Premium with the performance package. It looks pretty menacing as well because it doesn’t have any of the external badging on the outside, so it’s sleek, sexy and fierce. The price tag will set you back between $45,000 and $50,000 and won’t be available anytime for the foreseeable future, after this initial offering. This is a special car, and if you get one of these then you are most definitely going to want a weatherproof car cover to protect your baby.
- The Ford Edge is a mid-sized vehicle and hasn’t always been a top seller for Ford, but shouldn’t be forgotten. Their average sales have been a little more than 140,000 units, but they are hoping with a whole new fresh body redesign, that they can sell over 150,000 units and keep growing. The new 2019 is getting a mid-cycle facelift and is also introducing a brand new model to the lineup calls the Edge ST that is faster and sportier. The Edge ST has actually got people pretty excited. It’s the first SUV that has ever been worked on by Fords’ Performance Team. It should be noted, that Ford has never put an ST on any of their SUV’s so maybe this is a beginning of more to come from Ford. The Edge ST comes with 380 lb.-ft. of torque and 335 horsepower with its 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine, which is up from the previous sporty version of their crossover that had 315 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. The Edge ST also has an aggressive grille on the front, dual exhausts, side skirts, ST-tuned suspension, and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The new Edge ST will also offer optimized braking and handling. It has standard all-wheel drive and an all-new Ford SUV Sport Mode. That’s not all however. They are also going to come equipped with all sorts of common safety features like rear view cameras, rain-sensing wipers, rear and front ultrasonic sensors, enhanced active park assist capabilities, post collision braking capabilities, adaptive cruise control capabilities, lane centering technology, new stop and go capabilities, evasive steering technology, and a 180-degree front camera. This little SUV is going to be pretty sweet. We are interested to see how this sporty little SUV performs in the marketplace that’s full of options. It should be a pretty cool little crossover though.
- Back in 2012 there was the Ford Ranger truck. If left American production in 2012 however, and hasn’t been back…until now. But don’t get confused because the 2019 Ford Ranger may be returning to U.S. soil, but it has very little in common with the truck that left. Ford has long since had a dominating influence in the pick up truck market and this time, we are pretty sure they are going to dominate again. This mid-sized pick up truck has been completely redone, modernized and resized to make it bigger. This truck has a 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cyliner gas powered engine that not only gets some of the best fuel efficiency in its class but also is sufficient enough for the best-in-class payload capability, which is no small feat. If you are in the market for a small truck, this may be the perfect option for you. Ford knows what they are doing when they build trucks and the Ranger will be no different.
- The Flex has been one of Ford’s least-popular vehicles. Ford has done little to try and bolster the fading flex sales and they only average about 20,000 unit sales per year. In fact, it was re-done in 2013 and hasn’t been changed since. It was introduced back in 2009 and really has stayed pretty consistent year after year. Those that love to drive unconventional SUV’s love these but they pale in comparison to some of the other vehicles that Ford has to offer. There have been rumors that the Flex may find itself off the Ford production line but for now it will still offer it’s boxy exterior, 3.5L V6 287 horsepower engine or an optional 365 horsepower 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the Limited edition. It still has some slightly outdated options and offers three-row seating and a price tag that’s over $40,000.
- We’ve got to cover the coveted F-150. This truck is the best-selling American vehicle of all time. That’s a title that they’ve earned that’s not easily given. The 2019 is actually going to offer an optional diesel engine, which is new. They will offer the 3.0L Power Stroke turbo diesel V6 engine that previously was only in the half-ton diesels. It gets 440 lb.-ft. of rotational force and 250 horsepower. These diesel engine trucks will come with a new 10-speed automatic transmission and will easily get up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. It’s a total win for those who want a fuel-efficient truck. The normal version of the F-150 has historically sold over 800,000 units per year and they show no signs of slowing down. Even though the two major domestic competitors (the Ram and Chevy Silverado) have been totally revised for 2019, the F-150 will remain the same (at least until 2020). After all, why mess with success?
- The 2019 Taurus has been around since 2010 and is in its sixth-generation. It has not been redesigned for a long time and Ford has no plans to change that. They did release a Chinese version of the car that looks a lot like it’s smaller cousin the Fusion, but the United States version will stay the same. Again, this is another one of the Ford vehicles that has slumping sales and lack-luster demand but it will be on the production line at least for another year until it is taken off production permanently. These cars have a 3.5L Cyclone V6 engine that has 288-horse power. There is another version of the Taurus called the performance SHO version that has a newer 3.5L engine and a turbo charged 4-cylinder engine, but even with this version, the Taurus is just another car. The powertrain options are outdated and the demand for them just isn’t there. These won’t be sticking around long-term.
- The Ford Explorer has long since been one of Ford’s most popular SUV’s. You can choose from two different engines either the 2.3L EcoBoost or the turbo charged 3.5L EcoBoost engine that has direct injection. You can tow with these SUV’s too. You can get a trailer tow package and tow up to 5,000 lbs. You can haul all your trailers, boats or toys with no problem. The Explorer also comes with a lot of different features that make them feel like a modern, luxury SUV and not primitive or cheaply made. There are all sorts of assisted driving safety features as well. One of our favorites is the Curve Control system that actually helps you slow down if you try and take a corner too fast. There is also the Lane-Keeping System that alerts you if your vehicle starts to drift out of your lane and into another lane. We are a huge fans of these three row seating SUV’s. They are great to look at and comfortable to drive and ride in. There are other cool features as well like parking sensors, speed sensitive wipers, split folding rear seat, emergency communication system, wireless phone connectivity, exterior parking rear camera and that’s just a few of the options. These are a comfortable family SUV that will keep you on the road and keep you safe. There are also all sorts of included safety features as well that is important for any family.
- The Ford Escape is a slightly smaller SUV. For those that don’t need all of the room of some of the larger options, this might be the perfect choice. You can customize the escape to fit your needs and they offer three different engines. The Escape S has a 2.5L engine and offers 165 horsepower. The SE and SEL both use the 1.5L engine with EcoBoost and offer better fuel efficiency. Then there is also the 2.0L engine with EcoBoost that gets up to 245-horsepower. So really there is an engine for everyone. If you have toys, trailers or boats to pull then you can tow up to 3,500 lbs. It’s got great handling and maneuverability and most people say that it drives like a smaller car does. It also offers the Torque Vectoring Control and Curve Control like some of the other Ford vehicles. It has automatic throttle reduction, and anti-lock brakes to help you drive comfortably and safely. One of the cool things about the Escape’s design is that is has large windows that offers better visibility than some of its competitors. It offers smooth and sleek lines and a 4 wheel drive system that actively monitors your traction on the road and automatically will adjust your torque during poor driving conditions to help keep you on the road. The interior is roomy, especially for a slightly smaller SUV. There is plenty of cargo room and you can even stow the seats away for more cargo room when you need it. There are all sorts of smart device compatibility features, voice activated technology and safety features available as well. You can get Ford’s Blind Spot Information System with the Cross Traffic Alert, the Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane-Keeping System. It also has a forward collision warning.
These are a few of the vehicles that Ford will be offering in 2019. It’s clear that Ford isn’t competing well in the car and sedan market, but it’s clear that they don’t care. Ford is not looking to be a top leader in standard sedans. Instead their vision is bigger than sedans. Their goal is to strengthen their position in commercial vehicles, battery electric vehicles, hybrids, SUV’s that include performance and off-road versions and of course trucks. They are totally revamping their line up and building off of their strengths. They know the commercial market. They know SUV’s and they know trucks. They are also totally delving into mobility systems and connectivity for their new vehicles. They are investing in trying to bring their vehicles into the next century by figuring out how to be a top leader in offering top of the line connectivity, technology, capability and performance for their existing line up.
They are going all-in on new hybrid-electric technology and plan to offer all sorts of new capabilities and features on their profitable vehicles like the Bronco, Escape, Explorer, Mustang, F-150 and their batter electric vehicles that will roll out in 2020. These cars will have more capability and performance while still acting as a hedge against rising gas prices. Ford is also introducing a new Co-Pilot360, which is a new driver-assist technology package that has standard automatic emergency braking that will help protect the vehicle from the sides, the rear and the front. It also has other driver assist features and even includes blind spot warnings. It is clear that Ford is still committed to making great vehicles. Jim Hackett, Ford’s CEO was quoted saying, “Our passion for great vehicles is stronger than ever”. In fact, Ford is actually replacing a whopping 75 percent of its current portfolio. Once they dump the sedans, they will have room for the four new SUV’s and trucks that they are adding to their lineup. Hackett continued by saying, “This showroom transformation will thrill customers, drive profitable growth and further build toward our future of smart vehicles in a smart world.” All of these new offerings should be available by 2020.