Ford wants 90% of vehicles refreshed by 2012


Ford plans to speed up vehicle development and cut costs by integrating more vehicles onto common platforms

Ford plans to speed up vehicle development and cut costs by integrating more vehicles onto common platforms

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Despite the faltering economy - or maybe because of it - Ford will be refreshing the majority of its lineup in various regions around the world over the next three years. According to the company's CFO, Lewis Booth, Ford will be refreshing as much as 90% of its vehicle lineups in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa.

The figure of 90% refers to volume, rather than actual model numbers, indicating that Ford will be focusing on refreshing its highest selling vehicles in those various regions over the next few years. Booth explained to The Detroit News that the strategy of bringing fresh products to the market is important in strengthening Ford's bottom line, even "in the worst of economic times".

But along with new product updates that will keep the Ford lineup fresh, Booth was also keen to show off the Blue Oval's recent structural changes that have reduced costs dramatically and will hopefully see it at least break even by the end of 2011. According to Booth, by 2015 Ford will have reduced its structural costs by almost half, while new vehicle development costs will be reduced by 60%.

Along with facility and tooling costs, which are expected to drop by around 40%, the reduction in costs have largely been brought about by Ford's global strategy. By using global platforms that can be used for a number of different vehicles in different regions, Ford hopes to almost double the number of vehicles it builds from each platform in the next five years. Part of the way forward for Ford will also be to integrate more vehicles onto its global platform lineup, and by 2012 the automaker is hoping to have almost 80% of its volumes on global core platforms.

 
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