Despite fears of a worsening economy, rising fuel prices and shifting demand for smaller cars, Ford won’t be scaling back sales targets for its latest 2009 models such as the upcoming Flex crossover and the recently launched Lincoln MKS sedan. Last month Ford announced that it would cut production and not reach its goal of profitability by 2009. However the company still hopes to sell between 75,000 and 100,000 of its Flex crossover and around 36,000 MKS sedans annually. The logic behind this is that fuel prices shouldn't affect these models as they are the cars Ford is hoping its lost SUV sales will be picked up by.

Higher gasoline prices shouldn't hurt volumes of the Flex and MKS because consumers who were driving big SUVs are turning to cars and crossovers,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Automotive News. They want improved fuel efficiency, but still may need the space of a bigger car.

The MKS is already performing strongly, having impressed car buyers at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and bearing the fruits of a new marketing campaign which saw an astonishing 8,600 pre-orders placed for the vehicle already.

The Blue Oval is also confident that sales of its redesigned 2009 F-150 will be strong, although volume will inevitably be down due to higher fuel prices. Mulally explained that Ford has to bring "down the overall volume on the trucks and SUVs", a plan that will enviably cost a significant number of Ford employees their jobs in the U.S.

2009 Lincoln MKS