Hard times are coming for the U.S. auto industry, and there’s just no way around it. Already the leading car makers are announcing their plans to help deal with the expected low demand. Ford’s plan involves, in part, shortening its product cycle in an attempt to keep designs fresh while at the same time cutting costs.

Currently riding life cycles that frequently run in excess of four years, Ford’s designs have been criticized for lacking the freshness and frequent updating that today’s car market requires. Those complaints have not fallen on deaf ears, and the big wigs at the Blue Oval are moving to trim redesign times to just three years. An overall goal of dropping cycle length by 35%, to bring the maker’s development time in line with the industry leaders, is also planned, reports Automotive News.

Cost cutting measures will help Ford see profits instead of losses, especially in the face of shortened design cycles. Designing cars isn’t an inexpensive venture by any means, especially with the old format of prototyping successively more and more realistic vehicles until a production car is reached. Ford hopes to cut some of the development costs by investing in more powerful computers that will reduce the need to prototype, getting them close to the final result before the car ever leaves the computer screen.