Ford will use aluminum in the next-generation Super Duty pickups

Article by Andrew Christian, on October 3, 2014

Ford Motor Co. is targeting a 52-percent surge in global sales to 9.4 million annually by the end of the decade. According to its executives, the carmaker plans to achieve this target by penetrating into fast-growing Asian markets, making heavy investments in its Lincoln premium marque; offering more small cars and utility vehicles to the global market.

Ford plans to use aluminum in the next generation Super Duty pickups and to add two new vehicles to its Lincoln brand. Its chief executive, Mark Fields, remarked that the carmaker is planning to retain the “One Ford” plan developed by predecessor Alan Mulally, while accelerating its execution.

“We are a growth company in a growth industry,” Fields remarked. He said Ford will build on that foundation and go “even faster” to drive operational excellence and profitable growth. Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, expects the carmaker to sell 3.5 million vehicles in North America by 2020, up from 2.9 million units in 2013 for a 21-percent gain.

He added that expects the new-vehicle market in the United States to be around 17 million-18 million by the end of the decade. He also expects profit margins to grow from about 8 percent in 2014 to between 8 and 10 percent by 2020.

Ford said around half of its projected global sales growth will come from industry growth, with the remainder coming from new buyers in developing markets or from customers of other brands. According to Ford marketing chief Jim Farley, the aluminum F-150 gives the carmaker “a once in a lifetime chance” to conquest from rival brands.

The carmaker said that its profit margin in North America this year North American profit margins will be at the low end of the range it had given partly due to recall costs.

According to Hinrichs, a recent recall of 850,050 Escape, C-Max, Escape, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles will cost about $500 million. Ford will still post a loss in Europe this year to $1.2 billion, although the figure will drop significantly to $250 million in 2015.

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