Those wacky boys n' girls in Ford's PR team sure no how to make certain the pictures leading the way on the press site when bad news hits are appropriate — like the one above, now offered as the lead story. But digressions aside. We listed several plants set to be idled as a function of cuts FoMoCo announced earlier. Now, let's look at which vehicles will be most severly affected. It's Big Bill Boss' bread n' butter, the F-Series trucks, undergoing a cut in production of more than 404,000 of those vehicles hawked by Toby "Sorry, Bill, I Already Cashed the Check" Keith. Car models are affected as well — despite a marked increase in sales from last year — with a reduction of 13,000 vehicles. But two big questions remain: How much less in sales bux is Ford going to take in from the loss of said production, and why are they cutting production in the first place? On the first, we've no freaking clue, but we'd bet the bean counters in Dearborn are hard at work figuring it out. On the second, we can hazard a couple of guesses.
There are two major reasons likely for Ford anticipating lower sales. For one, ncreased competition from the boys n' girls at the now #1 and #2 automakers, GM and Toyota. GM's got its new hotness, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra (now with more miles per hauling gallon!) hitting next quarter and Toyota's new Tundra (now big as a small house!), expected...umm...for like a year now — both will be providing some major competition for the now two-year-old F-150.
The second major reason's probably just as big, and it's fuel prices. For all the populist appeal them thar Toby Keith ads attract, one would expect Ford to hold a larger portion of casual truck buyers — the same segment that's fleeing to the small car market as the pump prices continue to rise.
We'll be interested to see what next month's sales figures look like, but our assumption is that FoMoCo is gonna be hitting a couple more major stumbles as they continue on their "Way Forward."