America, Ford Yeah! The Blue Oval Aims To Be ‘More American’ in Europe

Ford’s done trying to fit Europe’s expectations for what a car should be. Instead, it’s going to turn the ‘Murica dial to the max.

byJames Gilboy| PUBLISHED Dec 13, 2022 5:19 PM
America, Ford Yeah! The Blue Oval Aims To Be ‘More American’ in Europe
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Ford remains a minor player in Europe despite decades of trying to one-up its local competitors. Now, it's taking a new approach by scrapping much of its Europe-original lineup to lean into "more American" Fords that it thinks Europeans will pay handsomely for.

Ford Europe has cultivated its unique products for decades, from the Mondeo sedan to the Fiesta and Focus hatchbacks, with a selection of these cars making the journey across the Atlantic. However, because of Ford's small market share, its deals with suppliers aren't as economical as those of its larger rivals, including Stellantis and Volkswagen, according to Automotive News Europe. That means when it competes on price, Ford makes less profit per sale. Ford presumably would like to change that, but not by trying to out-European the Europeans. Instead, Ford will play up its American roots under the advice of Ford Europe's head of strategy and business, Christian Weingärtner.

2024 Ford Mustangs. Ford

"We are seizing the opportunity to completely reposition ourselves," Weingärtner explained to German outlet Automobilwoche, as translated by Automotive News Europe. "Our future models are more American, and from 2030 they will all be electric. [...] There is no more 'plain vanilla' with us."

To that end, Ford Europe will cull some of its Europe-original models, scuttling the Fiesta in 2023 and the Focus in 2025. Instead, it'll mirror the U.S.'s emphasis on higher-margin products, like crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks, which led to the termination of Ford's sedans in the late 2010s. The Ranger Raptor is reportedly rolling out across Europe right now, and it'll be followed in the spring by the Bronco. Both fit into a new "Adventurous Spirit" identity, meant to invoke American-esque ideas of "freedom, outdoors and adventure."

2022 Ford Bronco Wildtrak. Ford

At the same time, the scheme will have to accommodate Ford's reorientation toward electric vehicles. For example, the factory where the Fiesta is made will switch to making a pair of EVs, both based on the MEB platform of Ford's partner VW. In 2024, it'll also offer a Puma EV as an electric subcompact to make three new EVs on sale the next two calendar years.

Where this all fits with VW's ambitions with electric adventure vehicles isn't clear, as its Scout brand could scoop up sales Ford would prefer to be Broncos. Ford and VW are in cahoots when it comes to trucks, but whether Scouts will have any Ford DNA remains unknown.

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