Ford executives have promised for months that they would not abandon customers who want the sedans it's discontinuing in North America. Now those plans are becoming clearer.
Jim Baumbick, Ford's vice president of enterprise product line management, on Wednesday said the automaker would by 2022 add an "affordable" nameplate aimed at filling the hole left by ending sales of the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Taurus sedans.
A Ford spokesman declined to say what sort of body style it would have or how big it would be.
"It's an example of how we're moving faster, working together differently and leveraging our five all-new flexible vehicle architectures," Ford said in a statement. "We came up with the concept in just 12 weeks using our new product creation process. Previous all-new vehicles could have taken years of research before receiving approval."
Baumbick was speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Auto Summit in New York. His presentation also showed that Ford plans to add a higher-performance variant of its "Mustang-inspired" electric crossover that the company has said it plans to start selling in 2020.
Ford previously has teased several upcoming vehicles under development, including a small off-road crossover informally known as the Baby Bronco that's planned for mid-2020, the revived Bronco SUV due in late 2020, and a unibody compact pickup expected around 2022. The pickup matches the timeline of the vehicle Baumbick mentioned, but it's unclear whether that is what he was talking about.
Ford product chief Hau Thai Tang in August said the Ford brand would grow to 23 nameplates — three more than it had last year — through 2023. He said nine new nameplates were planned, including seven pickups and utilities, as six others are discontinued.