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Ford to further reduce platform portfolio

by Ronan Glon

The company wants just five basic platforms.

Ford will further reduce the number of platforms in its global portfolio in a bid to save money. The company ultimately wants its entire line-up to ride on five basic platforms, according to one of its top executives.

The One Ford plan orchestrated by Alan Mulally to avoid bankruptcy reduced the company's platform catalog from 30 to nine. Hau Thai-Thang, Ford's head of product development and purchasing, told industry trade journal Automotive News that One Ford didn't go far enough for the Blue Oval to achieve the regional and local scale it's after.

Thai-Thang detailed the five platforms. The catalog will consist of a body-on-frame architecture compatible with rear- or all-wheel drive, a unibody architecture compatible with rear- or all-wheel drive, a unibody architecture compatible with front- or all-wheel drive, a unibody architecture for commercial vans, and a unibody architecture for electric vehicles.

Ford expects moving to five platforms will allow it to save $25.5 billion over the next five years. It's a move that will also speed up the process of bringing a vehicle to the market, a crucial aspect as Ford phases out passenger cars in America to enter new market segments. Thai-Thang added Ford will invest some of the money it saves into design.

Photo by Ronan Glon.

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