Ford is looking to further streamline its model platforms in order to reduce development costs for future models. Starting with the One Ford plan spearheaded by former CEO Alan Mulally, which significantly cut the number of vehicle architectures from 30 to nine, the company is looking to transition towards using just five modular platforms in the future, according to Automotive News.

“This is not saying One Ford was wrong. This is building on the strategy of One Ford and evolving from it,” said head of product development and purchasing at Ford Hau Thai-Tang. While the One Ford approach helped the company achieve global scale, it did not achieve the same desired results on a regional or local level, he said.

Moving to five platforms will help Ford further save costs and boost the efficiency of the company’s supply base, he said, adding that up to 70% of a vehicle’s value can be managed via a modular approach. Ford is looking at a savings of about US$7 billion in engineering and product development costs, while reducing the time it takes a model to go from sketch board to showroom by around 20%, the report said.

Ford’s future models will be built from one of the five platforms. These will be a rear- or all-wheel-drive body-on-frame, a front- or all-wheel drive unibody, a commercial van unibody, a rear- or all-wheel-drive unibody and a battery-electric unibody.

The company has also planned to phase out traditional sedans, and instead will be focusing on light trucks and crossovers. A lack of demand has seen Ford announce the removal all sedans from its North American product line-up. Instead, the automaker will be concentrating of ‘bold, emotive designs’ that will be applied to its pick-up truck, commercial van and utility vehicle segments, Thai-Tang said.

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