Architecture reduction will reportedly help reduce costs and development times

Hau Thai-Tang, head of product development and purchasing at Ford, told attendees at 2018 J.P. Morgan Auto Conference in New York about the company's new platform portfolio plan as part of its drive to cut US$25.5 billion ($34.3 billion) from costs between now and 2025.

Ford's latest platform plan follows on from the successful One Ford strategy implemented by former CEO Alan Mulally during his reign, which began in 2006.

During the One Ford years, the company reduced its architecture count from 30 to nine. This, along with mortgaging everything before the Global Financial Crisis hit, is widely credited for helping the automaker avoid bankruptcy, something its crosstown rivals were unable to manage.

The five modular platforms will be:

  • Rear- and all-wheel drive body-on-frame for pickup trucks and utes
  • Rear- and all-wheel drive unibody, which should appear first on the next-generation Ford Explorer
  • Front- and all-wheel drive unibody
  • Front-wheel drive commercial van unibody
  • Battery electric unibody

"This is not saying One Ford was wrong. This is building on the strategy of One Ford and evolving from it," Thai-Tang said in comments reported by Automotive News.

Thai-Tang says One Ford gave the company global scale, but did achieve the desired amount of efficiency at the local and regional level.

The automaker expects moving to modular platforms will help it save US$7 billion ($9.4 billion) in engineering costs, as well as cut product development times by around 20 per cent.