Google has suspended business activity involving the transfer of hardware, software and key technical services with Huawei. Analysts say that could be a big blow to the...Technologyread more
Huawei Technologies will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, a source close the matter told Reuters.Technologyread more
Huawei claims it has developed its own operating system for smartphones and laptops for "extenuating circumstances."Technologyread more
Current geopolitical tensions are making it harder and harder for oil-producing nations to make decisions that will help stabilize crude prices, Russian Energy Minister...Oilread more
Oil prices jumped on Monday after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih indicated there was a consensus among OPEC and allied oil producers to continue limiting supply.Energyread more
Bank, property and healthcare stocks jumped, pushing Australian markets to a 11-year high, as Scott Morrison and the Liberal-led conservation government are poised for a...World Marketsread more
Trump's threat, posted on Twitter, comes amid rising international tensions in the Middle East as the U.S. has dispatched a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the...Politicsread more
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party are set to form the new government again, exit polls from India's month-long parliamentary elections show. But past...Electionsread more
The latest crisis in the uneasy French-German relationship was accelerated by Trump's decision to stop Germany's comfortable and decades-old free-riding on trade and security...Europe Politicsread more
While some fans of the long-running "Game of Thrones" felt satisfied by the show's final bow, others were quick to express their displeasure with how events unfolded.Entertainmentread more
Stocks in Asia were mostly higher on Monday amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China.Asia Marketsread more
Ford badly needs profits and is betting that selling more SUVs, even really tiny ones, will bring them.
The company is rolling out its EcoSport subcompact SUV to dealerships now. With the move, Ford wants to claim a piece of the fastest-growing segment of the profitable and popular sport-utility market.
Profits are especially important for Ford right now, which is still very much in the middle of a turnaround since appointing CEO Jim Hackett in early 2017. The second-largest U.S. automaker is trying to improve its financial fitness and erase a perception that it is behind rival carmakers and tech firms on the development of new mobility technologies.
Ford shares were down nearly 5 percent on Thursday afternoon.
The EcoSport is another step toward selling cars that will bring in more money. For one thing, subcompact SUVs are popular with buyers looking for a car that offers the ride height and flexible storage of SUVs in a nimbler package. It has been the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. since 2010, Ford said at an event with reporters on Thursday.
Since 2014 alone, sales of subcompact SUVs have more than tripled. About 425,000 subcompact SUVs sold in 2017, and Ford expects that number to rise above half a million in 2018. Buick's Encore, for example, is that brand's best-selling model.
They also command higher prices than comparable small cars. Average transaction prices for subcompact SUVs such as the EcoSport are $4,500 higher than Ford would get from a subcompact car like the Fiesta, and $2,500 more than the company would get from the compact Focus, Ford said at an event with reporters on Thursday.
The EcoSport starts at around $20,000, but there are higher trim versions available, which allow Ford to charge more for the car at relatively little cost. Ford's sales of higher-trim SUVs, such as performance or luxury versions, make up 36 percent of all SUV sales.
The cars are attractive to young buyers looking for a versatile entry-level car, and older buyers looking to downsize from larger SUV models, Ford said. About 41 percent of subcompact SUV buyers are ages 45-64, and just over 20 percent are so-called milennials.
The segment also attracts increasingly important demographics, such as culturally diverse buyers and a higher share of women than the overall car market.
Ford released earnings on Wednesday that missed Wall Street expectations, and the company is facing some impatience from investors who are looking for more details on Hackett's plan to improve the company's future. Hackett's appointment generated a great deal of interest and enthusiasm on Wall Street. But the fact that Ford still has much work ahead of it is beginning to sink in.
"Ultimately, while we agree with the long-term approach of Hackett, arguably, there won't be much to get excited about with the Ford story until 2019 or perhaps 2020," said Barclays analyst Brian Johnson in a research note on Thursday.