Ford: Next Year Will Be Much More Efficient

On Wednesday, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) announced plans to decrease the number of its global platforms a year ahead of schedule.

Jim Farley, Ford’s head of global marketing and sales, said the company plans to shrink the number of platforms from 11 to 9 by the end of 2013. Ford believes it can improve quality and lower costs by cutting down its platform numbers. The Dearborn automaker builds the Ford Mondea and Fusion on the same platform.

At the Automotive News World Congress, Farley said, “We’re bringing global scale to the different markets, whereas most of our competitors are using regional.”

Ford didn’t say what platforms it is eliminating, but Farley said there would be no loss of products.

Separately, General Motors (NYSE:GM) will start shipping “within days” the Opel Ampara — its European version of the Volt, said the company’s product development chief Mary Barra. USA Today quoted GM CEO Dan Akerson as saying that modifications planned for the Volt will cost $200 per vehicle, but the company would not confirm the amount. After the government investigated the Volt for fire hazards, GM consented to add new sensors and a new steel structure to the vehicle’s design.

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