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Ford to Drop Most of its Car Line: In 1962 Ford Sold Four Models and Twelve Body Styles

Recently the Ford Motor Company announced that by 2020 it will only be manufacturing and selling two car models, the Mustang and a new Focus Active fastback crossover vehicle.

Ford’s reasoning behind the change is that the Company is losing money on every new car it manufactures and sells other than the popular Mustang, which has been in the car marketplace for almost fifty-four years. The Automaker’s focal point will be its popular and profitable line of pickup trucks and sport utility models.

Today’s feature image is the enlargeable 1962 Ford advertisement below that contains the four automobiles it offered at the time. Twelve different body styles were available in a total of fifteen different models and trim levels.

For a change we are presenting today’s 1962 Ford feature as an open discussion were readers can comment on the Company’s offerings fifty-six years ago along with the auto and truck manufacturers 2020 product line up. The photograph is courtesy of the Ford Motor Company.

52 responses to “Ford to Drop Most of its Car Line: In 1962 Ford Sold Four Models and Twelve Body Styles

  1. Personally, I think Ford’s decision is a bad one but then again, something had to be done to stop the bloodbath in the accounting dept. It’s really a shame, too. The fiesta is a good seller, yet it goes the wayside in favor of ONE Focus model. I don’t get it, and won’t even try to. To me, the passenger-car is NOT dead! SUV’s are great; most get decent mileage, can haul anything, etc. but they aren’t the answer for every buyer. If I didn’t live in the snow belt, I’d love a Mustang. But common sense and “snowy experiences” make AWD a priority in my car-buying decisions.

  2. Don’t see a pickup in the photo. The f100 was a good seller but not considered part of the car line.

    • Don’t see a Falcon Ranchero either, even though the Falcon van was technically commercial also.
      (fortunate to be the the second owner of a 62 Falcon 4 door at one time. Nice car).

  3. Over the course of 20 years I drove two Ford wagons into the ground. In 2008 when I went to Ford for a new wagon I found out the weren’t making wagons anymore. I went to Toyota and bought a Prius and have been very happy with my choice. Ford didn’t want me as a customer.

  4. Most car makers offer many more models now than they did in 1962, so Ford will be bucking that trend.. How many models does Ford currently offer?

    • I think six body styles with eight models are available in the US – Fiesta (and performance model Fiesta ST), Focus (and performance model Focus RS), Fusion, Taurus, Mustang, and GT. As far as I know, the Ka hasn’t made it north of Mexico, and the four MPV models haven’t crossed the Atlantic from Ford Europe.

  5. My first car was a 1962 Fairlane that my dad bought in 1974 for $300. It had the small V-8, don’t remember the displacement but it was somewhere between 260-290 cubes. It was a good car except the rear fender wells were completely rusted out.

  6. I understand Ford’s reasoning for their decision but it seems short-sighted to me. One unexpected blowup in the Middle East and one temper tantrum from OPEC, and they’ll wish they had something other than trucks, SUVs, and CUVs to sell. Just the opinion of someone who remembers all too well the gas lines of the 1970s.

    • Ain’t that the truth, and you don’t have to go that far back. July, 8, 2008, highest recorded average price for gas was $4.11. ( $4.84 for diesel) We sure heard the crybaby’s then, putting $200/week in fuel for their diesel dually pickups. It’s why the Asians made a killing off us the 1st time around.

    • This is a good point. It takes a couple of years to develop a car and work the kinks out. If small cars are suddenly in vogue again, Ford will essentially have to start from scratch.

      Yeah, it seems kind of short sighted to me, too.

    • It is a risk, though I wonder how difficult it would be to import Ford Ka cars (they’re manufactured in Brazil and India). The Ka’s a subcompact built on the same platform as the Fiesta, and it sounds like it will continue production (since the announcement was for North America, not global).

    • My CRV gets just under 30 mpg on an annualized basis, so let’s say that’s 350 gallons to drive 10,000 miles per year. If gas went to $5.00/ gallon and I bought a Ka that got say 40 mpg, I’d save 100 gallons of gas/year. News flash: Even tho I’m retired and on a fixed income I’m not going to drive around in a shoebox Ka just to save $500/year.

  7. 1962 Ford had the market covered from entry level Falcon to the personal luxury Thunderbird. Imports were a small portion of the US market. Today those imports are eating Ford’s lunch from $9,000 Kias to Camrys or Civics (made in the US). Ford is acknowledging that it can’t compete in every category. From a business perspective it’s probably the best decision.

    • Wholly agree. My last to trips to LA I rented a Chevy Cruze and a Ford Focus. Both were entry level models, but I still was surprised at how much better featured and performing my 2015 Golf Sportwagen is in comparison. From the little – like neither model having auto-down outside the driver’s window, or auto-up for any window, to the major – like the clunky engine and CVT in the Focus.

      As an aside to 1962, all wasn’t great for Ford. With the Fairlane nameplate moving to the intermediate, they decided to make all of their full-size cars Galaxies, and as Plymouth would learn when they tried the same with the Fury I, II, III a few years later, top-end full-size buyers in the low-priced three didn’t like seeing “their” brand on a stripper/fleet car. So for 1963, the Custom returned, in plain and Custom 300 guise.

  8. Doesn’t surprise me any with the crummy cars these knucklehead car designers are giving us. The only reason trucks are so popular today, is at least it’s a design people can relate to. Just look at that picture of the 1962 offerings. Something for everybody. There’s half a dozen even I would like. Show that same picture of the offerings today,,,I rest my case.

  9. Why surrender this car market to others. When gas prices get higher peoples interest in cars will return. If there not making money on them, they should figure out how too, other company’s are. Ford has manufacturing all over the world, find the cheapest location don’t give up.

  10. My first car was a 1951 Ford Custom, made back when there was only one Ford, only one Chevy, and only one Plymouth nameplate in each company’s lineup. In 1953 Chevy added the Corvette and next Ford added the Thunderbird. Then came the Falcon, etc. etc. until each company had a stable of models in each division. So now the Ford division is back to just two models. Deja vu to the 1950s once again. I wonder if Ford Motor Company will ever get back to just one model in the Ford division. I’d love to get back to the old Studebaker slogan, … first by far with a post war car. Alas, our wars are endless now so I doubt I’ll ever see that in my lifetime. But I’d like to have my old 1951 Ford Custom back – I paid $50 for it in 1960 and sold it for $25 in 1964. I would have kept it if I had ever dreamed that someday it would be worth 1000 times what I sold it for. And I’m sure every other old motor head like me has a similar story to tell. Used cars eventually become classic cars. I’m 76 years old and am just a used up person – unlike my old Ford, I never became a classic. But, I’m worth more now than I was then so I can’t complain. And I love visiting every day – something new/old to look forward to before I join my old Ford in the wrecking yard in the not so distant future.

    • Hang in there, Jack. Since I’m only a year behind you, that’s what I’d hope someone would say to me if I felt the same.

    • I suspect it’s the old “Harvard Business School” model of management that is currently killing Sears, nearly killed Harley Davidson, and dozens of other companies. The “idea” is that if you an run one business you can run any business. You don’t need to be a car guy to sell cars, or an appliance guy to sell washers, or a food guy to sell burgers. You just need to know how to keep the stock price going up, make the board happy, and deal with “the big picture.”

      Growl. Well, Ford has had bad days like this before, and hopefully they’ll survive this one too.

      • I think you hit the nail on the head, Darrell. Myself, and probably many here have had to deal with the feckless wunderkinds our higher institutions have been pumping out in the 21st century. My gut tells me Ford is making a big mistake.

  11. I think Ford has made a good decision for the times. It’s possible that it might prove to be a mistake down the road but companies have to deal with the realities of the current market. Look at what the other car companies are selling. The pickup truck, and SUV’s of various sizes are the big sellers. Look at the traffic around you and see the huge percentage of these on the roads with you. As for the ramifications of coming oil shortages, consider this: When the embargo of the 70’s hit, most of the newer model cars struggled to get much over 15 MPG unless you bought something really small. Today almost everything tops 20 MPG. My friend with a 2017 Dodge 4WD pickup regularly gets 25-27 MPG, with a Hemi no less. My wife’s mid-size SUV, a Land Rover Discovery Sport, sips fuel at a 30+MPG rate, puts out 240 hp and does everything a 4-door sedan does and most of what a conventional station wagon can do, while providing a fun driving experience.
    I would hazard an opinion that the next company’ to follow Ford’s lead will be FCA (Chrysler). The Dodge trucks are selling well, Jeeps are flying off the lots while the Dart and 200 are dead and the 300 is on life support.
    The problem is not limited to domestic manufacturers. A good friend just bought
    a new car: a 2017 Hyundai Azera with all the buttons and whistles. The build date of this car is August 2016. It has been on the dealer’s lost for nearly a year and a half. He bought it for nearly a third under the sticker price.
    If you have a product, no matter how good it might be, and sales of the product are not significant enough to make a profit for your company, it is your responsibility to your stockholders to do something about it. I think Ford is doing just that.

  12. I can see why Ford does not make any more cookie cutter cars.
    I went shopping at a both Chevy and Toyota dealer for a replacement for my 4 door 2002 Mercury Marquis.
    There was nothing that matched what I wanted so I bought nothing!
    If Ford hadn’t eliminated the full sized Impala, I would have bought one.

  13. First off how do you go looking for a station wagon and g home with a Prius ? Now as far as Ford dropping cars it can’t make money on, blame that on the furniture sales man and the unions. Ford is hamstrung by the Ford family who continues to live in the past. Just look what Tata did with Jaguar and Range Rover and what Giley is doing with Volvo. Personally I believe Ford should scrap all cars and just focus on Trucks. Ranger, F Series all the way up to medium and heavy duty. Nothing wrong with being known as the place to buy a truck in my opinion.

    • I bought a new 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 XL 2 dr. hardtop in August, 1962. It had bucket seats with a 4 on the floor shifter. I’m not sure which engine, but probably the 405 hp. The dealer ordered this from the factory and had to wait awhile for it. I kept my 1960 MG because the dealer didn’t want the trade. Unfortunately, I traded this car for a 1958 Jaguar XK150 and about froze when we moved from Iowa to Pa. in below zero temps. We soon replaced the Jag with a new 1964 TR4.

  14. I also think Ford is making a mistake and leaving a market to others. But the bottom line is the bottom line. I think one area that domestic manufacturers have also abandoned is the station wagon. For me it is a satisfying combination of the cargo capabilities of an SUV with the road manners of a sedan. They have come a long way from Dad’s Country Squire. Unfortunately since there are not any domestic auto companies with a wagon in the line up, your choice is one of the European brands. I have driven them for the last twenty years and will buy another this year.

    • Ford dropping the station wagon was a disappointment to us also. Our 2001 Taurus SW gave good service for 13 years but alas we had to switch to the Ford Edge which we do like.

  15. The domestics have never been able to make a sedan to compete with Camry and Accord. It seems to be a really bad sign for them now to wave the white flag entirely on sedans of all sizes.

    • BS. camry and accord? Dont make me laugh. The only issue is that the [new] demographic of those is so totally controlled by the controlled media that they buy whatever theyre told to, not whats the best.
      Media, unions and the government – both in meddling and inviting foreign businesses in whilst other nations essentially ban our products – have sounded the death knell of our industry. It is not lack of engineering or talent, it is external and premeditated forces at work.
      But back to 1962 as per the lead in to the article… People were more interested in their cars then; now, cars are merely an appliance and annoyance to most, so they could care less about style, performance or even features, except those that distract them and pander to their #$%^& celphone. As long as it delivers their overweight caffeine addled posterior to the bar or movie theatre, theyre content. No need to have any product save for a generic blob that has internet connectivity. Oh…and make sure its SO socially responsible and is advertised with ‘multicult’ hipsters…
      ’twerent that way in 62. AND Ford was profitable with all those different models…

  16. I’ve bought two new vehicles in my lifetime a 1976 Ford F-150 pickup and a 1986 Ford Crown Victoria Wagon, both were great vehicles that were driven into the ground. I did my part ,will never be able to buy another. Bob

  17. “…the popular Mustang, which has been in the car marketplace for almost fifty-four years.”

    The Mustang went on sale in April 1964 so it’s been MORE than 54 years. I’ve owned a ’65, ’68, ’70, 71 and 2013….

  18. The Old Nag
    I wonder if 150 yr ago there was a newspaper colomn
    Wherein oldster horse geeks would opine about the relative virtues of quarter horses , paints ,palominos, and discuss the impending wave of self propelled mechanical contrivances

    • With revenue of 160 Bn and net earnings of only 7.8 Bn (that’s just under 5%) and a share price that’s 2/3s what it was 10 years ago despite the booming economy there’s definitely some slack there. So I suspect it’s the former.

  19. I do have an affinity for Fords. First was a ’46 convertible, then ’46 coupe, ’59 convertible and my 1str new car a ’64 Fairlane Sport Coupe (wish I still had it). I went off brand a few years but dove Fords at work (police) and then got back to an ’88 sedan, ’98 Taurus and the 2001 SW and the Edge. Sad to see them drop the models leaving little choice for the future.

  20. It appears as if the Japanse, Koreans, and some of the Germans now have all the sedan markets. How do they make money on them? Oddly they also redo them on a regular basis. I have for decades been an American sedan and wagon buyer, but last time i shopped there was nothing. Ford dealer offered me a Focus which died on the test drive. So I got two Passats in a row.

  21. I took my driver’s license exam in my dad’s 62 Galaxie 500 Town Sedan. It was very pretty with 352 V8 and Cruise-O-Matic., smooth, quiet, comfortable car.
    Some years later I owned it as a second car, one I wished I hadn’t ever parted with.
    1962 was the first year for the new Fairlane intermediate line, very successful for Ford for quite a few years.

  22. Don’t know the term for it but the rest of the world including the U.S. has/had a program where the manufacturer’s whole fleet of products had to reach a pre-determined fuel efficiency average. The U.S. EPA recently and quietly cancelled the protocol and released the U.S. builders from this requirement so now the car makers are free to sell whatever they think will produce profits. For instance, if Ford wanted to sell a gas guzzer SUV they had to sell two fuel sipping sedans, to keep the average up, now they do not have to.

  23. Ford has no intention of getting out of the passenger car business outside the US. I suspect that in the US, they have essentially decided they don’t want to play in a game where the US government dictates sourcing/content strategies.
    Regulation (and White House theatrics) have unexpected consequences, some good, some bad.

  24. There were surprises! Example: the 1965 Ford “Falcon Club Wagon: An Econo-line Ford (truck) Van —with a whole bunch of windows added! surrounding you (Like a windowed VW Micro-bus! except : Engine in “dog-hous between the front bucket seats and rows of more (Moveable) seats !! ! Two opposing (Barn) doors on the curb side with Passenger assist –( door operated moving step) and another set on the back , three types of transmissions (one Automatic, two standard, 3 or 4- speed, a Falcon 6 or a Ford Truck 6 with more hp. BEST, most versatile Family Wagon on the planet!!! Her name was: “Lucille”. Edwin W.

  25. I am a Mustang fan and owner, (1995 GT Convert and 2015, Premium coupe 50 Anniversary) The new coupe is a 5 ltr, 6 spd and will get 30 mpg with the air on. My suggestion to Ford would be to put the Mustang drive train under a Fusion, making it a rear driver, make it a hatchback for more utilization, with sport bucket seats and market it as a 5 door sport sedan. This would rival European sport sedans which are selling at premium prices. Start a new trend in the US. The parts already exist and with some engineering could work with minimum expense.

  26. There’ll be a another new landscape for the car industry,when the next economic shock comes. And then, when Ford has nothing to sell, it’ll be 2008 bail-out* time all over again.

    It’ll be Socialism for the car industry and raw Capitalism for the so-called little guy (whilst in the meantime, the West Coast fires may well widen further – further than we ever thought imaginable).

    And the other manufacturers worldwide will stop and wonder, “How is it they never saw this coming – because we did”

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