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Ford to add nine new nameplates by 2023

The Ford Ranger Raptor has been cleared for take-off in the USA

The Ford of tomorrow will be barely recognisable from today, with the company announcing plans to overhaul the bulk of its line-up, adding nine new nameplates by 2023.

But despite the incoming models, the number of vehicles on offer globally from Ford will only increase from 20 to 23, with several of the brand's most ionic nameplates destined for the chop to make way for the new cars.

That's the word from Ford's US product chief Hau Thai Tang, who told American media that the plan marked, "a profound shift in terms of how Ford is thinking about the business, and how we're working."

"It's not a strategy to shrink," he said. "This is not us shrinking and reducing our size in the marketplace. It's all about reallocating resources and capital where we can win, also consistent with some of the consumer trends we're seeing."

Of the nine new nameplates, seven will be pick-ups and SUVs (which is no surprise, given the size of that market in the USA) and all are expected to arrive before 2023. In the USA, they'll be replacing the Fiesta, Taurus, Fusion, C-Max, Flex and most Focus models, none of which feature in Ford's future.

Ford has already confirmed a plan to shift its focus from passengers cars to SUVs and trucks. As reported here, Ford’s mid-size Fusion, known as the Mondeo in Australia, is set to be reborn as a Subaru Outback-rivalling high-riding wagon.

Mr Tang also spoke of his plan to decrease the average age of the Ford fleet from its current level of 5.7 years to 3.3 years by 2020.

"It's like selling fish and vegetables," he said. "The fresher it is, the better they do."

Is Ford right to bet on SUVs? Tell us in the comments below.