The plan is make more of the optional equipment standard and Ford is looking into what buyers want so it can outfit the vehicles accordingly. Aside from giving customers the options they desire, it means that dealers won't have stale product collecting dust on the lot. Mark Fields cited one of the most egregious offenders, the Lincoln LS (discontinued in '06), as being available in some 50,000 different configurations -- unfortunately, none of which involved a manual and a V8.
The move seemed to get a fair amount of support from dealers when it was announced at the NADA conference and Ford hopes to keep pace with other automakers that have been doing this for decades. The simplified options list will make its debut later this year on Ford's 2009 models sold in the U.S.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]