I'm really becoming amazed at how much of a mix exists on my Bronco. I began to remove the rear shocks and found that the bolts holding them were 18mm and not SAE. Just how much of this defilement exists :banghead
Here is the "nuts and bolts" to your question. :clavin
Ford has reduced their fixed operating costs immensely by paying down their debt as a company. One way of doing this is to have more efficient relationships between Ford Nameplates and platforms.
At one point Ford had 97 Nameplates globally. They have now reduced that to 60 Nameplates and the plan is to go down to approximately 20 Nameplates globally. Ford used to have about 20 platforms and the plan is to go down to 12 platforms worldwide. What is happening is that Ford Nameplates are now sharing technology creating global efficiencies. The C Car, for example, is the Ford Focus. That car is now 80% common throughout the world. In 22 markets that they sell, 80% of the componentry is now exactly the same where previously they had been markedly different.
In other words, Ford used to be a Global Company acting regionally making regional vehicles with no commonality, so they had no efficiencies. Ford is now making vehicle platforms where they used to make 200,000 and they are now making 1.5 to 2 million vehicles on the same platform with 80% commonality. Think of the efficiencies and cost savings. This will bring vehicles to market cheaper, with higher level of technology, with better quality, but more important for Ford is they will be able to retain better margins.
What this also means to you as a consumer is you are less likely to find uncommon parts in your new Ford worldwide. This does not necessarily mean you will not have a mixture of SAE and Metric, it only means you will have more common componentry and availability of parts which is better for us, the consumers. :thumbup