above> the all-electric f-150 lightning
this article by associated press correspondent tom krisher may be the most dramatic automobile business model switch you have heard in your lifetime. article edited for brevity and clarity.
ford ceo, jim farley says the company will stop competing in over-served market segments and instead will place big bets on connected vehicles and digital services. the days of ford being all things to all people are over, farley said at the company’s capital markets day event.
the company he said has been “stuck in a box” with thin profit margins, weak growth and low stock valuations. ford will emphasize software and services as well as pickup trucks, large SUV’s, commercial vehicles and advanced second-generation electric vehicles, farley said.
for example, by the time ford rolls out a new version of the f-150 pickup truck later this year, it will have cut 2,400 parts from the bill of materials for the truck, compared from the existing model. ford f-series pickups are the top-selling vehicles in the u.s. and a huge profit center for the company. farley said by focusing on software, services and ford’s strengths in products, the company won’t be as vulnerable to a downturn as in the past. he said the company has let complexity “overrun our business as we tried to be all things to all people.”
above/below> mustang mach-e gt
farley says ford will be competing differently, going for tailored ownership experiences rather than “jockeying for slivers of market share” with complex vehicles in over-served market segments. he said the company will go to non-negotiated prices, working with the dealers. farley has long complained about ford’s high retail and warranty costs.
kumar galhotra, president of ford blue, said, rather than testing the new super duty pickup to a particular standard, the company tested it until parts and systems failed. now ford is finding the eventual weak point and eliminating it, prolongin vehicle life, galhhotra said.
ford also said its new or revamped electric vehicle manufacturing plants will be far more efficient, with nearly 30% less labor overhead than the company’s current large internal combustion vehicle plants.