This article will be included in the second part of “Redesigning the Industry,” an Automotive News series exploring the future of a business in the throes of change. Part II will appear in our Nov. 13 issue and will focus on automakers’ strategies.
Ford Motor Co.'s strategy for the next 100 years is guided by the same principle that drove its success in its first 100: Make people's lives better.
It's more than just a marketing slogan. Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Hackett speak of mobility as a human rights issue, and every decision regarding self-driving vehicles and new mobility services is shaped with the consumer in mind.
The automaker has sunk billions into autonomous vehicle technology and electrification in recent years. Those investments have cut into near-term profits and aren't likely to pay off for years — Ford doesn't plan to introduce a self-driving vehicle until 2021, and consumers have yet to embrace EVs.
"It's not about who's first to market," Bill Ford said last month at a speech in Detroit. "It's about who's most thoughtful to market. There are so many ways that technology can be deployed just for technology's sake that leave people frustrated."