Before the pandemic, automakers were already facing massive disruption, including driverless cars, electric vehicles, and shared mobility. But COVID-19 dealt another blow: Automotive was one of the hardest hit sectors in 2020, especially in the U.S., where auto sales sank by 15%.
As the virus accelerated, dealerships were forced to close their lots and shift to servicing and selling cars online, while larger supply chain concerns caused shortages in critical parts like microchips, which slowed vehicle production.
In the midst of these unprecedented challenges, however, 118-year-old Ford Motor Company leaned in and began to reinvent itself. Under the leadership of two new executives — Jim Farley as CEO and Suzy Deering as global CMO — the company saw an opportunity for business transformation and started mapping out a strategy.
Questioning everything, from its organizational structure to its customer experience, Ford made difficult decisions to put technology at the center of its business and get ahead of auto consumers’ evolving needs.
While still in the early stages of its journey, Ford has developed something of a blueprint for auto brands of the future. Recently, I spoke to Farley and Deering about the company’s transformation strategy. They shared three key changes they’re focused on.