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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[CES] PRESS DAY: Ford Motor Company
7:30-8 AM - Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields and CTO Raj Nair will share news around Ford Smart Mobility and the company’s efforts to change the way the world moves to make people’s lives better. News will be made in the areas of connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data analytics.

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Ford-Google's Driverless Car May Go Live at Las Vegas CES
TheStreet

By Doron Levin Follow | 01/01/16

Forecasting the buzz at Consumer Electronics Show is always tricky. But a good bet for what will create certain buzz at next week's CES is whatever Ford Motor and Alphabet's Google are willing to say about their driverless car project...

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How Ford Plans to Survive the Next 100 Years
Road&Track

By Andrew Del-Colle - Dec 31, 2015

The big picture can be hard to see. This is especially true when you're a massive corporation with global interests, a healthy chunk of the market, and a successful product. Business school text books are filled with examples of established companies who failed to properly account for new competition or identify and plan for major societal trends and technological shifts. In the recent parlance of Silicon Valley, they were disrupted. Nobody wants to be disrupted, and Ford has a plan to avoid such a fate...

...In 2011, Bill Ford Jr., Ford's executive chairman, gave a TED talk in which he discussed Ford's roots as a mobility company for the masses and outlined the hurdles facing the automotive industry as the world's population continues to swell and global gridlock becomes a concern. In 2014, he wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal discussing his plans for the future of Ford and noting that the coming changes in transportation also represent a $130 billion business opportunity. And last year at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, Ford's CEO, Mark Fields, announced the Ford Smart Mobility Plan, a wide-ranging set of experiments to explore various mobility solutions that are closely tied to the company's blueprint for the next 50 years and beyond...

..."Our focus at CES is going to be around Ford Smart Mobility (25 programs: Pdf)," says Alan Hall, Ford's technology, research, and innovation communications manager. "That means we're going to have news on connectivity, on mobility, on autonomous vehicles, on consumer experience, and big data."...
...Ford doesn't plan on transitioning away from being a carmaker. Ford sees Smart Mobility as more of an addition to its current business, an overarching idea. "Bill Ford has said that the next hundred years are going to look very different than the first hundred years," Hall says...
...Along with the expected Google partnership, the biggest indication of Ford's commitment to this new mobility mindset is that more than 100 employees now work at the company's Palo Alto Research and Innovation Center...

...As for whether partnering with Google—or any other major technology company—is a bad idea, that's another issue entirely. Some industry experts have warned that this could essentially turn Ford into an OEM for Google, a company that, when it comes down to it, benefits hugely by creating a world where people spend less time driving and more time looking at screens loaded with Google ads while the company mines valuable data. While we'll never really know Google's true motivation ... a Ford-Google relationship will likely be more symbiotic than skeptics think.

The concern is understandable, but Ford's not naive, and having former Ford CEO Alan Mulally on Google's Board of Directors gives it some protection. These are also the exact kind of partnerships Ford needs to make to execute its Smart Mobility Plan to its full extent. For such a varied and global effort, it will need partners of all types and in all markets across the globe. Google, for example, doesn't have licensing in China for the highly accurate mapping data so important to autonomous and semiautonomous cars. That's a massive market and one place where the middle class is growing fastest. You know who does have access to those maps? China's Alibaba and search giant Baidu, which is also heavily invested in autonomous vehicles. Don't be surprised to hear about either company partnering with a major carmaker at some point as well.

In fact, don't be surprised by anything you hear in the next year and coming decades. Not just from Ford, but from anyone. The future of transportation is wide open and rife with opportunities. As is always the case, companies just have to see them and act.

loooong article: More...
 

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Re: [CES] Ford Motor Company

Assuming this is happening, I wonder if the product will be more "Google Car: assembled by Ford," or "Ford Fusion, with optional Google autonomous mode"?
 

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Re: [CES] Ford Motor Company

Ford is hosting the first automotive news conference of CES 2016 on press day at Mandalay Bay, with a keynote delivered by CEO Mark Fields and CTO Raj Nair, Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Those not in attendance can watch the conference on CNET live-stream, available at http://live.cnet.com/Event/Ford_CES_2016_press_conference.


WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, 7:30-8 a.m. PST

Ford subject matter experts will be available for interviews and technology demonstrations at the Ford stand (Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, No. 2122), Wednesday, Jan. 6 through Saturday, Jan. 9.
 

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Re: [CES] Ford Motor Company

"Third generation fleet will be equipped with the latest generation of Lidar. Solid state puck, the size of the sensors is about the size of 2-3 hockey pucks stacked."

It seems first gen self driving cars will have rather large side mirrors to house the smallish puck. I expect one to also be mounted where the rear view mirror is also.

 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
FordPass® ... experience/mobility

dunno if this was mentioned as part of CES but...

Media.Ford.com - Jan 11, 2016
Ford Invests in Making Customer Experience as Strong as Its Cars, SUVs, Trucks and Electrified Vehicles with FordPass


• FordPass®, part of Ford’s transformation into an auto and mobility company, aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans
• Launching in April, FordPass reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer; membership is free whether you own a Ford vehicle or not by registering online
• Benefits include a Marketplace offering mobility services; FordGuides, who are always there to help you move; Appreciation, for membership loyalty; and FordHubs, where you can go to experience the company’s latest innovations
• Ford partnering with ParkWhiz to help drivers find and pay for advance parking more easily, and with FlightCar to help consumers share and borrow; FordPay makes it easy to pay for mobility expenses
• Ford also partnering with McDonald’s and 7-Eleven to reward FordPass members with merchandise and unique experiences
• FordHubs to open in New York, London, Shanghai and San Francisco; first will open later this year at New York’s Westfield World Trade Center


As part of its transformation into an auto and mobility company, Ford is introducing FordPass® – a platform that reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer. FordPass aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans.

FordPass members can talk to personal mobility assistants – FordGuides – night or day to help resolve their mobility challenges, whether finding a more efficient way to get around or booking parking before reaching their destination. Members can reserve and pay for advance parking, virtually build their ideal vehicle at one of several FordHubs globally, and receive rewards for FordPass membership loyalty.

“Ford always has been motivated to make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We did it when we put the world on wheels a century ago and we do it now through our strong lineup of cars, SUVs, trucks and electrified vehicles. Today, we take our commitment one step further with the introduction of FordPass – an all-new platform that may be our most revolutionary yet.”

A FordPass membership is free for Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike. The platform officially launches in April.

FordPass is part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

“As we’ve studied the mobility challenges people face, we designed FordPass to help provide services that make consumers’ lives easier,” said Fields. “FordPass is really about listening to people’s needs and developing ways to help them move better.”

FordPass features four elements to benefit members: Marketplace includes mobility services; FordGuides help consumers move more efficiently; Appreciation, where members are recognized for their loyalty; and FordHubs, where consumers can experience Ford’s latest innovations.

Marketplace
All members will have access to mobility services through FordPass Marketplace.

Ford is working with ParkWhiz and Parkopedia to help people find and pay for parking more easily, and with FlightCar to borrow and share vehicles when they travel. In the future, services will include ride sharing, car sharing, multimodal transportation and more.

Members can pay for these services through FordPay – a virtual wallet.

“FordPass is about convenience,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “We’re connecting consumers with the world, making it all incredibly easy.”

Ford owners can easily connect with their preferred dealer to schedule maintenance and service appointments or to review their Ford Credit vehicle finance account details.

Members who own Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC® Connect can use FordPass to access vehicle features such as remote start; lock and unlock; fuel, oil and battery charge levels; tire pressure readings; and to locate their vehicle.

FordGuides
No one wants to be just a number. That’s why FordPass members can speak directly to trusted and knowledgeable FordGuides – all at the touch of a button.

For example, if a member decides he would like to book advance parking for an upcoming show but is unsure how to reserve it, one push of a button on his smartphone lands him in a live chat with a FordGuide who will lead him through the options and help to reserve parking.

The guides will be available free of charge. Their only job is to guide, serve and help solve mobility challenges – not to sell.

Appreciation
FordPass Appreciation is about making mobility more rewarding – no matter the journey.

Members will be rewarded for doing simple things, such as registering to become a member, booking parking, or interacting with FordGuides.

And by collaborating with affinity partners McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and others, FordPass can recognize members with access to merchandise and unique experiences.

“We’re engaging with our customers – and our potential customers – aiming to make every interaction with the Ford brand a positive experience,” said Elena Ford, Ford vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “We want consumers to know how much we appreciate them, and with FordPass, we’re taking loyalty a step further.”

FordHubs
FordPass also includes the opening of FordHubs, where consumers will be able to explore the company’s latest innovations, learn about its mobility services and experience exclusive events.

The first of these urban storefronts opens later this year at Westfield World Trade Center in New York, followed by FordHubs in San Francisco, London and Shanghai.

On-site FordGuides will help guests understand mobility options available in their cities, explore solutions for their mobility needs, view a real-time mobility map of their city, and experience special events, including new vehicle reveals.

“These aren’t places where we’re trying to sell something,” said Odell. “We want to hear people’s thoughts, and we want to show them what we’re doing to solve the transportation issues of today and tomorrow – and not just in their city, but around the world.”

FordPass launches this spring in the United States and Canada, followed by other markets including Europe, China and Brazil later this year. FordPass capability is activated through smartphones. Consumers can sign up for more information and updates at MyFordPass.com.


Related: From 'The Big Idea' to FordPass: How Ford's Reimagined Customer Service Came to Life

For more multimedia and all news from Detroit visit our 2016 NAIAS Collection here
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Ford Smart Mobility LLC Established to Develop, Invest in Mobility Services

• Ford Smart Mobility LLC established as a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company with operations in Palo Alto, California, and Dearborn, Michigan

• Ford Smart Mobility LLC will design, build, grow and invest in new mobility services; move comes as Ford expands its business model to be both an auto and a mobility company

• Jim Hackett named Ford Smart Mobility LLC chairman; former Steelcase executive to leave Ford Board to lead company’s mobility services business



DEARBORN, Mich., – Ford Motor Company is announcing today the creation of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a new subsidiary formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. Jim Hackett, former Steelcase vice chairman and CEO, is leaving his position on the Ford Board of Directors to serve as chairman of the new subsidiary.

Ford Smart Mobility LLC is part of Ford’s expanded business model to be both an auto and a mobility company. The company is continuing to focus on and investing in its core business – designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing cars, SUVs, trucks and electrified vehicles. At the same time, Ford aggressively is pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics.

“Ford Smart Mobility and expanding into mobility services are significant growth opportunities,” said Mark Fields, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Our plan is to quickly become part of the growing transportation services market, which already accounts for $5.4 trillion in annual revenue. Jim Hackett is the right visionary leader – with extensive experience in business development and design – to take us into the mobility services business in the future.”

Ford Smart Mobility LLC: Building and Investing in New Mobility Services
The new Ford Smart Mobility LLC will build on the products, technologies and Ford Smart Mobility innovations and work already under way at Ford Motor Company. Working with Ford’s existing product development, research and advanced engineering, marketing and data analytics teams – which will remain unchanged – the subsidiary will develop commercially ready mobility services and invest in promising mobility-related ventures.
 

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Re: Ford Smart Mobility LLC Established to Develop, Invest in Mobility Services

Hopefully Ford can integrate the technologies faster in their cars. Any maybe one up the competition on some things. I love my Ford cars and the fact that Ford was selected as the most ethical car company makes me feel even better about the ownership, but the other car manufacturers incorporate technology and gimmicks in their cars that will in most cases, only be used in the first month or so of ownership and then become a distraction more than anything. It's these things however that brings people to the showrooms in the first place. Car shopping has become like cellphone ownership to a large extent. One upping one another with gimmicks and glitter that doesn't always add to the ownership and use experience, but that is what you compete against,and the lack of competing can lose you sales. And please give Lincoln something eye popping.
 

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Re: Ford Smart Mobility LLC Established to Develop, Invest in Mobility Services

Letter from Fields last week:

As we expand our business model to be both an auto and a mobility company, we have some exciting news to share. We are announcing today that we are creating a new subsidiary – Ford Smart Mobility LLC – to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. Jim Hackett, former Steelcase vice chairman and CEO, is leaving his position on the Ford Board of Directors to serve as chairman of the new subsidiary.

Ford Smart Mobility LLC’s focus will be to help us quickly become a participant in the growing mobility services market – to complement the huge progress and leadership we have established with our core products and technologies, including Ford SYNC, our autonomous vehicle development program, FordPass and data and analytics.

Consider these facts: The traditional global automotive industry achieves about $2.3 trillion in revenue a year. Today, Ford’s share of this is about 6 percent. Mobility services – which includes mass transit, taxis and ride sharing – today total about $5.4 trillion in revenue and will continue to grow significantly in the next 15 years. Ford – and all of our auto industry competitors – receives virtually none of the revenue from this market today.

And that’s the opportunity and our business model going forward, as the graphic below illustrates – continue growing our core auto business, building on our strengths and become a serious player in mobility services.

The new subsidiary will work together with Product Development, Research and Advanced Engineering, Marketing, Data and Analytics and all of our global business units and skill teams. Organizing as a subsidiary will give the Ford Smart Mobility team flexibility and an operating structure competitive with technology and other companies also pursuing the mobility services business. The structure is similar to the role that Ford Credit plays as our subsidiary in automotive finance.

As chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, Jim Hackett will report to me and lead a team of business and technology leaders from inside and outside the company focused on mobility services. There are no changes to our current Ford organization, which will remain focused on our core and emerging products and technologies, including our teams working on connectivity, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics.

The attached news release provides more details about today’s announcement.

This truly is an exciting time for Ford. Thank you for all you are doing to help Ford Go Further.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The TRUE Meaning of ... MOBILITY??

Pitfalls, Opportunity and the Big Mobility Shakeout
WardsAuto

John McElroy - Dec 27, 2016


...There are two sets of data. One set is generated by the car, such as how all the parts and components are performing...

...The other set of data is generated by the people in the car; a massive amount of information flowing in and out about where they’re going and what they’re doing. Retailers, advertisers, marketers, product planners, financial analysts, government agencies and so many others will eagerly pay to get access to that information. And it’s a gift that keeps on giving; the cash flow is continuous.

Unlike automotive manufacturing, Big Data analytics driven by Artificial Intelligence does not require large capital investments. That translates into meaty profit margins. And this explains why so many major automakers want to get into the mobility services market. They don’t want to cede this lucrative business to Silicon Valley. They don’t want Apple and Google grabbing all that data for themselves.

But not all OEMs can afford to do this on their own, which explains why FCA partnered with Waymo, the name of Google’s ride-sharing service, to develop autonomous Chrysler Pacificas. That gets FCA a seat at the table. But is Waymo a supplier to FCA, or is FCA a supplier to Waymo? I bet both companies have different answers to that question.

The disruption already has started. It may not be too obvious now, but in a few years’ time it will be plain as day to everyone. We’re headed for a shakeout, the auto industry will morph into something new, and the biggest opportunity is in controlling the data.

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
...Living and working in the City of TOMORROW

*VICE* was live — with Ford Motor Company at North American International Auto Show...
...talking with Jeremy Rifkin, WeWork, Walter Isaacson and Mark Fields about the future of mobility.

2 HOUR LONG video - didn't watch
facebook
&
from official .Pdf
"An exclusive preview of economist Jeremy Rifkin’s new film, “The Third Industrial Revolution,” and
insights from top entrepreneurs, disruptors and CEOs about the changing urban landscape, job
opportunities and the economies in the "City of Tomorrow"."
&


please let me know if ANYone watches the whole thing / and maybe what parts are best?
:angel >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mobility Porsche-style ( "covoiturage" = carpooling/sharing )

Porsche tackles car sharing… with a twist
MotorAuthority

Sean Szymkowski - Apr 3, 2017

Car sharing is all the rage these days, especially as younger generations flock back into cities and ditch car ownership for other means of transportation. Many automakers have even put themselves into the mix with various car-sharing programs from Audi, BMW, and Daimler.

But what about Porsche? Porsche has an idea, too, though it’s a little different from what you might imagine.

Porsche filmed its take on car- and ride-sharing in France, as unsuspecting users await a ride into Paris. Except, the driver is Romain Dumas, a Porsche factory driver and World Endurance Championship winner, and he’s brought a 2017 Panamera Turbo. Can you tell where this is going yet?

The unsuspecting passengers climb aboard and all seems well until the infotainment system announces a traffic jam ahead. Dumas reassures his passengers, stating he knows a shortcut. Spoiler alert: there is no shortcut.

Upon rolling into a race track, the passengers are quickly distributed helmets and Dumas explains Porsche’s car-sharing concept with hard acceleration, precise apexes, and even a little bit of sideways action for those onboard.

Some of the passengers didn’t seem to like Porsche’s style very much, but this is definitely our kind of car-sharing service. Imagine the possibilities. You could call upon a Panamera Sport Turismo for extra cargo capacity, or even a Panamera 4 E-Hybrid for the eco-conscious.

There really could be something for everyone with this pseudo car sharing service. Porsche, we like your style.
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Discussion Starter #17
Mobility: Uber is F.U.B.A.R.

Pittsburgh is Getting Tired of Uber’s Corporate Nonsense
The Truth About Cars |
By Matt Posky on May 22, 2017

Pittsburgh boasts more bridges than any other city its size and Uber seems intent on burning every single one. After the ride-hailing company offered to test its autonomous platform in the city, Pittsburgh welcomed it with open arms. Now it’s starting to seem like it got a raw deal. Uber has become like the city’s drug-addicted teen — permitted to stay, despite very disappointing behavior and repeated broken promises. You get the sense its only one big screw-up away from being thrown out on its ass.

It hasn’t even been a full year and residents and officials are already claiming Uber has already let the city down. You have to place some of the blame on Pittsburgh for enabling Uber’s uncouth behavior, but it didn’t force it to abandon corporate citizenship. In the last nine months, Uber has withdrawn its promised support of Pittsburgh’s bid for a $50 million federal transportation grant and completely failled at creating jobs it promised struggling communities. It has also started charging fares for its driverless taxis, something the city initially assumed would be free in exchange for the company having the privilege of testing there.

The New York Times suggests many residents are upset with Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh, for not solidifying these deals in writing. Peduto’s challengers in the 2017 mayoral race have criticized his relationship with the firm as a campaign tactic, though it didn’t prevent him from winning the Democratic primary.

“This was an opportunity missed,” said city controller Michael Lamb, who has requested Uber share the traffic data obtained by its autonomous vehicles.

Linda Bailey, the executive director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, said Pittsburgh’s relationship with Uber should be a cautionary tale to other cities. “[Uber] is a business, and they want to make money,” she said. “With Pittsburgh, we learned we need to present the city’s needs upfront.”

The ride-sharing company has stated it wants to continue a working relationship with the city but had yet to see a draft of proposed commitments the city is seeking. As for the traffic information requests made by Lamb, Uber has agreed to provide the some of the data acquired through testing but no more than it would give any other city. Pittsburgh officials have claimed that is unacceptable, given the level of access they’ve given the company.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit, a group representing bus drivers and riders, organized a social media campaign and public protest against the company’s decision to continue airport service after taxi drivers had halted rides to protest the Trump administration’s travel ban.

Molly Nichols, executive director of the group, claimed Uber had called to ask her to cancel the protests — a request she refused. “The warning signs about Uber’s questionable business practices were all over the place, and the mayor should have recognized that and worked harder to create a partnership that was more equitable,” Nichols said.

Plenty of direct action taken against Uber has been politically motivated. CEO Travis Kalanick’s brief stint as a member of President Trump’s business advisory council seemed to be a particularly sore spot for Democrats. Criticisms against his appointment were so severe that he left the council after only a few weeks.

However, there are plenty of non-partisan issues for locals to gripe about, too. While Uber has says it has created 675 jobs in the greater Pittsburgh area and aided local organizations, many say it hasn’t lived up to its end of the perceived bargain. Even the mayor has changed his tune. “When it came to what Uber and what Travis Kalanick wanted, Pittsburgh delivered,” Mr. Peduto said. “But when it came to our vision of how this industry could enhance people, planet and place, that message fell on deaf ears.”

The Times indicated that the mayor had exchanged frequent texts with Kalanick in 2015. However, things changed in 2016 when the company withdrew its financial support for a proposal to acquire Department of Transportation grants aimed at improving the city’s transit infrastructure. Later, Peduto was billed after taking a ride in an autonomous Uber vehicle — which Kalanick had assured him would be free as a public service to the city.
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Discussion Starter #18
Nissan goes standard on automated braking
Automotive News
- Lindsay Chappell - June 8, 2017


NASHVILLE -- Nissan Motor Co. is moving ahead of oncoming federal regulations to make advanced automated braking technology a standard feature on most of the vehicles it sells in the U.S.

The company estimates that the radar-based system will be equipped on more than 1 million Nissan-brand vehicles for the 2018 model year. That would represent about two-thirds of all the light vehicles Nissan sells in the U.S., four years ahead of new federal safety rules.

The Automatic Emergency Braking technology -- formerly marketed by Nissan as Forward Emergency Braking and now offered only as an option in higher-grade trim packages -- will be on about 450,000 Nissan vehicles for the 2017 model year, the automaker estimates.

The company said Thursday that the feature will be standard on the 2018 Altima, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder, Rogue, Rogue Sport and Sentra, except for models equipped with manual transmissions or NISMO-trim packages.

Michael Bunce, Nissan North America's vice president of product planning, said the move will accelerate consumer acceptance of the active safety technology, which detects stopped traffic or other obstacles and halts a vehicle without driver involvement.

"The technology is becoming more accepted in the market," Bunce told Automotive News. "We've begun to see in our market research that this system is resonating with consumers. Once they have it and experience it activating just one time, they can't live without it."

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reached a voluntary agreement with 20 vehicle manufacturers to standardize automatic braking by 2022.

Nissan introduced an early version of automated braking in the U.S. in an Infiniti model, the 2005 Q45. The Nissan brand introduced it on the 2015 Murano.

Nissan sources the braking technology from two global suppliers -- Robert Bosch and Continental AG. In recent weeks as part of a mid-model-year change, Nissan made an early move to introduce the braking feature as standard equipment on the 2017 Rogue and Maxima.

"The safety data from NHTSA is that automated braking can reduce injuries by as much as 35 percent," Bunce said. "That's something we want to embrace as part of our stated commitment to reach zero fatalities."

Bunce said it is difficult to quantify the value of making the technology a standard component, but until now, the higher priced trim levels with the relevant tech packages cost between $7,000 and $10,000 more than the base models without the technology.

He said that the rest of Nissan's product line will receive the standard safety feature in the next few years, depending on individual vehicles' schedule for product changes.

"We're starting with the high-volume vehicles of our portfolio, but we're not stopping with those," he said. "We will continue to roll it out until we have it on 100 percent of our models."

 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
at first wanted to avoid posting this in the "86 Fields" thread for the "New Lineup: HOW?" thread, BUT
in editing, decided it pertains most to (ugh) MOBILITY


Profit-rich Ford facing tough, new road ahead
The Detroit News
, Daniel Howes , June 7, 2017


In a note to clients, a leading Wall Street analyst warned Wednesday that Ford Motor Co.’s earnings outlook “may need to be reset as much as 50 percent lower over the next 18 to 24 months.”

Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas cited a model lineup in need of refreshing, the need for increased investment in the emerging mobility and autonomy space, and the growing expectation that moderating U.S. sales will begin to deliver fewer dollars to the bottom line...

...
Maybe it’s because GM already has a purpose-built, sub-$30,000 electric vehicle — the Chevrolet Bolt — in showrooms. It’s well ahead of Ford and the Model 3 from Silicon Valley’s Tesla Inc., vying with GM to be America’s most valued automaker. And Ford? A distant third in a U.S. industry its founder, Henry Ford, revolutionized with the moving assembly line and his Model T for the masses.

Maybe it’s why Ford used the change at the top to execute a sweeping reorganization of senior leadership. It’s unlike anything CEO Alan Mulally ever attempted during his eight-year rescue of the Blue Oval...

...
In addition to segmenting the world into its traditional geographic pieces — the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, Asia-Pacific — Ford is splitting the business into “markets” under former Europe boss Jim Farley and “operations” under former Americas chief Joe Hinrichs.

In simple terms, Hinrichs leads the functions that develop, design, engineer and build the products; Farley leads the business units charged with marketing, selling and delivering results to the bottom line. It’s a meaningful change designed to flatten the senior executive structure, speed decision-making — and it’s a departure from what Mulally bequeathed to Fields.

Which means the results, whatever they actually turn out to be, will be blamed for departing from Mulally’s disciplined approach. Or they’ll be credited to senior management and directors who understood the necessity to adapt to challenges that did not materially exist when their superstar CEO arrived from Boeing Co. in 2006.

The automotive world is changing, undeniably. Mulally’s industrial prescription for the traditional car and truck business, effective and popular as it was, was necessary. It delivered sequentially better results quarter after quarter; it focused top management on similar processes and common results; and it suppressed legendary infighting among top execs.

But it is not proving sufficient to navigate quickly and persuasively the new technology-driven rivalries with a muscular GM and some of the biggest (and richest) players Silicon Valley can muster. The two-dimensional outline of Ford’s profitability, grounded most in its F-Series pickups, suggests the Mulally Method didn’t anticipate the coming revolution.

And Ford is saying as much in a carefully worded, if introspective, response to Jonas: “We have not changed our guidance. We are now more focused than ever on speeding decision making, investing capital where we can create value and moving decisively to address areas of the business that are under-performing or destroying capital.”

Telling choices of words, those, emphasizing speed and acknowledging Detroit’s legendary reputation for “destroying capital” instead of leveraging it into bigger profits, faster growth and new market segments. That’s why Fields is no longer CEO. And this:

“At this time, the vast majority of Ford’s vehicles in operation are completely unconnected, do not collect data, have a rudimentary sensor suites, minimal computing power and extremely limited ability to conduct over-the-air (OTA) updates of firmware,” Jonas wrote.

Moving Ford to OTA capability — which GM and Tesla already do, regularly — “would send a powerful signal to investors and strategic partners that Ford truly embraces the areas in which it can add value in Auto 2.0.”

GM has 12 million connected vehicles, the company says, almost as many as all other automakers combined. Using OnStar, GM has been delivering OTAs since 2009. And its current generation of hardware on model years 2014 and newer can pull 6.7 billion points of data per day.

Tells you everything you need to know about the challenges ahead for Dearborn.

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