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Ford Moving EV Production From Michigan to Mexico

Move will open up plant to build new line of autonomous vehicles.

by on Dec.07, 2017

“You’re starting to see the foundation of Ford’s bet on AVs (or autonomous vehicles),” said Jim Farley.

Ford plans to shift production of electric vehicles from a suburban Detroit plant to a factory in Mexico, a top company official said. That move will make room at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant for Ford to launch a new line of driverless vehicles that will be used by ride-sharing and delivery fleets.

The move could create some political headaches for the second-largest of the Detroit Big Three automakers. During his campaign for the White House, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly bashed Ford’s plans to move small car production from Michigan to a second assembly plant it was building in Mexico. It ultimately scrubbed that facility and will shift production of the Focus model to China, instead.

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“You’re starting to see the foundation of Ford’s bet on AVs (or autonomous vehicles),” said Jim Farley, the president of global markets for Ford.

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Leaner, Faster, More High-Tech, Ford CEO Hackett Outlines His Vision of the Future

Maker will focus on electric vehicle development.

by on Oct.04, 2017

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett spent his first 100 days rethinking all aspects of Ford's business.

(Updated)

Ford Motor Co.’s new CEO Jim Hackett emerged from a 100-day review of the company’s challenges, capabilities and strategies late Tuesday afternoon to reveal a series of changes expected to yield billions of dollars in savings for the second-largest U.S. automaker while also driving up sales, revenues and margins by targeting new business opportunities in both the U.S. and overseas markets.

The former head of furniture maker Steelcase, Hackett said Ford has to prepare for the disruptions threatening the auto industry while using them to boost revenues. Joined at Ford headquarters in the Detroit suburbs by four of his top lieutenants, Hackett outlined a series of key goals and changes that will include, among other things a reduction in the number of sedans and conventional passenger cars while shifting capital to the development of more utility vehicles and electrified vehicles.

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Improvements in the product development and manufacturing process, meanwhile, will yield about $10 billion annual savings, said the 62-year-old Hackett. Acknowledging Ford had “fallen short on key targets,” the new CEO promised to deliver profit margins of at least 8%, up from the current 6.1%, a figure he said “simply (is) not good enough.”

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Ford Will Build EVs, Plug-Ins in China

Maker responds to tough new Chinese emissions rules.

by on Apr.06, 2017

Ford hopes to gain share in a fast-growing Chinese market for electrified vehicles.

Facing strict new emissions rules that favor a shift to battery power Ford Motor Co. plans to roll out an assortment of new electrified vehicles for the Chinese market.

Ford will have electrified versions of most of its offering in China by 2025, CEO Mark Fields announced, two weeks ahead of the Shanghai Motor Show. And it plans to start building them locally, as well.

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“The time is right for Ford to expand our EV lineup and investments in China,” Ford’s Fields said in a statement, adding  that the second-largest U.S. automaker is “prioritizing our electrification efforts on China to reflect its importance.”

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Ford Planning Long-Range EV to Challenge Tesla, GM

Goal is to be “in a leadership position,” says CEO Fields

by on Apr.29, 2016

Ford is upping the range of the current Focus Electric to more than 100 miles for 2017.

Ford Motor Co. plans to join the ranks of automakers offering a battery-car capable of at least 200 miles per charge, said CEO Mark Fields, helping eliminate the so-called “range anxiety” that has many potential customers shying away from electric vehicles.

That’s a shift in strategy for Ford which decided to hold the range of the updated 2017 Focus Electric to just 100 miles. But a growing list of manufacturers are pushing to 200 miles or more, including Tesla, General Motors, Volkswagen and Audi.

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“We want to make sure that we’re either among the leaders or in a leadership position,” Fields said during a conference call with automotive analysts and reporters. “When you look at some of the competitors and what they’ve announced, clearly, that’s something we’re developing for.”

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Ford Trades Range for Price on New Focus EV

Execs don't believe the 200 miles is worth an extra $6k to buyers.

by on Apr.18, 2016

The 2017 Ford Focus EV will have a range of 100 miles, which is about 100 miles less than its competition.

As most of EV makers are following the go big or go home path when it comes to battery range, Ford is staying the course – or distance – when it comes to the next-generation Ford Focus EV: it will go about 100 miles before needing a charge.

Why? Money.

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The rationale was made apparent as Kevin Layden, Ford’s director for electrification, told attendees at the SAE World Congress in Detroit, said the company felt that extra 100 miles wasn’t worth the extra $6,000 it would cost potential owners. (more…)

Ford Offers Competitors Access to EV Patents

Detroit maker hiring 200 new engineers for battery-car efforts.

by on May.28, 2015

Ford's C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid is one of the maker's six electrified vehicles.

Ford is opening up its portfolio of patents and offering competitors access to those covering electric vehicle technologies. Just last year, Ford filed for 2,000 patents in the U.S., of which 400, or more than 20%, were related to EVs.

The move comes a year after CEO Elon Musk offered access to the patent portfolio of battery-carmaker Tesla Motors. Unlike the California start-up, Ford isn’t providing its intellectual property rights for free. But Ford’s move isn’t simply to get the licensing fees.

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“Innovation is our goal,” explained Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs, in a news release. “The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers.”

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Ford the Latest to Drop Battery Car Price

2014 Focus Electric base price dropped $4,000.

by on Jul.10, 2013

Ford has struggled to charge up consumer interest in its all-electric Focus Electric.

Ford Motor Co. becomes the latest automaker to slash pricing to try to boost sales of its slow-selling battery-car, the 2014 Focus Electric.

Sales of both battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, and plug-in hybrids have generally lagged proponents’ expectations prompting makers to drop base prices or increase incentives in the hope of luring more consumers into showrooms.

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Among other makers who have cut prices in recent months are Nissan, Chevrolet and Honda. Meanwhile, Toyota is increasing marketing efforts to revive demand for the conventional Prius hybrid after an unexpected sales skid during the first half of the year.

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