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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Fields’

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 Wants to Go Green in China

US maker says 25% of Chinese vehicles will be battery-based by 2020.

by on Apr.27, 2016

Ford plans to launch the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid in China sometime in 2017.

One in four of the vehicles Ford Motor Co. hope to sell in China by the end of the decade will use some form of battery-based powertrain, company officials said during the Beijing Motor Show.

Ford has already announced plans to invest $4.5 billion in its electrification program, CEO Mark Fields saying the goal is to have 13 hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles in the Blue Oval and Lincoln line-ups by 2020.

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But China could become the maker’s largest market for these green vehicles, a shift that reflects government pressure at least as much as consumer demand in the world’s largest automotive market. Hoping to deal with endemic smog problems, Beijing regulators are using both carrot and stick – incentives and new mandates – to get the auto industry to ramp up production of battery-based vehicles.

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Ford Planning Complete Makeover of its HQ Campus

Plan estimated at over $1 bil; will replace, update over 70 buildings.

by on Apr.12, 2016

The Sustainability Showcase building is expected to actually produce more energy than it uses.

Ford Motor Co. plans a complete makeover of its corporate headquarters and nearby product development operations as part of the first complete overhaul since the early 1950s.

The move will see Ford tear down, update or replace 70 current buildings and fill the new campus with the latest in high-tech research and collaborative communications technologies. About 30,000 employees will be impacted by the two-phase project set to get underway this week.

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The project is meant to “drive innovation in every part of our business,” explained CEO Mark Fields during a media web conference, and support Ford’s remake of its own corporate business plan, shifting from being a car manufacturer to what Fields has dubbed a “mobility company.”

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Ford Set to Double Mexican Production

New plant could handle planned “Prius-fighter.”

by on Feb.08, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields is trying to find ways to reduce production costs of small cars and upcoming battery-electric models.

Ford Motor Co. will more than double production in Mexico, according to several reports, by both adding a new plant and increasing production in the Latin American nation.

The maker reportedly expects to put the focus on hybrids and smaller cars that are hard to economically justify building in the U.S. market. That includes the Ford Focus and C-Max models currently being produced at a suburban Detroit plant. But could also include a planned “Prius-fighter” meant to take on the popular Toyota hybrid.

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Ford had earlier indicated plans to shift production of the Focus and C-Max but declined to comment on the latest reports about Mexico.

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Ford Expects Record Profits; GM Sees Own Earnings Growth

Makers increase returns to shareholders; GM boosts stock buyback program.

by on Jan.13, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields showing off a new piece of technology at CES last week.

Investors take notice: while the stock market hasn’t been kind to the auto industry in recent weeks – or just about anyone else, for that matter – Detroit’s two largest carmakers are making some upbeat projections for 2016 that could make nervous shareholders happy.

Ford Motor Co. now expects to close the books on 2015 with a record pre-tax profit, with 2016 numbers to be “equal to or higher.” And GM is boosting its own earnings outlook for 2016. Both companies now plan to up their cash payouts to shareholders, while GM is expanding its ongoing stock buyback program.

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“This pattern of strong returns gives us a great platform to build on as we enter the year with a focus on strengthening our core business and engaging aggressively in emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields, in a statement detailing Ford’s forecast.

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Ford Expands on Mobility Plans at CES

Google option still in the works.

by on Jan.05, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields holds a downsized Velodyne LIDAR "puck" that will be used on Fusion autonomous vehicle prototypes.

Ford Motor Co. outlined a far-reaching step into the future during a keynote speech by CEO Mark Fields marking the opening of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The maker is putting “one foot into the future,” said Fields, as it expands from traditional automotive manufacturing into new areas of “mobility,” such as ride and car-sharing. Among a variety of projects announced by Fields, Ford will partner with Amazon to incorporate the cloud-based voice assistant, Alexa into its vehicles. That would allow a driver to not just open a garage door but turn on lights and adjust the thermostat by voice command.

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The Tuesday morning event notably included no mention of a widely anticipated tie-up between Ford and Google, even though the automaker announced a major expansion in its own autonomous vehicle program. But CEO Fields left the door open to a later announcement, stressing that Ford is talking with “a variety of other potential partners.”

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Ford and Google Deal to Go Beyond Autonomous Vehicles

Partnership will expand Ford’s push into alternative mobility solutions.

by on Jan.04, 2016

Ford is just beginning its own on-road autonomous vehicle testing at its Silicon Valley R&D center.

(c) TheDetroitBureau.com 2016

While last-minute snags could yet delay a formal announcement, Ford Motor Co. and Google are planning to reveal the details of an extensive new partnership during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

The expansive alliance will provide Ford access to Google’s cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology, but several sources involved in the program told TheDetroitBureau.com that the deal will go well beyond self-driving cars and explore ways in which connected car technology can create alternative mobility solutions, a pet project of Ford CEO Mark Fields.

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Other high-tech providers will join the alliance and, among other things, Ford will be able to test its new technologies at a 1,000-acre proving grounds being set up in North Carolina, according to those sources.

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Ford and Google Partnering on Autonomous Vehicles

Deal expected to be announced at CES on January 5.

by on Dec.22, 2015

CEO Fields has been pushing to transform Ford into a "mobility company," not just a carmaker.

Ford Motor Co. and Google are expected to announce a new alliance that will include joint development of autonomous vehicles.

Several sources have confirmed reports that were circulating on Monday indicating the announcement will be made two weeks from now when Ford CEO Mark Fields serves as keynote speaker at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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The move could help jump-start the self-driving vehicle program at Ford which was planning to begin testing an autonomous version of its Fusion Hybrid sedan on public roads near its high-tech center in Silicon Valley next month. Ford is generally considered a follower in the emerging field while Google is generally seen as leading the field in autonomous vehicle development.

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Ford Pursues Carsharing, Other “Multi-Modal” Alternatives

But will they cut into core car sales?

by on Dec.11, 2015

One of the new Ford GoRide vans.

When workers at the sprawling Ford Motor Co. campus in Dearborn, Michigan need to run from building to building for meetings they normally have to drive. But Ford is firing up a new program that should make it simpler and quicker to get around.

As part of the Dynamic Shuttle Project, the maker is fielding a fleet of 21 modified Ford Transit vans. They’re operating like a cross between a bus system and the increasingly popular Uber ride-share service, helping 100s of employees schedule rides through a smartphone app.

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Last January, Ford announced it was studying 25 different alternative mobility projects. It has now narrowed that down to a handful that are going into operation in places as diverse as Dearborn, London, Mumbai and even The Gambia, one of the smallest and poorest countries in Africa.

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Ford to Invest $4.5 Bil in New Electrified Products

By 2020, 40% of its nameplates will be offered with battery-based options.

by on Dec.10, 2015

"More than 40% of our nameplates will be electrified," announced Ford CEO Mark Fields.

Ford Motor plans to invest $4.5 billion to add an array of new hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles to its line-up by the end of the decade, CEO Mark Fields announced on Thursday.

The maker plans not only to add more battery-based vehicles but also to expand where it will offer those models, with two new produced, the plug-in C-Max Energi and the Mondeo Hybrid, entering the Chinese market in the coming months.

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By the end of the decade, said Fields, “More than 40% of our nameplates will be electrified,” up from 13% today, and the list will include “a full range” of the maker’s products, not just a limited selection like today. Where there are six battery-based products today, Ford will add 13 more by 2020.

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