Ford has unveiled a radical new plan for its EV and ICE cars – splitting them into distinct business units.
That’s right, Ford has split its automotive business into two distinct sections. The Ford Model e division will focus solely on developing electric cars and software and connected vehicle tech for all of Ford.
The Ford Blue division, meanwhile, will “inspire customers to pursue their dreams and passions with iconic Ford vehicles… and serve as the engine that supports and powers Ford’s future.”
The two divisions will operate as distinct businesses – a distinct change in tack from Ford compared to many of its Motor City compatriots. However, the two halves will share relevant technology and best practices to leverage scale and drive operating improvements. The two divisions will even have discrete profit and loss sheets by 2023.
“This isn’t the first time Ford has reimagined the future and taken our own path,” says Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford.
“We have an extraordinary opportunity to lead this thrilling new era of connected and electric vehicles, give our customers the very best of Ford, and help make a real difference for the health of the planet.”
The two halves of the business will accompany the recently announced Ford Pro business as part of the company’s Ford+ strategy which was announced in May last year.
“We have made tremendous progress in a short period of time. We have launched a series of hit products globally and demand for our new EVs like F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E is off the charts,” says Ford President and CEO Jim Farley.
“But our ambition with Ford+ is to become a truly great, world-changing company again, and that requires focus. We are going all in, creating separate but complementary businesses that give us start-up speed and unbridled innovation in Ford Model e together with Ford Blue’s industrial know-how, volume and iconic brands like Bronco, that start-ups can only dream about.”
Ford Model e
The Ford Model e business will, obviously, focus on developing EVs. However, its overall remit is slightly broader and builds on the success the Blue Oval has recently found with the “small, mission-driven” teams that developed the GT supercar, as well as the Mustang Mach-E and electric F-150 Lightning pickup.
“Ford Model e will be Ford’s center of innovation and growth, a team of the world’s best software, electrical and automotive talent turned loose to create truly incredible electric vehicles and digital experiences for new generations of Ford customers,” continues Farley.
The division will also embrace a “clean-sheet” approach to designing, launching, and scaling electric cars and connected products, as well as services for retail, commercial and shared mobility.
It will also develop EV platforms, batteries, motors, inverters, charging, and recycling programs.
Farley is also set to serve as the President of Model e, in addition to his role as President and CEO of Ford overall.
Given the Ford Model e vision, you’d be forgiven for thinking that its Ford Blue counterpart is, effectively, the legacy section of the business.
However, Ford is at pains to point out that it still has a role.
The company will use Ford Blue to “strengthen the iconic Ford vehicles customers love, such as F-Series, Ranger and Maverick trucks, Bronco and Explorer SUVs, and Mustang, with investments in new models, derivatives, experiences, and services.”
It will also offer “tailored brand and vehicle experiences, from off-roading to performance, to family activities” – especially for “those situations when ICE capabilities are required.
Ford also says it will deliver new, connected, personalized, and always-on experiences for drivers using Ford Model e’s software and embedded systems, as well as making “industry-leading” service a reason for drivers to continue buying the Blue Oval.
Ford Blue will also support Model and Pro with engineering, purchasing, manufacturing functions, as well as development work covering safety, ride and handling, quiet and comfort, and durability.
Kumar Galhorta, currently the President of Ford’s Americas and International Markets Group, will become the President of Ford Blue.