Last May, Ford President and CEO Jim Farley introduced the Ford+ plan, calling it the company’s biggest opportunity for growth and value creation since Henry Ford scaled production of the Model T. The company formed two distinct, but strategically interdependent, auto businesses: Ford Blue and Ford Model e, together with the new Ford Pro business.
Ford Model e and Ford Blue will be run as distinct businesses, but also support each other – as well as Ford Pro, which is dedicated to delivering a one-stop shop for commercial and government customers with a range of conventional and electric vehicles and a full suite of software, charging, financing, services and support on Ford and non-Ford products. Ford Model e and Ford Blue will also support Ford Drive mobility.
“This isn’t the first time Ford has reimagined the future and taken our own path,” says Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chair. “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.”
Ford Model e will attract and retain the best software, engineering, design and UX talent and perfect new technologies and concepts that can be applied across the Ford enterprise. It will embrace a clean-sheet approach to designing, launching and scaling breakthrough, high-volume electric and connected products and services for retail, commercial and shared mobility. In addition, it will develop the key technologies and capabilities – such as EV platforms, batteries, emotors, inverters, charging and recycling – to create ground-up, breakthrough electric vehicles as well as create the software platforms and fully networked vehicle architectures to support always-on and ever-improving vehicles and experiences.
Ford Model e also will lead on creating a new shopping, buying and ownership experience for its future electric vehicle customers that includes simple, intuitive e-commerce platforms, transparent pricing and personalized customer support from Ford ambassadors. Ford Blue will adapt these best practices to enhance the experience of its ICE customers and deliver new levels of customer connectivity and satisfaction.
Ford is aiming to have more than 2 million electric vehicles produced annually by 2026, representing about one-third of Ford’s global volume, rising to half by 2030, capturing with EVs the same, or even greater, market shares in vehicle segments where Ford already leads. In addition, Ford expects to spend $5 billion on EVs in 2022, including capital expenditures, expense and direct investments, a two-fold increase over 2021.
Driving the change was recognition that different approaches, talents and, ultimately, organizations are required to unleash Ford’s development and delivery of electric and digitally connected vehicles and services and fully capitalize on the company’s iconic family of internal combustion vehicles.
The creation of Ford Model e was informed by the success of small, mission-driven Ford teams that developed the Ford GT, Mustang Mach-E SUV and F-150 Lightning pickup as well as Ford’s dedicated EV division in China.
“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,” Farley adds. “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 and Ford Blue will work with other parts of the Ford enterprise. Ford Pro will continue to deliver products, services and support. Served by Ford Model e and Ford Blue, Lincoln will continue to create vehicles. Ford Drive will continue to develop new mobility businesses. And Ford Credit will continue to support the customer experience with a full suite of financial products and services.
“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,” Farley says. “Ford Blue’s mission is to deliver a more profitable and vibrant ICE business, strengthen our successful and iconic vehicle families and earn greater loyalty by delivering incredible service and experiences. It’s about harnessing a century of hardware mastery to help build the future. This team will be hellbent on delivering leading quality, attacking waste in every corner of the business, maximizing cash flow and optimizing our industrial footprint.”
“This new structure will enhance our capacity to generate industry-leading growth, profitability and liquidity in this new era of transportation,” states John Lawler, Ford’s CFO. “It will sharpen our effectiveness in allocating capital to both the ICE and EV businesses and the returns we expect from them – by making the most of existing capabilities, adding new skills wherever they’re needed, simplifying processes and lowering costs. Most importantly, we believe it will deliver growth and significant value for our stakeholders.”
With the creation of Ford Blue and Ford Model e, Ford is announcing several leadership appointments. Farley will serve as president of Ford Model e, in addition to his role as president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.
Doug Field will lead Ford Model e’s product creation as chief EV and digital systems officer. He will also lead the development of software and embedded systems for all of Ford. Marin Gjaja will be Model e’s chief customer officer, heading the division’s go-to-market, customer experience and new business initiatives.
“Designing truly incredible electric and software-driven vehicles – with experiences customers can’t even imagine yet – requires a clean-sheet approach,” Field mentions. “We are creating an organization that benefits from all of Ford’s know-how and capabilities, but that can move with speed and unconstrained ambition to create revolutionary new products.”
Kumar Galhotra will serve as president of Ford Blue.“Ford Blue’s mission is extremely ambitious,” Galhotra said. “We are going to invest in our incredible F-Series franchise, unleash the full potential of hits like Bronco and Maverick, and launch new vehicles like global Ranger pickup, Ranger Raptor and Raptor R.”
Stuart Rowley and Hau Thai-Tang will take on new global roles to support Ford’s transformation. Rowley will be chief transformation and quality officer.
Thai-Tang will lead Ford’s industrial platform as chief industrial platform officer. He will lead product development, supply chain and manufacturing engineering for ICE products and common systems across Ford Blue, Ford Model e, Ford Pro and Ford Drive.