Here's What Ford's New CEO Has To Say About Dumb Cars

Technology / 44 Comments

As opposed to smart cars? Yes.

Last May, Ford's then-CEO Mark Fields was ousted due to falling share values and a lack of understanding where the industry was heading in the years to come. Enter Jim Hackett, the automaker's new CEO, who's not only a turnaround specialist but also a technology buff. Speaking at the Michigan CEO Summit in Detroit recently, Hackett could not have been clearer regarding the direction of his new employer, according to Automotive News. "Ford's future is not about giving up the car," Hackett announced, but also that there are "no dumb cars in the future."

What he means, as you can probably guess, is that he intends to push Ford into the realm of connected, electric and self-driving cars not only in the US, but everywhere else in the Ford does business. The Ford of the future must have those three traits. If not, it's a dumb car. It's really that simple and Hackett knows it. Thing is, things are easier said than done. Hackett's vision is one of a very different auto industry, so it's vital he surrounds himself with a team that fully gets this. So far, Ford under Hackett seems to be heading in the right direction. For example, just last week Ford announced a new joint venture to manufacture and sell a new lineup of battery-powered cars in China.

A similar deal was made for India a very short time ago as well. Obviously this is only the first of many steps towards new mobility, but shares of Ford haven't responded in kind. From the beginning of the year until when the Chinese deal was signed, Ford shares have dropped 0.6 percent. GM"s, however, have risen 21 percent in that same time period. One problem Ford currently has it that it depends too much on trucks, specifically the F-150, for profits. "We have to evolve these things to be ever smarter," Hackett continued. "For a while, we didn't see the computer as an integrated aspect (in the car business). No, think about it, my vehicle is a rolling computer."


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