For as much as $20 billion, Bloomberg reports that Ford is planning to overhaul its business to prepare for the electric future. Additionally, the automaker is considering whether to spin off some of its EV business as a special acquisition company (SPAC). When it comes to electric and self-driving vehicles, Ford has previously stated that it will invest $30 billion by 2025.
According to reports, Doug Field, a former Apple and Tesla exec, will be in charge of Ford’s restructuring, which will include converting its factories to electric vehicle production and hiring more engineers. There have been recent announcements by GM, which will release its fourth-quarter earnings results on Tuesday evening, that it will hire 8,000 people to help staff its EV efforts.)
When it comes to electric vehicles, Tesla, the most valuable and best-selling automaker in the world, has a leg up on everyone else. Investors have rewarded Elon Musk’s vision of an all-electric future with a significantly higher share price and greater confidence in his company’s prospects, despite the fact that Ford sells more F-series trucks each year than Tesla’s entire output.
To change the narrative, Ford CEO Jim Farley is attempting to demonstrate that his company can compete. F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E electric pickup truck production has been doubled and tripled by Ford in the last few months, with the goal of producing over 200,000 vehicles per year by 2023. In addition, Ford’s E-Transit electric delivery van goes on sale in the first half of the year.
Ford will be the only automaker with a commercially available electric pickup truck once production begins on schedule. Customers began receiving their R1T pickups from Rivian in October, while their first Hummer EVs began arriving in December.) According to CEO Elon Musk, production of Tesla’s long-promised Cybertruck will begin in large quantities only in 2023.
According to Bloomberg, Ford is considering spinning off a “small” portion of its EV business, possibly focusing on its lower-volume vehicles. GM reportedly considered an EV SPAC for a long time before deciding against it. In response to “rumour and speculation,” a Ford spokesperson declined to comment.
Many of the EV startups that have gone public via reverse mergers have drawn federal regulators’ attention. SPACs, on the other hand, have become less popular. Lordstown Motors, Canoo, and Nikola are all now publicly traded electric vehicle startups after SPAC mergers. The SEC is already investigating the SPAC mergers. When these companies announced their mergers, the agency paid particular attention to the accuracy of their financial projections and any claims they made about the volume of preorders for their vehicles.
It’s been reported that Doug Field, who was Apple’s vice president of special projects, will be in charge of overseeing this massive shift. He was the de facto head of the company’s efforts to make an autonomous electric car, known as Project Titan. As Tesla’s chief vehicle engineer, he oversaw the development of the Model 3 sedan, which was plagued by numerous issues. He previously worked for Apple as the vice president of Mac hardware engineering. He resigned from Tesla in 2018 and rejoined Apple.
The shift to all-electric vehicles is just one of the many ways Farley has set out to emulate Tesla. According to the company’s Ford Plus business plan, it plans to produce more cars that are fully networked and can be updated remotely, similar to Teslas. As of 2023, Ford plans to use Google’s Android operating system in “millions” of its vehicles.###