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Ford CEO is replaced on grounds Ford falling behind on autonomous (electric) vehicles

2980 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Ladogaboy
Last Friday the Board of Ford Motors replaced Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford. The complaint seems to have been that Ford is falling behind on autonomous vehicles, which, because you need a lot of power for the autonomous electronics, also means electric vehicles. Fields was replaced by the previous head of autonomous vehicles, suggesting the putative reason for the dismissal was the actual reason.

Though very knowledgeable, Fields was out front in the effort to get the Trump Administration to roll back the CAFE standards, and he was not exactly a supporter of electric vehicles. So really not terribly forward thinking. (I simply don't understand why the car companies are so hot to alienate their future customers by blocking climate change mitigation measures. Seems insane.)

For electric vehicles this is probably a big win since not only will Ford be more focused on electrics, that focus and the shakeup at Ford may send a message to other companies.
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For whatever reason, Ford thought they were Honda and Toyota. They thought they could get away with building underwhelming cars and people would still buy them. Sorry, your brand got in the way.

It's funny that it only took until the second post for someone to bring up Tesla. Had all of Tesla's car sales gone to Ford instead, it would have barely registered on Ford's total sales during that period. That being said, they were also the first company that jumped into my head but for different reasons. At this point, Ford is so far behind in the EV and automated driving realm, that a partnership or collaboration with Tesla might be the only way to catch them back up. They already signed on for the new CCS standards, but it would be a small price to pay to build 200-300 mile EVs with POU access to the Supercharger Network. Also, Tesla might be the cheapest source for batteries and on board electronics. Finally, Tesla also gets something out of the partnership. They want to build a pickup truck (Model P), yet so far, I haven't seen evidence that Tesla can produce a rugged vehicle. Ford can.
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