At last week’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Ford Motor Company President and CEO Mark Fields expressed his belief that new technology in the automotive and transportation sectors could mean more car sales – for example, through ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.
“When something becomes more available, at a lower cost, people will use it more often,” said Mark Fields, according to USA Today. “These cars will rack up more miles, need to be serviced more often and will need to be replaced more often than cars currently sold to consumers.” Chances are that Ford will have a commercial ride-hailing service of its own in the coming years.
At the same time, the advent of electric and self-driving cars provides Ford new arenas in which it could become a leader. The automaker is currently the No. 2 seller of electrified vehicles in the US, and could have a 200-mile-range full-electric vehicle by the end of the decade. The company also announced in February plans to triple the size of its autonomous vehicle testing fleet, from 10 cars to 30.
“Our approach [is that] we have one of the largest selections of electrified vehicles,” Mr. Mark Fields says. “We’re the No. 2 seller in the U.S. in electrified and No. 1 in plug-in hybrids. We’re investing another $4.5 billion, so by the end of the decade, 40 percent of our nameplates around the world will be electrified.”
Ford Motor Company’s efforts are split right now, between its core business of producing passenger vehicles for purchase by consumers, and its emerging business of providing transportation services. “We are going through one of the most important inflection points in our history, from an auto company to an auto and mobility company,” said Mark Fields.