Ford Canada’s newly-appointed CEO Mark Buzzell recently sat down with website Canadian Business in order to chat about the division’s plans to offer mobility services and electrified vehicles in the market. Buzzell was made CEO of Ford Canada effective January 1st, succeeding Diane Craig.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Ford Canada’s “Smart Mobility” plans don’t diverge too much from those hatched for the US. “A lot of the announcements you’ve heard from a company standpoint, all of that stuff is going to make its way to Canada,” says Buzzell. “Our core business is still going to be designing, manufacturing, selling, financing, and servicing our core products: cars, trucks, SUVs, and EVs. But with urbanization, congestion, and [other] issues that we’re facing in our cities, we want to come up with solutions that really do make people’s lives easier.”
Specifically, Mr. Buzzell cited Ford’s acquisition of San Francisco-born crowdsourced-shuttle service Chariot and bike-share service GoBike, possibly hinting that these could expand into Canada.
Such services aren’t likely to outright replace car ownership, nor Ford’s core business, says Buzzell. “We don’t see on the horizon car, truck and SUV sales going down that dramatically. In our five year business plan we see a very healthy automotive industry. [But] we do need to figure out what our mobility solutions are going to be for Canada,” he told Canadian Business.
As for the future of electrified vehicles in Canada, Mr. Buzzell says that the market will see an expansion in Ford’s lineup, just like in the United States. “That’s really important here in Canada, because we’re going to have some EV requirements here,” he says. But Ford and other automakers will have to work to make EVs more palatable to consumers; according to the Ford Canada CEO, the automotive industry sold 1.9 million new vehicles in Canada last year, only 30,000 of which were EVs.
“If we can overcome some of the concerns like range anxiety, if we can work to increase the number of charging stations, our research shows that consumers would be more likely to purchase one of these vehicles,” Mr. Buzzell says. “So we’re piloting things like wireless charging stations.”
For the full interview, visit www.CanadianBusiness.com.