Ford Motor Company President and CEO Mark Fields sat down with Business Insider recently, doling out info about the automaker’s plans to pursue electrification, self-driving cars, and emerging opportunities in the transportation sector.
Possibly the biggest takeaway from the interview is this: Mark Fields doesn’t foresee Ford’s “Smart Mobility” push ever totally replacing vehicle sales to become the company’s sole mission.
“I think we will always be in the business of always selling cars and trucks, but at the same time we really want to grow the services side of our business,” said the Ford CEO. “We are going to continue developing cars and trucks, not only to provide vehicles for those services, but you know there’s going to be people that will want to buy, drive, and own their vehicles the way they have for many years.”
Mr. Fields’ comments echo those made by Executive Chairman Bill Ford when he appeared on CBS This Morning last August.
Even still, that doesn’t mean that Ford will let up on its pursuit of autonomous vehicles or mobility services any time soon. The automaker previously said that self-driving cars could account for as much as 20 percent of its total annual sales by 2030, much of that coming from fleet sales, and Ford is starting to looking at how to craft a compelling product even after the driver has been removed from the equation.
“For a lot of years our business model was all around being fun to drive, but now we’ve added a new element: being fun to ride,” said Mr. Fields. “And that means different things to different people. So as we are kind of reimagining the experience in the vehicle.” That could someday come to mean vehicle interiors optimized for different experiences – one model that entertains passengers during their travels, for instance, while another is designed to serve as a mobile office.
“We are really thinking through first from a customer instinct,” said the Ford CEO. “What services can we provide them that makes their lives better, but also provide revenue growth opportunity for us.”