Jim Hackett Talks Ford EV Tech, Manufacturing, And Company’s Future

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Back in May of 2017, Jim Hackett succeeded Mark Fields as CEO at Ford, taking on the role after serving on the FoMoCo board of directors since 2013. Hackett also helped to form Ford Smart Mobility, the auto company’s future-looking division responsible for self-driving and car-sharing programs. In addition to talk about Ford EV vehicles and autonomous tech, Hackett has been aggressive with cost-cutting measures, and is sometimes seen as an outsider with unconventional ideas in an industry firmly rooted in tradition. Hackett recently sat down with Motor Trend to talk about some of the things spinning in his world.

In many ways, it makes sense for an unconventional CEO to take the reins as the industry makes strides into the unknown. Hackett is right there at the forefront of it all, forging new partnerships to push Ford EV and autonomous vehicles forward, including with Volkswagen, Argo AI and Rivian.

But Hackett’s vision isn’t limited to Ford EV vehicles and self-driving technology. He also seeks new tech applied to the manufacturing process, as revealed in a story he tells about a Ford Mustang he ordered for his wife.

“They lose her car, and it doesn’t come for 95 days. I ask, ‘What’s the average time for delivery?’ They say, ’81 days.’ I say, ‘What was it 20 years ago?’ They say, ’81 days.’ Unacceptable today when overnight parcels from Amazon have changed people’s expectations,” Hackett told Motor Trend.

Hackett’s tech aspirations trickle down into older IT practices as well. “I’m staring at all these processes, saying, ‘They haven’t shrunk fast enough, or they haven’t sped up.’ Its not our finest depiction of being modern.”

“I’m spending all my time thinking about the future of the factory and the future of IT systems right now,” he added.

One example is how Hackett is questioning why the FordPass smartphone app can offer remote engine start capabilities, but can’t open a garage door. “This actually is a hint into the way my brain thinks,” he said.

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Source: Motor Trend

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Written by Jonathan Lopez

Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

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3 Comments

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  1. It seems like every new Ford is just as good as what the competition already had. Playing catch up is not going to win new customers.

    Ford needs an infusion of new blood. Jim Hackett is NOT it. This is the same Ford taking half-hearted chances and producing lukewarm results. As far as making the company more “fit”, I will admit his changes have definitely begin to streamline Ford’s production an development processes. However, Ford needs to change it’s image as an innovative company and quit playing catch up to other brands.

  2. I expect the new boss to accelerate EV development and testing, so we can drive electric Fords by 2020. Thomas Edison tried many times to convince Henry Ford to sell electric cars, yet Ford didn’t yield, although Henry’s wife, Claire, did, and drove a Detroit Electric for almost all her life. Was she smarter than her husband? One hundred years later, we have to see if the new Ford will be better and smarter, just as Claire Ford was.

  3. The lincoln brand revival is great. Now the goal should be maintaining necessary quality control to make sure the products are assembled to the build quality of Mercedes and Lexus.

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