Future Ford CEO Jim Farley Wants To Generate Revenue From Connected Vehicles

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Current Ford CEO Jim Hackett was quick to note that his successor, Jim Farley, had a plan to improve the automaker’s financials once he takes over the position on October 1st. But that plan doesn’t just include selling more vehicles. In fact, it involves generating post-sale revenue from connected vehicles, an idea that’s been batted around in the industry for some time now.

The difference is, multiple new and forthcoming Ford models will be equipped with over-the-air update capability, including the 2021 Ford F-150 and 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which opens up a new and lucrative market in Farley’s eyes. “Think of it as a second F-150,” he explained to Reuters. “We have the F-150 everyone loves. There’s this other business out here that’s huge. Think of the data being more powerful than the fuel economy of the vehicle.”

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Jim Farley is looking to newly hired commercial vehicle connectivity lead Alex Purdy to make this vision a reality. Purdy is the former head of agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co., where he used smart equipment and John Deer Labs to bring artificial intelligence to the farm.

Purdy helped transform Deere from an industrial goods business to a service business, one that accounted for 15 to 20 percent of the company’s total sales in 2019. Ford is currently the top commercial vehicle brand in both the U.S. and Europe, but creating additional and continuous revenue streams through services would only further solidify that position.

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At the same time, these services would ultimately lower the total cost of ownership for Ford’s commercial customers through services such as optimized route planning and predictive software that would speed up oil changes and fleet management operations.

Commercial customers, being in the productivity business, would likely be willing to pay for services that increase productivity and reduce vehicle downtime. And it seems that Ford is more than willing to provide those services, for a fee.

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We’ll have more on Ford’s vehicle connectivity efforts soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford business news and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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5 Comments

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  1. Jim Farley can also generate more revenue by building cars that people wanna buy. Like a rear wheel drive Lincoln Continental with suicide doors for starters

  2. A redesigned Fusion would be a good starting point. A car that was once selling 200,000 copies yearly is discountinued because of declining sales. Sales declined because of zero marketing while not adding excitement customers are looking for in a sedan. Bring the fusion back on the new Explorer chassis offering rear and Awd models including a true sports model. I was shopping for a large Sedan that offered luxury and performance. I couldn’t find a Taurus SHO because they were discountinued or a Fusion Sport for the same reason. I have been Ford owner for many years and my wife and I currently own a 2017 Edge Sport, but I ended up purchasing a new Chrysler 300C Hemi for less than an SEL fusion. I’m still a big fan of Ford, but dropping their sedans cost them at least for now a repeat customer. I feel Ford has some amazing vehicles scheduled for introduction like the Mach E, Bronco and new F150. But not everyone wants a truck or crossover. I hope Ford looks a FCA and understands FCA continues to sell their dated sedans through performance which helps sell the lower priced vehicles. I hope Jim Farley rethinks some of the prior leaderships decisions.

  3. The year is 2035….it’s a beautiful late afternoon on the East Coast as millions of Americans are commuting home from work and their children are coming home from school….most enjoying the freedoms of connected autonomous vehicles…some catching up on their e-mails…others enjoying the latest movies in holographic 3D….many more millions on the West Coast are being driven in their TESLAs that no longer offer a steering wheel option…..and then the CME hits….the lucky ones were only being driven at low speeds…..more die in that one minute than in World Wars… and that’s just in the USA.

    For those of you who are unintelligent enough to believe that the auto makers can come up with technology in the next 50 years that will allow autonomous vehicles to maintain functionality when millions of pounds of electrons hit the Earth at 40% the speed of light during a Coronal Mass Ejection, get a clue please. Even our nuclear power plants are not protected, and those experts keep writing research papers on how dangerous this is and how vulnerable their power plants are.

    So, lets keep hoping we don’t get hit with a major CME anytime soon…but if you ask Andrew Yang to do the MATH, he will tell you that the return periods are on the order of just a bit over a hundred years…but of course he wants you all to drive autonomous TESLAs…hmmmmm.

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