Ford CEO Jim Hackett sent a message to those who doubt the company’s capability against other automakers and tech firms. According to him, when it comes to the development of self-driving cars and mobility services, Ford will not fall behind.
“I am saying that Ford has nothing to worry about in terms of lagging there. Our technology is exceptional,” said Hackett during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Chairman Bill Ford announced on Sunday’s Detroit auto show that the company will increase its planned investment in electric vehicles. The venture will stand at the value of $11 billion by 2022, and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
Previously, the company executives stated that the target was only at $4.5 billion by 2020. This earlier prediction was inclusive of costs of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures. Ford’s engineering, research, and development expenses were up from $6.7 billion in 2015 to $7.3 billion in 2016.
Hackett also believes that his push to make Ford a leader in new mobility projects will bear fruit in the coming years. This is due to the partnerships the automaker has made with a large number of companies such as Domino’s and Postmates.
“We believe the markets for autonomous in the future is for both moving people and moving goods,” stated Hackett. “It is not clear which one is going to be the biggest. So, Ford’s strategy here is to have a platform that can do both really well.”
According to the company executives, 16 of the 40 electrified vehicles announced for its 2022 lineup will be fully electric. The rest of them will be plug-in hybrids.
Ford Ranger Resurrection
Ford has decided to resurrect its Ranger model.
During the North American International Auto Show, the Blue Oval made a reintroduction of its popular smaller pickup truck for the North American market.
According to Ford, the Ranger is furnished with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. It will also have a 10-speed automatic transmission in the segment.
The Ranger has three trim levels to choose from. These are the entry-level XL, mid0level XLT, and the high-level Lariat trim. There are also other choices such as the FX Off-Road, and the Chrome and Sport appearance packages. Configurations will also be available with a choice between SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations.
Ford Ranger production will begin production in late 2018. It will be built in the automaker’s Michigan assembly plant. Ford reported that U.S. sales of its midsize pickups are up 83 percent since 2014.