Is This The Year Ford Will Reinvent Itself?
Over the past five years, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has struggled to gain investor confidence as share prices fell by more than 30 percent.
However, Chairman Bill Ford and Chief Executive Mark Fields say the company is poised for a revolution. The automaker is hoping to reinvent itself to become more than just a car-maker by exploring new partnership opportunities and investing in the latest technology in order to make its vehicles more appealing to the masses.
Ford has been working to develop its own ride-hailing service and short-term car rental service internally in response to the growing popularity of ride-share apps like Uber.
Bill Ford has been very vocal about the need for better transport options in big cities, and he believes that ingraining Ford into the future of such programs will ensure that the company remains relevant in the coming decades, especially as many have predicted that car ownership will decline as ride-sharing increases.
Investing In The Future
Ford is also hoping to hop aboard the electric car revolution as well. The company invested $4.5 billion into developing electric vehicles and announced that it plans to unveil 13 new electric vehicles by 2020.
While lower gas prices helped stifle demand for electric cars last year, many believe that changes to environmental laws and increasing oil prices will re-ignite consumers' interest in electric cars in the years to come.
Self Driving Cars
Fields also announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that the company was working diligently on a self-driving vehicle. He said the car will be developed to be fully autonomous and capable of navigating even in the case of an emergency.
The car could be road-worthy in as little as four years, and Fields said Ford will develop the car with a focus on affordability. Unlike companies like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), which develop luxury cars at higher price points, Ford is hoping to bring the technology to the masses with more moderately priced vehicles.
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