Speaking at the 2017 Automotive News World Congress this week, Ford said the company is moving beyond selling cars and trucks to investing heavily in mobility services like ride-sharing, and partnering with cities to solve congestion problems. He said his ultimate goal, beyond making money for his company, is to make people’s lives better and create environmentally friendly products, a cause he’s championed for years.
During an on-stage discussion with Automotive News Group Publisher KC Crain, Ford said, “I think this is a huge opportunity for companies. It’s going to create revenue streams and business opportunities the likes of which we’ve never seen.”
The company has predicted it could make profit margins of up to 20 percent on new services, more than double what it makes selling new cars and trucks. But getting to that point won’t be easy, said Ford.
“We’re going to need to make choices, and some of those choices are going to be wrong,” he said. “We have to accept that.”
Ford said electric vehicles and hybrids will play a large role in the new world of shared mobility, and his company is investing $4.5 billion to develop 13 new electrified vehicles by the end of the decade. It’s also working on a fully autonomous vehicle that’s expected to be out in 2021.
“It’s an arms race,” Ford said. “There’s different ways to play this game … . It’s conceivable that all of [the players] carve out a little piece of this.”