Ford’s EV plans are changing once again, something we’ve just learned along with the $4.7 billion USD loss incurred by the automaker’s Model e division in 2023.
After deciding to cut F-150 Lightning production due to waning demand in the U.S. and halt construction work at a battery plant in Michigan over concerns about the site’s future economic viability, Ford is now focusing on developing cheaper EV models.
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CEO Jim Farley revealed during an earnings call on Tuesday that a dedicated team operating as a startup outside of the traditional company structure has been working on a low-cost electric platform for the past two years. This new architecture will underpin multiple products coming in the second half of the decade.
Farley stopped short of giving examples or hints, however. While acknowledging that higher purchase prices have made the transition to EVs slower than initially expected, he mentioned the need to counter "affordable Teslas and Chinese OEMs."
Going back to the low-cost EV platform, Farley suggested that future vehicles based on it will be more accessible to customers while at the same time offering a large selection of paid features and services, meaning ones that require a monthly or yearly subscription. Ford management sees those as an important source of profit. BlueCruise hands-free driving technology is just one example.
Hopefully it won’t come down to simple things like heated seats, if you know what we mean.