Ford CEO Jim Farley sees the auto industry as “fronted by a massive price war,” with the idea of ”democratizing electric vehicles” coming soon.
The comments came in conversation with analyst Toni Sacconaghi, as part of Bernstein’s 38th Annual Strategic Decision Conference held earlier this week.
In it, Farley has taken on a number of positions that are likely to make some Detroit facilities uncomfortable — like how the auto industry is about to be rattled by price pressures, a shakeup that could have China’s favor and the sudden consolidation of vehicle manufacturers.
Ford CEO Jim Farley
“Old OEMs will absolutely be consolidated,” said the Ford executive. “Many small players cannot afford to make this transition; many of them do not invest in embedded software and electrical architecture, which are at the heart of this transition. ”
Operating cost on sticker rack
Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier this year said that the company does not work on $25,000 Tesla it focuses the entire presentation on Battery Day in 2020, showing that robotaxis will make it less important.
Farley follows up with a version of that view, saying that future Ford products may not be based on lowest material costs (and sticker prices), but around optimizing total cost of ownership. possess. And that could be for a completely different usage pattern.
Ford Mustang Mach-E 2021
He noted that no one has yet built a product for the 1.3 million Lyft and Uber drivers that are optimized for low operating costs. Although there is an exception that we should point out: Arriveshowed a prototype of an electric MPV late last year.
Meet Chinese manufacturers on the sidelines
Some Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers are managing higher profit margins at lower prices. Farley pointed at lithium-iron phosphate battery chemistry—And its cost is about 20% less than other lithium-ion chemists — is one possibility to help achieve that. But he stressed that simplifying the content of labor will be a big aspect to cutting costs.
Refactoring the vehicles will aid in efficiency and thus help to reduce the size of the battery packs. He already suggested that underway in the Mustang Mach-EStep by step.
Ford Mustang Mach-E electric powertrain 2021
We will also see more optimizations for aerodynamics. Farley seems to suggest that a full-size pickup truck is optimized for aviation, which, compared to the F-150 Lightning, means 75 miles of additional range. feels very rooted in the F-Series. “
“It’s not our only truck and the others won’t be like it,” he added – perhaps alluding to full-size electric vans for “extreme volume” due in a few years.
Direct-to-consumer, no inventory: Which dealers?
Nor did the top executive convince Ford to need publicity for the vehicles it was developed and sold E . business model. He added that Ford should do experiential marketing such as vehicle birthdate updates rather than Super Bowl advertising.
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition
Farley also said that Ford needed to Price is not negotiable and 100% online, with no inventory and direct-to-consumer pickup and delivery.
Breaking that down, Farley is not talking about getting rid of dealers but making them something completely different than they are now. “We are working with our agents when we talk about this,” Farley said. On the commercial side, though, the CEO notes that dealers “wrap around is our strongest thing.”
Ford retailers will become more specialized, with “multiple dealer levels” and plans to use the physical presence of dealers to outperform Tesla.