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Future electric vehicles will be “radically simplified”, using smaller batteries

Ford CEO Jim Farley rose Production F-150 Lightning to 150,000 a year and he’s ramping up production Mustang Mach-E towards 200,000 a year, effectively restructuring it’s on the way.

At the same time, this ramp is part of the heavy lifting at Ford—sometimes literally transporting parts by plane—that costs the company dearly. In a quarterly report and corresponding financial call with analysts on Thursday, the company and its top executives noted with unusual frankness that Ford is underperforming. Efficiency follows a simple metric: that is, as a percentage of COGS as a percentage of sales relative to competitors. do better.

Call that perception an investment in the future—a future in which Ford is making sure its cars, and especially electric vehicles, become much simpler and much easier to scale, and ready to compete in a potential electric vehicle price war.

“We are now diving into the development of second-generation electric vehicles, including our next-generation full-size electric pickup truck — it’s amazing, by the way,” said Farley. ‘ said Farley, referring to the truck the CEO previously said would be done with “extreme volume” at the upcoming BlueOval City plant in Tennessee.

Ford EV platform for mid-decade, introduced by Hau Thai-Tang

Ford EV platform for mid-decade, introduced by Hau Thai-Tang

Ford EV platform for mid-decade, introduced by Hau Thai-Tang

Ford EV platform for mid-decade, introduced by Hau Thai-Tang

“These electric vehicles will be fully software updated; that means a whole new electrical architecture,” explains Farley—not to be confused with comprehensive platforms that are also being developed. “And they will be radically simplified; imagine three body styles, each with a quantity potential of up to a million units and only a handful of combinations that can be ordered.

Farley says that means better quality and lower production costs, among many benefits.

No haggling, new software and leaner manufacturing

Meanwhile, the company is diving into new ways of doing business, in many ways. Its Model E dealer program no bargain started in January 2024 and has been adopted by almost two thirds of agents. “Next January we will sell electric vehicles in bulk with virtually no inventory, a simple e-commerce platform for our customers, non-negotiable prices set by local dealers out as well as remote pickup and delivery for every customer experience,” said Farley.

Farley went on to tout software and customer experience as some of Ford’s key differentiators, saying that with a new plan and “real strategic clarity,” Ford is ready to go. implementation and product delivery as well as financial aspects.

Ford F-150 Lightning 2022

Ford F-150 Lightning 2022

Innovation will be needed in the company’s industrial base, both in improving day-to-day production systems and in reducing technical complexity as products are developed.

Fewer options, runs on smaller battery packs

“In terms of categories, we didn’t want to have too many headgear, because that costs a lot of money for the engineer,” said Farley, referring to the upper part of the vehicle designed to fit. a foundation. “We want to have minimal choice for our customers.”

“But we wanted to design the battery as small as possible for a competitive size,” says Farley, who also notes the need for “radical simplification” — with fewer latches and brackets, for example. .

And as the CEO has previously hinted, he sees China as a serious threat to the electric vehicle business, as well as a “big price war” on electric cars.

“At Ford, we had to predict negative prices; and that means software and other items like that become even more important,” added Farley.

Ford E-Transit with tablet and fleet software Ford Pro

Ford E-Transit with tablet and fleet software Ford Pro

The company’s upcoming fully updatable electrical architecture will make a difference and increase revenue potential, emphasized Farley, pointing out that safety and security is one area that will enable—with content video content, teen driving aspect, and additional roles for home security.

“What we learned on Pro is that we can make real money on the software,” he said.

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