By on January 16, 2019

As it prepares to launch a battery electric crossover, likely named Mach E, in 2020, Ford’s product boss told Blue Oval fans — and nervous investors — that the company isn’t in the habit of losing money with its products. As such, the upcoming Mustang-inspired crossover, like Ford’s other planned EVs, won’t be Fiat 500e-like money drain.

That’s one of the company’s promises, and here’s another: an electric F-150 and Transit.

 

As Ford’s president of global markets, Jim Farley, took to the stage at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, the automaker’s product chief, Hau Thai-Tang, did the same over at the Wolfe Research Global Auto Industry Conference.

Speaking about the company’s forthcoming EVs, Thai-Tang said, “This is not a strategic action to make people feel good. It’s going to have to deliver its demand on capital.”

By 2022, Ford plans to introduce 16 EVs and 24 hybrids of various types, funded by $11 billion and spearheaded by the company’s Team Edison. As Automotive News reports, Thai-Tang knows that getting consumers interested in gasless driving won’t be easy. The same goes for achieving profitability.

“Certainly we have to do our work to build the demand and educate the consumers and drive down the cost,” he said.

Ford’s EV crossover is expected to bow with more than 300 miles of range and a certain degree of sporting pretension. When asked, last year, to describe the vehicle, Farley said, “imagine a vehicle with the profile of a Porsche Cayenne and the swagger of a four door Mustang.”

As for a battery-electric F-150, Ford has hinted at the possibility before. Both former chief technology officer Raj Nair and chairman Bill Ford have suggested that an EV pickup is a natural progression from the hybrid model Ford plans to launch in 2020. Joining the gas-electric pickup in the Blue Oval stable will be a hybrid Mustang.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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32 Comments on “Our EVs Will Turn a Profit, Ford Says...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    It is news that they “plan to make money” on vehicles they produce?

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      If they can be the Un-Tesla it will be.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s a novel idea, making healthy profits off every stinking car, at least for Ford.. Or why build it?

      Probably most automakers have a car or two they lose money on, or loss leader, perhaps a halo car. Ford just had too many of them.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Declining to invest in new technology is a good way to ensure that your product does not change with the times. Sometimes it makes sense to develop a new product and lose a little money at first.

        The corporate landscape is littered with companies which failed to adapt to changing times.

        Figuring this out how to balance the need for profit (as you pointed out) with the need for change and technological leadership (as I pointed out) is tricky. A careful balance really is required. Figuring that out sounds like my idea of a good time!

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          True but it’s also a great idea to admit defeat, go back and focus on your strengths, while you sub-out the rest.

          Building and selling trucks in the Americas is different enough from (successfully) selling cars to the rest of the world and at home, and doing EVs.

          In any other fields, that’s how business gets done. A plumbing contractor might do a decent job of pouring a slab, but why do they instead call a pro that does concrete every day?

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Sometimes it makes sense to develop a new product and lose a little money at first.”

          Commonly referred to as “Strategic Planning”. Can’t run company at the 1000′ level.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “By 2022, Ford plans to introduce 16 EVs and 24 hybrids of various types, funded by $11 billion and spearheaded by the company’s Team Edison.”

    I will believe it when I see it. GM spent $12B on Cadillac under Johann and got… what exactly? So you’re going to produce 40 models?

    • 0 avatar
      Greg Locock

      My guess is that many of those will be PHEV or HEV powertrains into existing models. As such the development and tooling costs are relatively low. Presumably once you’ve figured out a (say ) 2.0 litre+100 kW electric as a substitute for a 3.0 litre diesel for one car, installing it into another car that uses the 3.0 diesel is straightforward.

      • 0 avatar
        gasser

        This sounds very easy, but where do you place the batteries and the electric motor?? I think that going electric requires entirely new platforms, built with the room for the electric components. If you just hybridized the Mustang, you get a car with NO trunk space at all and a weight imbalance that makes the handling completely different from the ICE mode.

        • 0 avatar
          MoparRocker74

          A hybrid mustang completely defiles everything that a ponycar is supposed to be about. The fact that Ford is trying to push something that literally NO ONE is asking for is proof that tone deaf, out of touch idiots are calling the shots.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Mopar no your continued rants about the Hybrid Mustang are proof that you are tone deaf and out of touch. People want acceleration from their pony car and nothing gives that off line push like an electric motor. The take rate on the EcoBoost 4cyl shows that people don’t car if it has a V8 or not they care how hard the car pushes them back in their seat. Take that EcoBoost 4cyl and add another 100 ft/lb and it will do an ever better job of pushing you back in the seat. The fact that it will boost everyday fuel economy significantly is just a bonus.

          • 0 avatar
            MoparRocker74

            Ponycar buyers absolutely want acceleration. They also want cars that look, feel, sound, and can be upgraded like the old school ones. The EB isn’t popular among the V8 faithful…how do you think PriuStang will be regarded? It’s not all about being pushed into the seat. Happens every time a jetliner takes off, that’s no substitute for owning a muscle car.

            Eco boost stangs are base models…those will ALWAYS outsell the hi-po ones because of affordability. A hybrid will cost more, putting it out of range of pony buyers who want the looks but not necessarily hardcore performance. Any mpg advantage will be gobbled up by the price tag, typical of hybrids. One advantage the EB has is how easily more power can be coaxed out. With a hybrid, you’re screwed if you want to hot rod it. There’s no clear advantage to a hybrid.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Well the Explorer is on a new platform and the batteries will go under the rear seat. The motor is in the transmission so no issue there. The F-150, Expedition/Navigator were also designed with the knowledge that the new RWD Hybrid system was on its way.

          The Mustang might be an issue.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I think gasser is correct, this will require at the very least a handful of new platforms as I can’t imagine current ones can accommodate necessary batteries.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Well for 2020 we will see Explorer Hybrid, Aviator Plugin Hybrid, Mustang Hybrid, F150 Hybrid and presumably Escape Hybrid as well as a MKC Hybrid or Plugin Hybrid. The Expedition and Navigator can’t be far behind since it will undoubtedly accept the same power train that will be used in the F150. So that is half way there. The transmission that will be utilized in many of those are already in the can and the tooling is probably also done since the Explorer and Aviator are due to start rolling off the lines in June. I expect the majority of the transmission will be shared among all of the above, less the Escape/MKC being FWD.

      Add in a few plug in versions of those RWD vehicles and you are 3/4 of the way there to meet that goal and that is before they even touch a pure EV.

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    I have friends in accounting, lots of friends. And you know what they said to me? They said “Jim, we make all these cars and do you know how much profit we make on them? Not very much. Some cars lose us money.”

    So I had this idea, and I think I’m the first one to come up with this. We only make cars that make money.

    And all my friends in accounting tell me “how did you come up with this? This is a great idea! One of the best!”

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I want to believe :(

  • avatar
    gasser

    40 new electric/hybrid models?? Ford should immediately double the size of its recall department.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Ask a Prius owner how many recalls their car has had.

      Those things are extremely reliable, and part of the reason is that software replaces mechanical complexity. For instance, the complexities of a conventional automatic transmission are replaced by a glorified differential, a pair of electic motors, a computer, and a some enormous transistors. It’s way simpler than an automatic transmission, and dead reliable.

      Now, this setup may be unfamiliar and harder for you to fix, if you can rebuild an automatic transmission in your driveway. That’s fine – nobody’s making you buy new tech if you don’t want to. But, for me personally, software-controllee electromechanical systems are way easier to deal with than last century’s mechanical masterpieces.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    jenniferlawrence_ok.gif

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    No one is asking for more hybrids and evs. There is DEFINITELY no demand for a greenie Mustang. Remember when ford planned to downgrade the pony car to a fwd platform? That’s how this story ends.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      Mopar…:
      Agreed !!!
      There are 45 dozen EV models for sale. They dont sell. 1-2% US total. Big deal.
      More Hype needed.

      Just like the canard we ve heard for the last 20 years. US car manufacturers dont make the cars people want. Horse hockey. They make then sell EXACTLY what there is a demand for.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        Apple: I should clarify a bit: the VERY few who are clamoring for more electrified cars are already buying them…from Tesla and Toyota. They’ve carved their respective niches with the “tech is luxury” and “look how much I caaarrreee” crowds. The pie is WAY too small to be carved up any further.

        Im pretty involved in several car groups, mostly focusing on Mopars. I also attend a lot of the weekend car meets. This is in the Portland, OR area where greenie mobiles are more prevalent. Among those with passion for cars who actually get involved in person…no one, I mean NO ONE shows up with any form of electric cars. Among the Challenger/Charger crowd the contempt for hybrids and EVs is solid enough to drive nails into. The kind and gentle techy stuff appeals to a very specific crowd and any crossing over is nonexistent.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Sounds like maybe nobody shows up at those things with EVs because some folks there are stuck in their ways and don’t hesitate to be rude about it. People whose “passion for cars” so lacks imagination that it starts and ends with “the rumble of a V8.” People who would rant at you about why EVs suck instead of checking yours out.

          We’ve seen this movie before. When I was a kid it was the gold-chain Vinnies in their dumb-as-dirt fast-in-a-straight-line American two-door muscle sedans vs the Euro sports car guys in their slow-as-dirt convertibles and tweed going on about handling.

          I love the Challenger but sometimes I feel like everyone else driving one is looking for a chance to run over Heather Heyer. Not necessarily a crowd to relish being associated with. The stereotyping cuts both ways. I’m sure it’s not fair to either side.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I’m cool with that…I liked the Probe

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The Mustang will have a Hybrid option, the other models are not going anywhere in the near future. So nothing like strapping the Mustang name on a FWD car.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        Scout, Im aware that any hybrid will be an offshoot. It still dilutes the rebellious image that muscle cars trade upon. There’s literally zero market for such a thing, and it’s a waste of money for it to even exist. All attempts at ‘sporty hybrids’ have been dismal failures. They’re all overpriced, under deliver, and completely miss the mark.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          You are projecting your image onto the buyers. Fact is the pony cars have always survived on the “secretary car” market. W/o it it they wouldn’t exist. This gives those buyers a more efficient option that will have a performance advantage as well. I bet my 73 Year old Mother in Law would have chose the Hybrid version of her Mustang Convertible if it had been available.

          The fact that there is a hybrid version will not make the GT buyer go elsewhere.

          As are as the cost goes it will not be a waste of money to build a vehicle with a higher profit margin. The cost to implement will be minimal. You can bet that the Explorer/F150/Mustang and eventually the Ranger/Transit will all use the same basic transmission. The F150 will more than bear all the cost of tooling for the bulk of it. The only hard parts that will likely be vehicle specific is the form factor of the battery and the wiring.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I’m asking for more hybrids.

      As one of the resident enviro-hippie-liberals on this site, a plugin hybrid system and a proper computer controlled 4×4 system would sell me an F-150.

      I’ve owned an F-150 before (along with a Ranger and a Dodge D-50), and the V8 in the F-150 pissed me off every time I put the hammer down. It was just a lot of sound, fury, and fuel for roughly the same acceleration I got out of my Prius. I also wasn’t too happy with the locking 4×4 system in my local winter conditions (patches of slippery road). A hybrid system would fix the inferior NVH and drivability, and would presumably make the DD MPGs better than the Mazda5 I drive now (we have three kids).

      Plus, I’d finally be able to tow that RV the wife and I have been talking about.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    There’s potential profitability with sexy luxury electrics/PHEVs, and perhaps high end pickups as these products have the margin to absorb the increased costs. However, this price class is well above the average so volume will be rather low. A gross profit per unit is great, but will the volume be sufficient to offset all the net costs? Expensive gamble as the only electrics that are selling in any real volume have a T badge whose clout is far stronger with this buyer demographic than the Blue Oval. Though, it has clearly been Hackett’s strategy to try and take the brand there.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “When reached for comment, Elon Musk (who is a complete fraud) said Ford was astoundingly stupid for looking to make a profit on the items it sells.”


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