It acquired two companies to jumpstart an incubator for transit ideas called Ford X. The new team (with a name reminiscent of Google X) will look into new products and services with a focus on mobility businesses like Chariot, the ride-sharing shuttle service it bought in 2016. As part of this focus on experimenting in mobility services, Ford announced Thursday it had acquired vehicle connectivity platform Autonomic and TransLoc, a software company that provides real-time data for riders and transit systems. Autonomic CEO Sunny Madra will head the Ford X team, which is part of Ford's smart mobility program. Beyond investing in transportation startups, the team wants to be on the forefront of early mobility ideas.
The autonomous driving world is about as incestous a place as Caligula's palace, and it got a little more so today, when Ford and Volkswagen announced a formal and long-anticipated alliance. "The alliance we are now building, starting from first formal agreement, will boost both partners' competitiveness in an era of rapid change," Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen, said on a call with reporters. He and Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the partnership--which is not a merger--will begin with the companies jointly developing and building medium-sized pickups and commercial vans, to debut as early as 2022. The automakers said the arrangement should "yield improved annual pre-tax operating results" by 2023. So hopefully, this makes everyone richer.
Ford (NYSE:F) reported first-quarter 2018 earnings that showed improving financial conditions for the automaker. Ford has lagged the rest of the industry the last couple of years, so it is putting emphasis on cutting costs and freshening its vehicle lineup. However, the company is also investing in the future of mobility and setting itself up for auto industry leadership in a world that is reimagining how to get around. This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. In the U.S., there are more than 80 million millennials -- people who were born between the early 1980s and late 1990s -- making it the largest generation ever born in the country.
Ford made a surprise announcement this week of a further reorganization of its business as the automaker prepares for the long-term transition to automated mobility services. All of the various groups within Ford that are working on the development and deployment of automated vehicles are being subsumed into Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC (AVLLC). AVLLC is for now at least a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company with Sherif Marakby as its CEO and Marcy Klevorn as chairman of its board of directors. The reason given for the move is enable a faster decision making process within an organization that is wholly focused on deployment of this new technology. By taking some of the lines of reporting out of the larger corporate organization and condensing it within this smaller subset, it is possible that there will be less battling for resources with other priorities.