Ford will spend up to $ 20 billion to reorganize its business for the electric future, according to Bloomberg. The carmaker is also considering splitting part of its business with EV as a special acquisition company (SPAC) to attract more investment. Earlier, Ford said it would spend $ 30 billion to develop electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025.
Ford has reportedly appointed former Apple and Tesla CEO Doug Field to be responsible for the reorganization, which will include converting its plants from gas to electric vehicles and hiring more engineers. (General Motors, which reported its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday night, recently announced an initiative to hire 8,000 people to help staff increase their EV efforts.)
Ford is embroiled in a high-stakes race against its rivals as the car industry struggles to catch up with Tesla, the world’s most valuable carmaker and best-selling electric car. While Ford sells more F-Series trucks each year than all Tesla products, investors have rewarded Elon Musk’s vision of an all-electric future with a significantly higher share price and more confidence in his company’s prospects.
Ford CEO Jim Farley is trying to change that story in an effort to show that his company can compete. Ford recently announced that it will double production of its upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup and triple production of the Mustang Mach-E, with the expectation that it will reach more than 200,000 units per year by 2023. Ford’s electric van, E-Transit, also goes on sale earlier this year.
As long as they start delivering on time, Ford will join Rivian and GMC as the only electric pickup carmakers on the market. (Rivian began shipping its R1T pickup in October until the first Hummer electric cars reached customers later this year.) Tesla’s long-promised Cybertruck was postponed to next year, and CEO Elon Musk said his company would not start production. them in large quantities by 2023
As for the potential SPAC, Bloomberg reports that Ford is considering separating a “small” part of its EV business, possibly focused on its smaller cars. GM reportedly considered EV SPAC for some time before finally coming out against the idea. A Ford spokesman declined to comment on “rumors and speculation”.
SPACs have cooled in popularity as many of the starter electric cars that went public through reverse mergers have attracted attention from federal regulators. The SEC is already investigating the mergers of SPAC, which turned Lordstown Motors, Canoo and Nikola into publicly traded electric vehicle startups. The agency focuses in particular on the validity of the financial forecasts that these companies made when they announced the mergers, as well as all the allegations they made about pre-orders collected for their vehicles.
The man who will be in charge of this massive shift is reportedly Doug Field, who was vice president of special projects at Apple, where he was in fact the leader of the company’s confused efforts to make an autonomous electric car – known as Project Titan. He had a previous tenure at Apple, where he was once vice president of hardware engineering at Mac, but left the company in 2013 to become Tesla’s chief vehicle engineer, where he helped oversee the problematic development of the Model 3 sedan. He left Tesla in 2018 and rejoined Apple.
Farley has set out to emulate Tesla in many ways, not just in the transition to electric cars. The company is teaming up behind a business plan it calls Ford Plus and intends to create more cars that are fully networked and up-to-date, like Teslas. Ford also said that Google’s Android will power infotainment systems in the “millions” of its cars from 2023.