The automotive industry is currently going through radical changes, wherein global warming is escalating the demand for electric-cars and technology-driven populations are contemplating self-driving or autonomous cars. The U.S. automotive market is also reporting drop in overall sales, and the biggest loser seems be Ford Motor, whose market cap has fallen well behind a newbie like Tesla while Google and Waymo are leading in terms of technology. General Motors are expected to deploy the largest fleet of autonomous cars in the World in the near future, leaving Ford Motor to make a move.
The move has been announced. Jim Hackett, the head of Ford Smart Mobility segment, will be taking over as the CEO of Ford Motor from Mark Fields, who has been held accountable for the 40 percent drop in Ford’s stock price during his tenure, which started back in July 2014.
Hackett a Turnaround Specialist
Jim Hackett has been hailed as someone who can change fortunes of Ford. He had tremendous success at Steelcase, ushering the struggling office furniture maker into an innovative product company. Hackett also revolutionized the production structure of Steelcase, and both these qualities are now required by Ford.
Ford to Focus on AI, Big Data, and Robotics
In his first speech, the new Ford Motor CEO emphasized on integrating new technology into their business rather than merely contemplating them. The focus will be on operational changes and more products will be launched in the near future. Moreover, unprofitable areas will be detected and innovation pertaining to AI, big data, and robotics will be harnessed.
Ford’s acquisition of SAIPS last year highlights the aim to add to their self-driving technology, while Ford Mobility had acquired Chariot to boost its smart city transit plans. In addition to that, Ford had invested US$1 bn in Agro AI to aid their self-drive car business. The challenge for the new CEO will be to utilize these investments in a longer term.