The Ford Motor Company has been around for a long time, but where is it heading next?
Not that long ago, the company was close to bankruptcy as the financial crisis hit them very hard. But things have since turned around, and those memories are being put behind the company. Profitability has returned, and there are signs that things could be getting even better as the company pushes in new directions.
There have been developments in self-driving cars and hybrid vans, among many other things.
It’s starting to look like 2017 could turn out to be a pivotal year for one of the world’s most popular and long-lasting car manufacturers.
We’re going to look into some of these developments in more detail below, so read on now if you want to find out what the future might hold for Ford and its customers.
Ford Self-Driving Cars
Ford is really pushing forward with autonomous vehicles right now.
All the focus has been on other companies, such as Google, but it’s important not to forget about Ford. They’re doing a lot of work, and it’s recently been revealed that their autonomous cars won’t feature steering wheels.
Representatives said it could be fitted as an added extra in the future. But ideally, the company wants to do away with the need for a driver altogether.
As well as developing self-driving cars, Ford has been working on practical applications for them. News reports suggest that they have already partnered up with Domino’s pizza to trial self-driving delivery operations.
So, maybe one day in the near future, your pepperoni with stuffed crust will arrive in a self-driving Ford. We’re not quite there yet, but if the trials go well, it could become the norm before too long. Deliveries are always challenging, so it remains to be seen whether or not this is the solution.
A New CEO
A few months ago, there was a big management overhaul at Ford. For some, this passed by and flew under the radar. But it’s something that could mean big changes are afoot behind the scenes.
Mark Fields left his position, and his replacement is Jim Hackett. So far, it seems like his main focus will be on the modernisation of the company. He wants to bring the marque and its operations in line with its modern day competitors.
Ford had previously been slow to come to terms with the need for greener and more energy efficient cars.
As we’ll look into in more detail below, that’s something that seems to now be changing under Hackett. There are some people who feel the most important man at Ford right now is Jim Farley.
He could be the true future of the company, having been promoted by Jim Hackett. Farley will be the one responsible for shaping the brand’s image in foreign markets.
PHEV Transit Vans
Ford’s new plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) is a transit van with plenty of custom options. It was unveiled this year at a low carbon event in England. And it’s going to be trialled by companies in London later this year.
The idea is that these Transit vans will be used in cities, such as London. And the company hopes that they will help to improve productivity for companies, while dramatically cutting emissions at the same time.
In terms of wider sales, it’s not thought that they will be available for purchase before 2019. It’s part of Ford’s ongoing commitment to greener and more energy efficient vehicles.
If this is going to be a cornerstone of the company’s outlook and ambitions going forward, it’s something that’s worth being positive about.
These vans will also feature new technologies, such as geofencing. This means that the car’s settings will be able to change and adapt depending on its current location.
2017 Ford Scrappage Scheme
If you’re thinking of upgrading your car anytime soon, you might be interested in the 2017 Ford scrappage scheme. It’s gained a lot of praise in recent weeks, and it’s not hard to see why.
It makes buying a new Ford a lot more affordable for many people. Ford used cars might still be more appealing to you. But it’s worth remembering you can now get up to £7000 off a new car when you scrap an old one.
This is linked back to the company’s desire to cut emissions. The idea is that by getting old cars off the road and replacing them with greener and more efficient ones, emissions will fall.
Of course, it also offers the company a great way to attract more customers as well. If the car was registered before the end of 2009, it will qualify for the scheme.
Transits are bigger, and you’ll get more of a cash incentive if you scrap those. But you’ll always get at least £2000 towards a new Ford.
Fully Electric Cars in China
Talks are now in progress between Ford and a zero-emissions Chinese car company called Anhui Zotye Automobile regarding the development of vehicles in partnership with one another.
This is a sign that Ford is serious about two things. First of all, they’re pushing hard when it comes to clean and electric vehicles. And secondly, they want to tap into the Chinese market and expand in that country.
If both of those things go according to plan, it could put the company in a very good position going forward. China, the world’s most populous country, will be key in the future. If the American company can become a real power in China, it will stand them in good stead for a long time to come.
By the year 2025, Ford has said that it wants 70% of its cars sold in China to be hybrid or fully electric. It’s an ambitious target; that’s for sure.
As you can see, there is a lot happening at Ford right now. Their future looks bright as they push forward with clean and green options.
If their trials in hybrid vans and fully electric cars in China go well in the months and years ahead, things will certainly be looking good for Ford.