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Ford CEO Jim Hackett's 6-Point Plan to Turn Around the Automaker

Ford CEO Jim Hackett's 6-Point Plan to Turn Around the Automaker

Concurrent with the new emphasis on electrification, Ford is also redirecting $7 billion from vehicle to truck and SUV development, and reducing the number of cars it offers. The automaker will also speed up the development of vehicles by around 20 percent via new tools such as virtual reality and big data. The review of its China operations, part of a broader strategy re-think under new CEO Jim Hackett, will likely see Ford focus on electric commercial vans, which China is encouraging in its polluted and congested city centres, as well as electric cars. One of the slides highlighting Ford's strategy was a big reduction in the number of "orderable combinations" in future vehicles: For the Focus, the number will fall from 360 today to 26 in the future, for the Escape 2302 to just 228, the Mondeo (sold in the U.S. as the Fusion) 35,000 to 96, and the Explorer - not yet confirmed for Australia - from 1168 to just 672.

For instance, Ford is working on electric cars.

His vision of Ford was of a more nimble company that was faster to act and more responsive to the changes that threaten to upend the industry than it had been to date. The executive added the group will be located in Detroit and have access to the regional Ford vehicle electrification teams in China and Europe.

Hackett, who only became the company's CEO in May, said making the carmaker leaner and more flexible will help it handle the challenges facing the industry - everything from car-sharing to self-driving vehicles and the shift to electric cars.

"We can't compete for the future unless we get fit today", Hackett said.

The company recently announced a dedicated electrification team within Ford, focused exclusively on creating an ecosystem of products and services for electric vehicles and the unique opportunities they provide. It comes at a time when Ford is pushing its mobility solutions, but still lags behind rivals such as General Motors in terms of autonomous technologies, partnerships and electric vehicle development.

Hackett, former CEO of office furniture maker Steelcase Inc, took the top post at Ford in May after his predecessor Mark Fields was pushed out.

One way to cut costs will be to offer fewer variations of Ford's models, Hackett said.

Image: Ford to cut costs and make more EVs. The future model will be ordered in only 26 combinations, Hackett's presentation said. Thirteen hybrid and electric vehicles are now on the way over the next five years, although only one pure battery-powered vehicle - a crossover with a 300 mile range scheduled for 2019 - has been announced.

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