As long as the brainpower of cars can keep up, they aren’t going to disappear from the market, Ford Motor Co’s top executive says. He thinks Ford’s future isn’t in giving up on cars, it’s in giving up on the dumb ones.
Hackett, who became Ford's CEO when his predecessor was ousted in May, is pushing to accelerate the automaker's moves into connected, electric and self-driving cars around the globe. Ford announced on Wednesday a joint venture to manufacture and sell a new line of battery-powered cars in China after making a similar move in India earlier this fall. So far, the shifts into new mobility areas have done little to reverse a three-year stock slide as investors perceive the automaker as lagging behind General Motors Co.
Shares of GM have risen 21 percent this year through Wednesday's close, while Ford has fallen 0.6 percent over the same period. Ford, which remains dependent on profits from big trucks, surprised Wall Street last month with stronger-than-expected earnings, thanks to cost cutting and strong sales of lucrative F-Series pickups. The company is betting the new mobility areas will also start paying dividends eventually.