The recent exhibition by Jim FarleyCEO of Ford, during the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference last Wednesday, June 1, has left numerous clues about the most immediate future facing the automotive industry. We already talked about a first forecast of the manager about the upcoming “price war” for launching affordable electric vehicles. Now, Farley mentions about “the shock” that the group of more traditional manufacturers will receive in the next years.
Many more historic brands may suffer the setbacks of an industry that is making a complete turnaround in the way they work and create products. Until now, firms like Ford have been doing what they do best for decades, thermal vehicles. However, the shift to full electrification has been a complete paradigm shift, which Farley predicts will could eliminate more than one historical brand from the board if it does not know how to play its chips well.
Ford’s CEO believes that these traditional brands may not survive, or at least not in their current form. This will lead many companies to generate pairings and specific associations, something that the American brand has already done with Volkswagen, since in the coming years we will see the landing of at least two SUV models supported on the MEB platform of the Volkswagen Group, two models that They are still a complete mystery beyond the type of bodywork they will use. These new fully electric vehicles will reach the European market in 2024thus joining the existing ones such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E or the electric Ford Puma that we will meet in the coming months.
Likewise, Farley believes that the momentum and the changes that are happening in the industry through the electrification of the mobile fleet will mean a complete turnaround in the method used for sales and manufacturing until now. Among these changes, he explicitly mentions the advance of certain technology companies to sell their own electric cars (Xiaomi, Apple, Oppo, etc…), the elimination of the sales model through a dealer, as well as the birth and arrival in the traditional markets of new vehicle brands, the vast majority of them born in China. All this will lead the market to “a shock”, according to the CEO of the American firm.
Regarding the change in the dealer sales model, we have already seen how brands like Mercedes or BMW will do the same, carrying out a mode called “direct sales” or “agency”. In this sense, the brand itself will have control of all the movements that are carried out on the sale and marketing of its product, presenting closed prices and changing traditional dealerships for delivery and information centers of said product. This method is something that Tesla has already been able to implement.
As we well know, Ford is doing everything possible to fully enter the electric automotive market and its plans already go through positioning itself as the first electric car brand in the world, thus overtaking the queen of the sector, Tesla. At the moment, the blue oval firm has already prepared the Ford F-150 Lightning for the American market, as well as the Ford Mustang Mach-E for a more international scope. In the coming years, new fully electric models will arrive, such as the already mentioned electric Ford Puma or the cars supported by the MEB platform of the Volkswagen Group.