Similarly to other major automakers, Ford needs to expand its business horizon and to explore other profit directions beyond just selling cars.
The automotive environment is rapidly evolving and it is no longer a market solely focused on selling cars. The automakers have to keep up with this fast changing rhythm in order to expand their business portfolio. While other global automakers have already announced various partnerships with companies from outside the industry, Ford has not been as aggressive so far. But the Blue Oval plans to change its approach. “You’ll see a lot of partnerships, a lot more than you used to see in the auto industry,” Chairman Bill Ford recently said, quoted by Reuters. “You’ll hear more from us as this year goes on,” the chairman promised. He also revealed that Ford is considering other acquisitions as well – supposedly within the private tech area – “if we thought that was the right way to go.”
The Detroit-based maker announced this month a 182.2-million-dollar investment into Pivotal, a cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco. It also said earlier in this year it would set up a new subsidiary unit, Smart Mobility LLC, focusing on designing, building, growing and investing in emerging mobility services.
Some of its rivals have already entered into some strong partnerships beyond the traditional car-making business. General Motors invested in the ride-sharing service Lyft and it bought the Francisco-based Cruise Automation autonomous-driving tech start-up, which has started to test driverless electric Chevy Bolts, while Fiat Chrysler is working with Google to build 100 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans.