Ford forms Smart Mobility division image

Ford Motor recently announced it would set up a new subsidiary unit focusing on designing, building, growing and investing in emerging mobility services.

The automotive world is changing and increasingly more directions are emerging. It is no longer a market solely focused on selling cars only, as the technological boom claims more services to be offered to customers. The automakers have to keep up with the fast changing pace of new mobility trends and this is the reason why their business models have to evolve. Ford is establishing the Smart Mobility LLC unit, a subsidiary that aims to oversees the company’s auto and mobility projects, as Ford plans to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics. “Ford Smart Mobility and expanding into mobility services are significant growth opportunities,” said Mark Fields, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Our plan is to quickly become part of the growing transportation services market, which already accounts for 5.4 trillion dollars in annual revenue.”

Designed to compete like a startup company, the new unit will design and build mobility services on its own, and collaborate with start-ups and tech companies, Ford said. It will base its operations in Palo Alto, California, and Dearborn, Michigan, with Jim Hackett, currently a member of Ford’s board, as chairman. As CEO of Steelcase from 1994 to 2013, Hackett led a sweeping overhaul of the office furniture company, and forged ties with many Silicon Valley companies that bought its products for their offices.

“Ensuring the freedom of mobility requires us to continually look beyond the needs of today and interpret what mobility will mean to future generations,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “This new subsidiary will enable us to develop mobility solutions to address the rapidly changing transportation challenges of an increasingly crowded world.”