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Ford begins production of E-Transit, touting commercial electric vehicle strategy


Ford Motor Co CEO Jim Farley has won plaudits from Wall Street for upping the automaker’s electric vehicle production target. F-150 to 150,000 a year, more than three times the original figure. Now, Farley wants investors and Commercial vehicle customers pay more attention to the software and services that Ford wants to sell with vansas well as the company’s electric Transit van and commercial vehicle portfolio.

Ford has begun production of the E-Transit delivery truck at its plant in Kansas City, Missouri, with first deliveries expected within weeks, and it’s ready to fill 10,000 existing orders. This is just the beginning – Ford has previously estimated that the electric market commercial truck will sell 1.1 million vehicles by the end of 2030. And Ford will have a large share of that market: It currently has a 40% market share in the pickup and commercial van segment.

At an event in Sonoma, California, this week, CEO Jim Farley and other Ford executives are introducing more detail into their Ford Pro commercial vehicle strategy – and setting goals ambitious for E-Transit, F-150 Lightning Pro and electric future.

“This is Ford’s first move to really begin to scale and commit serious resources to digital software and service-based revenue,” Farley told Reuters.

Ford Pro is a stand-alone unit created in May last year to focus exclusively on commercial and government clients.

Ford has set a target of increasing annual Ford Pro sales to $45 billion by 2025, up 67 percent from 2019. Farley said Ford Pro is paving the way for Ford to expand its digital offerings to customers. retail goods.

The commercial vehicle markets in the US and Europe are fragmented, Farley said. Ford can use its position as the leading commercial vehicle brand in the United States and Europe to lead the way in bringing the pieces together as fleets of commercial vehicles run on electric power.

“We are Tesla of this industry,” he said.

Ford Pro, which will house the Dearborn, Michigan automaker’s commercial vehicle operations, is now ramping up commercial tram charge the business using the software and the workers have boarded when Ford acquires charging startup Electriphi in June 2021.

Ford Pro also partnered with Silicon Valley enterprise software company Salesforce.com Inc to develop software that digitizes invoices and other paperwork for contractors and other businesses deploying people to jobs where the vehicle also acts as an office space.

In an interview, Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis said the unit has 125,000 active accounts and has a 40% share of the pickup and commercial van market in the US. Startups like Rivian Automotive Inc and long-standing competitors such as General Motors Co and it’s new BrightDrop . valve unit is targeting big customers like FedEx Corp or Amazon.com Inc as a golden ticket for ride-hailing businesses.

Given Ford’s steady stream of SME customers, “I’ve got 125,000 golden tickets,” says Cannis.

Refund via EVs

In the past, Ford has attempted to expand into higher-margin services businesses to strengthen its traditional manufacturing business, which has achieved 10% pre-tax profits over the past year. Mandarin. In the early 2000s, Ford acquired a fix service chains and auto salvage yards that attempt to derive revenue from a larger portion of a vehicle’s lifecycle. Those diversifications were abandoned.

Ford’s new service strategy will have to overcome the efforts of rivals also racing to sell electric trucks and vans to commercial fleets. Ford Pro’s individual service businesses, such as fleet charging, will face competition from companies like ChargePoint provided such services.

Rhett Ricart, whose Ohio-based Ricart Motor Corporation is a major Ford commercial vehicle dealer, said Ford executives have “done their homework” on the Ford Pro. Now, he said, automakers must deliver electric vehicles that don’t leave corporate customers stranded.

“Those cars have to be perfect,” says Ricart.

Farley and Ford executives say connected vehicle technology – including a telecommunications system that gives Ford a conduit to receive data from its vehicles – gives the company a platform stronger foundation for recurring revenue, subscription service as well as increasing the repair business because the software tells fleet owners when to service their vehicles.

Muffi Ghadiali, former CEO of Electriphi and now head of the Ford Pro electric vehicle charging business.

“Thanks to telecommunications, we can give them a very precise plan based on how the fleets operate,” he said.



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