Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

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Thread: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

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    Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals
    MICHAEL MARTINEZ
    June 11, 2019
    autonews.com

    TEL AVIV, Israel — Former Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields says the auto industry needs to tap the brakes on its expectations for electrification.

    "I think the industry is going to be under a reckoning over the next 2 to 3 years," Fields said Tuesday at the EcoMotion mobility conference here. "My view is that yes, electrification is going to grow over the years, but it's not going to grow to the extent all the experts are telling you."

    Fields, senior adviser at TPG, a global asset management firm, said automakers must grapple with high development costs and a lack of demand, despite promises from most major companies to electrify their lineups.

    "They are going to have to first restructure the margins of the business and on top of it you're going to have to incentivize demand," Fields said. "If you throw in, during that time period, a recession that's going to happen at some point, that's going to put a lot of pressure on the OEMs."

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    There is more than a reckoning coming. This isn’t like the move to crossovers, the market isn’t actually making this decision. Determining big moves like these politically when the market won’t support them seldom ends well.

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    I give him credit for stating some of this openly.

    EVs and electrification are all the rage. And yet, despite some huge investments being made, there may be no return on that investment for some time.

    Meanwhile, funds are getting diverted from other projects and could impact the financial health (and future product development) for conventional vehicles. There is an obvious disconnect from the "perceived" acceptance of EVs in the market, and the "actual" procurement of such products.

    The irony to all of this seems to be that, while interest in EVs grows, the "popularity" of hybrids seems to be diminishing. Despite the perceived goals of universal electrification (saving the environment from the use of fossil fuels, and the planet from global warming), one could argue that there would be more "real world" environmental impact through greater proliferation of hybrids over EVs.

    If the actual goal were to save fuel and increase fuel-economy, wouldn't there be more of a push in spreading hybrid technology across a larger number of products, than sinking a disproportionate amount of money into electric vehicles (which are a minuscule percentage of the market)?

    Quote Originally Posted by SVT74 View Post
    There is more than a reckoning coming. This isn’t like the move to crossovers, the market isn’t actually making this decision. Determining big moves like these politically when the market won’t support them seldom ends well.
    Agreed. What's more, in terms of long-range planning, they may be "giving away" future buyers while also spotting competitors additional sales.

    There's no doubt that SUVs and Crossovers make fatter margins for automakers and are in demand -- but the push to embrace them isn't entirely organic.

    Frighteningly, there's also the issue on what tomorrow's motorists will drive. Some studies suggest that Generation Z "dislikes" SUVs and Crossovers, and are more attuned to purchase sedans over what is "popular and acceptable" to their elders.

    So what does it do for your future business development when you essentially give away future customers to a competitor and then abandon a huge swath of customers? When those segments begin to grow again, and the Detroit 3 are scrambling to get sedans back to the market, will those Gen Z (and other) customers willing come back to the fold when they've been giving their money to brands that have embraced sedans for years? I don't imagine that's going to happen easily.
    Last edited by nadepalma; 06-13-2019 at 08:24 AM.
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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    My gut feeling tells me this will not end well for a certain few manufacturers.

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    There is also a small but growing argument that there is a massive portion of the population that just does not want to switch to the BEV. Particularly so outside of the coasts. I wouldn’t be surprised by that. I live in the South within same day, round trip driving distance of multiple relatively major cities and weekend trip driving distance of a couple of truly major, global city burbs. At a NCAA rowing competition recently, in a parking lot with several hundred cars and most of them from premium brands, I didn’t note a single BEV. And I was looking. In fact, I know almost as many people who own genuine exotics as BEV’s. How well received people believe the BEV is in general may have more to do with location than reality. Just a thought.

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by nadepalma View Post
    ... "I think the industry is going to be under a reckoning over the next 2 to 3 years," Fields said Tuesday at the EcoMotion mobility conference here. "My view is that yes, electrification is going to grow over the years, but it's not going to grow to the extent all the experts are telling you." ...
    He's probably right to put the brakes on the public's expectations. I think some manufacturers are going to go too fast and some are going to go too slow. It's that happy balance that's going to be tough to find. EVs are coming, but the big question is When?
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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by 1958carnut View Post
    My gut feeling tells me this will not end well for a certain few manufacturers.
    Yep, like any of them that went "All In" with EV's

    Only thing worse is the future for the ones that are "All In" with AV's

    GM will shortly become BK again....

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by 1958carnut View Post
    My gut feeling tells me this will not end well for a certain few manufacturers.
    The combination of electrification and autonomous tech is going to render many/most manufacturers redundant. I suspect a desperate desire to not find themselves in the trash bin of history is what's driving their currently unprofitable investment into the tech.

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by rand49er View Post
    He's probably right to put the brakes on the public's expectations. I think some manufacturers are going to go too fast and some are going to go too slow. It's that happy balance that's going to be tough to find. EVs are coming, but the big question is When?
    I think the public's expectations don't need to hit the brakes because outside of a few elitist capitals, LA, SFPsycho, Silicone Implant Like, ya know, Valley, Seattle, Po'land, NYC, Bosstown, anywhere where--as my old man mockingly called them--the good, the rich, and the wise--live in their dream utopia of socialism or communism where THEY rule, is overblown. While the 'murrican people collectively may not be amazingly bright, when things are going OK why would you want to upset the apple cart?

    Because Mary, or Boinie, or Shotgun Joe, or Robert Francis "Beto aka Sergeant Schultz" O'Roark, or any of scores of 'lektrik geniuses and politicians say "UTOPIA!"? People have heard lots of promises. Only control freaks want autonomous vehicles.
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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by 1958carnut View Post
    My gut feeling tells me this will not end well for a certain few manufacturers.
    +1
    Among those manufacturers is Mark Fields' former employer. As the Automotive News article states, Fields himself was gung-ho about EVs when he was Ford CEO. In 2016, Fields said Ford "will not be left behind in the race to develop long-range electric vehicles."

    Ford's current CEO is continuing that strategy.
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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
    +1
    Among those manufacturers is Mark Fields' former employer. As the Automotive News article states, Fields himself was gung-ho about EVs when he was Ford CEO. In 2016, Fields said Ford "will not be left behind in the race to develop long-range electric vehicles."

    Ford's current CEO is continuing that strategy.
    Funny thing is the Ford family, which leans pretty far left, are blatant BEV skeptics. They basically got dragged into that tech kicking and screaming. Politics and business mesh so much these days it’s tough to know the lay of the land.

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
    +1
    Among those manufacturers is Mark Fields' former employer. As the Automotive News article states, Fields himself was gung-ho about EVs when he was Ford CEO. In 2016, Fields said Ford "will not be left behind in the race to develop long-range electric vehicles."

    Ford's current CEO is continuing that strategy.
    Quote Originally Posted by SVT74 View Post
    Funny thing is the Ford family, which leans pretty far left, are blatant BEV skeptics. They basically got dragged into that tech kicking and screaming. Politics and business mesh so much these days it’s tough to know the lay of the land.
    This is a prime example of what I call the strange bedfellows syndrome that goes on in the automotive industry and for whatever reason comes along or so it seems.

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    I think the public's expectations don't need to hit the brakes because outside of a few elitist capitals, LA, SFPsycho, Silicone Implant Like, ya know, Valley, Seattle, Po'land, NYC, Bosstown, anywhere where--as my old man mockingly called them--the good, the rich, and the wise--live in their dream utopia of socialism or communism where THEY rule, is overblown. While the 'murrican people collectively may not be amazingly bright, when things are going OK why would you want to upset the apple cart?

    Because Mary, or Boinie, or Shotgun Joe, or Robert Francis "Beto aka Sergeant Schultz" O'Roark, or any of scores of 'lektrik geniuses and politicians say "UTOPIA!"? People have heard lots of promises. Only control freaks want autonomous vehicles.
    *Time to open a non-sense conspiracy theories moment*

    I guess the few elitist capitals, LA, SFPsycho, Silicone Implant Like, ya know, Valley, Seattle, Po'land, NYC, Bosstown, whatever go full speed ahead for EV, because they might be afraid of the possible progress of 2nd gen of biofuels. Forget the corn for ethanol where sugar betts, switchgrass and hemp produce more ethanol than corn per acre and let's not forget butanol and biodiesel.

    *Close the non-sense conspiracy theories moment*, film at 11.

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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    Quote Originally Posted by SVT74 View Post
    There is more than a reckoning coming. This isn’t like the move to crossovers, the market isn’t actually making this decision. Determining big moves like these politically when the market won’t support them seldom ends well.
    Agreed! The market isn't clamoring for what the OEMs are planning on shoving down people's throats. It may work in a totalitarian society like China, (Hi Mary!!!), but free societies work differently.
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    Re: Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals

    I have had very dim expectations on EV's manufactures as the whole Americas infrastructure is currently struggling to produce enough power to handle the 5 o'clock PM Home air conditioning surge. Now your going to add how many vehicles to the same power source ? I was in NYC in 2003 when the power went out. I was two miles from the George Washington bridge into NJ, it took me 2 hours. All the talk by GM CEO on the "Bolt", and there are a lot of orders on Tesla production. I want clean air as all of us do. The vehicle fuel systems took a century to be built. How do you change that ?

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