Jim Farley Takes The Reins As New Ford CEO — Emphasizes EVs, Faster Restructuring To Promote Growth

Ford's announcement signals its ambitions to build many more electric models of well-known nameplates

Jim Farley officially succeeds Jim Hackett as CEO at Ford Thursday, a move stakeholders hope will improve its fortunes as the company navigates its ambitious restructuring plan. According to an official statement, the Blue Oval plans to “move with urgency to turn around its automotive operations — improving quality, reducing costs and accelerating the restructuring of underperforming businesses.”

“During the past three years, under Jim Hackett’s leadership, we have made meaningful progress and opened the door to becoming a vibrant, profitably growing company,” Farley said. “Now it’s time to charge through that door.”

To that end, Ford aims to achieve 8 percent adjusted profit margins, while also pushing for “high quality and customer satisfaction”. In light of recent issues surrounding the new Ford Explorer launch, for example, Farley is keenly aware of the need to stick the landing with so many new models in the pipeline. “We are going to compete like a challenger — allocate capital to higher growth and return opportunities to create value — and to earn customers for life through great products and a rewarding ownership experience.”

Ford also mentioned plans to develop new customer-facing businesses driven by Argo AI, an autonomous driving company in which it has a significant stake with Volkswagen Group.

EV plans

For the end consumer, the most impactful segment of Farley’s plan is the scaling up of electric vehicles. Ford’s statement mentions “uniquely Ford fully-electric vehicles at scale around the world”. Specifically, the company includes the Transit van, F-Series trucks, Mustang, SUV models and the entire Lincoln brand.

Under Hackett, some of that plan has already come to fruition. Ford’s own Mustang Mach-E will arrive in the coming months. However, there’s still work to be done as we know an electric Transit and F-150 pickup are nearing their market launch as well. Down the line, we expect to see more electrification across Ford’s SUV lineup beyond the Escape and Explorer, and perhaps full-electric versions of those.

As for which models we’ll see next and how quickly Ford can launch them, only time will tell. Stay tuned for more updates!