New Ford CEO says company will balance present with future

By Tom Krisher

 

Associated Press

DETROIT | The new CEO of Ford Motor Co. says the company isn’t taking its eyes off the present as it prepares for transportation in the future.

Jim Hackett, who replaced Mark Fields in May, says new mobility projects such as buying a shuttle company and the purchase of an artificial intelligence startup have not taken money from car and truck development.

Responding to criticism from dealers and investors about an aging product lineup, Hackett says that more new vehicles are in the pipeline. Dealers don’t know everything the company is planning, Hackett said in a brief interview with The Associated Press. “We think dealers are really going to be happy with the vehicles we’ve got coming this year and what we’ve got in the hopper,” he said, without giving specifics.

Ford’s U.S. sales were down 4 percent through July and its market share has slipped 0.3 percentage points, causing investors and dealers to worry about the company’s product decisions. While Ford’s top-seller, the F-Series pickup, was recently updated with a new aluminum body, other important bread-and-butter products such as the Fusion sedan and Escape SUV have grown dated. Ford has lagged rivals in long-range electric cars, and while subcompact SUV sales are booming, Ford doesn’t plan to roll out an entry in that market until next year.

 

More