New Ford CEO Jim Hackett promises a leaner, smarter company

How Ford Will Join the Electric-Car Revolution

In an update to investors, Ford said it is accelerating its development of smart, connected vehicles, including autonomous and electric vehicles and digital services, "to thrive in emerging transportation operating system". Many automotive manufacturers are now warning that product range, which is predominantly internal combustion engine, will reduce profit margins of conversion to fully electric vehicles.

Ford sales rose 8.7 percent: F-Series pickup sales were up 21 percent from a year ago, while SUV sales grew 8.8 percent.

Other automakers have cautioned that shifting to all-electric vehicles might damage profit margins. "I dont think we should walk off a ledge where we destroy the earnings power of the company", Hackett said, saying Ford is planning for a third of vehicles to still have internal combustion engines by 2030 - the year some European governments have proposed banning petroleum fueled cars.

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The former head of furniture maker Steelcase, Hackett was joined at Ford headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn by four of his top lieutenants.

The industry outsider on Tuesday afternoon will lay out for investors his strategic plan for the 114-year-old automaker.

Hackett's plan also entails moving production of the Ford Focus from North America to China to save on costs. The automaker will debut its first long-range electric model in 2020 and still appears to be playing catch up, analysts said after the event. The company says it will offer internet connectivity on all of its USA -bound models by 2019 and in 90 percent of its vehicles sold worldwide by 2020.

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Ford hired Hackett, in part, to turn around its share price, which has languished for the last two years even as rival General Motors Co. saw its shares rise to their highest level in seven years. It plans to cut $10 billion in incremental material costs and reduce engineering costs by $4 billion over the next five years.

"Almost every long-lived company felt that ... and we're no exception", said Hackett. He said getting the company lean and flexible will help it handle the changes the auto industry is facing, from car-sharing to self-driving vehicles, to the shift to electric cars. "Regardless, Ford's biggest challenge may be delivering shareholder value and gains in a time where many other stocks have been booming". Ford creates "Team Edison" to speed development of EVs Ford's Sherif Marakby said in an interview, the company has created "Team Edison", a group focused on speeding up the worldwide development of electric vehicles.

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