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04 Feb 2021 | 14:33

Ford CEO promises clear restructuring plan for transition to EVs

(Sharecast News) - Ford CEO, Jim Farley, promised a "year of action" and a clear and decisive plan for its restructuring and transition to electric vehicles.

He said he would "lay out the entire picture" for the carmaker in the next few months.

Until then, there are some restructuring actions and business deals happening such as a partnership announced earlier during the same week with Google for cloud services and in-car infotainment.

"2021 is our year of action," Farley told CNBC during an interview. "We're executing our plan and we'll continue to do that so every business in our portfolio has a sustainable future. If not, we will restructure it."

He added: "We've been busy redoing things, now we're accelerating them. The company appreciates a clear plan. They don't like ambiguity."

Farley took on the role of chief executive officer on 1 October of 2020 and is intent on accelerating the $11bn restructuring plan launched in 2018.

By the third quarter of that year, Ford was less than halfway through a $11bn five-year restructuring plan.

It included slashing the manufacturer's global headcount by 14,000 people, restructuring operations worldwide and ending vehicle production in Brazil, among other things.

Regarding the transition to EVs, Ford was evaluating overseas markets and had pledged $11.5bn in investments in "electrified" vehicles through 2022, including for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

"I don't have any regrets about that decision [the investment in hybrids] but if you're asking about the future, and being specific about the future, on what our mix is going to be, and how it's going to change, yes our mix is definitely changing to pure battery electric," Farley said. "I'm not going to go into details today. Stay tuned."

He also said that 2021 would be decisive in terms of the restructuring plan: "I'm really proud of the team. I love our new team. I love our plan, and I can't wait for our team to perform financially so that we can fund this growth, and even literally disrupt ourselves," he said.

"I also can't wait to explain kind of the whole thing. It takes a little time [...] but 2021 is the year."
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