Ford forms separate ‘Model e’ and ‘Blue’ units to split EV and ICE business

The Blue Oval is splitting its business into an EV-focused Ford Model e unit and Ford Blue, which will focus on ICE products

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Ford president and chief executive officer Jim Farley has announced that the Blue Oval is splitting its business into two new, distinct divisions, intensifying its focus on different areas of mobility to create better products for its customers.

The first new division, called Ford Model e, will focus on electric vehicles, offering “clean-sheet design, the launch and delivery of breakthrough electric vehicles and connected technologies – at scale.”

Ford Model e will focus on EV platforms, battery and motor tech, as well as charging and recycling capability, underpinned by new, fully-networked software platforms for its future electric cars.

Farley outlined that “Our legacy organisation is holding us back – we had to change”, and that the division of focus on its business would also lower costs, making EVs more affordable to the end user, with “the focus and speed of a start-up at the leading edge of technology.”

Ford Blue will centre on investment and development in certain areas of the ICE market that the brand still predicts will be profitable in the medium to long term – for example, pick-up trucks in North America.

Farley outlined that “Ford Blue will be a profit and cash-rich engine” that will help underpin areas of development across Ford’s portfolio, including the Ford Model e business thanks to the brand’s “decades of engineering and high-volume production expertise.”

The brand is targeting sales of more than two million EVs by 2026, and this extension of the Ford+ business plan will integrate with Ford’s finance, mobility and other services that it will provide to customers in the future.

Ford Model e will retain the small-team ethos it employed for the Edison programme that eventually became the Mustang Mach-E. The brand hopes that scaling this up will retain its agility in the development of all-new EVs.

“Ford Model e will be Ford’s centre of innovation and growth, a team of the world’s best software, electrical and automotive talent turned loose to create truly incredible electric vehicles and digital experiences for new generations of Ford customers,” Farley said.

“Ford Blue’s mission is to deliver a more profitable and vibrant ICE business, strengthen our successful and iconic vehicle families and earn greater loyalty by delivering incredible service and experiences. 

“It’s about harnessing a century of hardware mastery to help build the future,” Farley added. “This team will be hellbent on delivering leading quality, attacking waste in every corner of the business, maximising cash flow and optimising our industrial footprint.”

Ford Blue will have a big focus on reducing waste and complexity to improve profitability, reducing costs in this area of the business by a targeted $3 billion (£2.25 billion).

Farley outlined that while it will focus on recruiting talent and a more flexible approach to how its employees work and where they live, Ford will still be headquartered at its home in Dearborn, Michigan.

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