In a one-on-one conversation with Autoweek, Ford’s soon-to-be-CEO talks about what he has planned, including making more Fords people can afford.Will Ford’s Problems Be Solved with Car Guy Jim Farley as CEO? — Latest Content – Car and Driver
There’s something satisfying knowing the incoming CEO of a fabled car company is in one of his happiest moments when he’s bombing down a race track as an accomplished performance driver. Jim Farley is well-known in the automotive industry as an enthusiast, a lover of fast and powerful machines, and often seen on the track at various events. But he’s also aware that Ford is (and has been for a while) at a cross-roads, risking irrelevance other than their two stalwart models, the Mustang and the F-150 Line. He has a monumental challenge in front of him to change the fortunes of an iconic symbol of American industrial power.
Change is Inevitable
In 2018, Ford announced they will cease to invest in sedans, focusing on trucks and SUV’s…and the Mustang. In 2019, Ford announced the Mach-E all-electric line, and are beginning to take firm orders as the various versions within the line were recently clarified. But Ford didn’t stop at naming it the Mach-E…it’s the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Critics and traditionalists raised their hands and voices in displeasure at the prospect of an all-electric Ford Mustang, the most iconic of the American muscle cars. Farley has to tread lightly, as he talks about the performance, torque and acceleration the new Mach-E will deliver, and like most of us, has witnessed the incredible surge in popularity of Tesla’s line of electric cars. But Farley also knows, as an enthusiast, part of what makes a Mustang is its aggressive stance and muscular, throaty exhaust note. Neither of those are present in the Mach-E.
While the next generation Mustang won’t be launched until 2022, a new model has begun to create a buzz for Ford, the Bronco. A 70’s and 80’s iconic design, especially to those of you who recall a certain former football player’s highway police chase, the Bronco has been discontinued since 1996. But Ford is re-launching the Bronco as a 2021 model, and given the popularity of the Jeep line of off-road vehicles, the shift in model purchases from cars to trucks/SUV’s, the continued demand for personalization of vehicles, low gas prices, and America’s affinity for outdoor activities that will likely continue post COVID-19, hopes are high that the Bronco will give Ford a third anchor point to build brand loyalty and affinity with a next generation of buyers.