A F ord GT has not yet brought James D. Farley to visit the editorial team at auto motor und sport. The production of the super sports car has now started: “Bill Ford's car is currently being built,” explains the Ford Europe boss. But first the question is different: where is the auto industry headed, what developments is Ford working on and what is the 113-year-old car company busy with?
Drones cannot replace delivery vans
It's quick The issues of the moment: Ford is number two in hybrid sales in the USA after Toyota, reports Farley. Electrification will continue, Ford is working on the technology. Particularly interesting: electric commercial vehicles. After all, how should goods be delivered to the cities when diesel is no longer allowed to drive there because of its pollutant emissions? 'You can't all deliver them by drone,' says Farley. He sees a great need for logistics companies or online traders such as Amazon, who depend on a functioning supply chain. It is quite possible that even autonomous electric delivery vans will be developed there, says Farley. The competition is now also coming from outside, Tesla and Google are examples of this.
A trend is already clearly recognizable: The proportion of diesel engines in small and compact cars is falling, while more sophisticated exhaust gas cleaning makes diesel engines more expensive. A possible alternative: a small gasoline engine with a 48-volt mild hybrid. For the future, Ford is working on reducing CO2 emissions to less than 90 grams per kilometer in the WLTP cycle. But the Ford Europe boss still sees an abolition of diesel a long way off: 'Diesel is still important for commercial vehicles and areas of application with high mileage and we need it to reduce consumption.'
Gasoline and Diesel continues to be important
Otto and diesel remain important, because even if the optimistic estimates come true that a quarter of cars will be electrically powered or with a plug-in hybrid in 2025, 75 percent of cars will always be still burners.
And when will the electric car catch on? Farley cites figures from the USA: There hybrid and electric cars had a share of three percent for years - despite the increasing supply. In California, too, where the hybrid and electric share was ten percent, “the only thing that changed was the choice for the customer,” explains the Ford Europe boss. Timing is very important for electric cars. And the identity of the brand: “What makes the brand if the drives are no more different than a bottle of shampoo?” Asks Farley, who before he was head of Europe was responsible for global sales and marketing at Ford .
Ford and Trump - what next?
'It's too early to judge a Trump presidency,' says Farley. He joined Ford in Detroit during the US auto industry crisis. The company was the only one of the Big Three to manage without government aid, but had to close 12 plants. “There are a lot of disappointed people in America who feel let down. They just want everything to be different. We'll have to wait and see how that turns out, ”says Farley.
How will the Trump presidency affect Ford? “We're 113 years old, we've seen a lot of presidents,” explains the Ford Europe boss. Observe and analyze the situation, Bill Ford speaks personally with Donald Trump - read on Twitter. There Trump already had the supposed rescue of a Ford plant inKentucky announced. However, Ford is still planning a new plant in Mexico.
Build a great, little SUV!
Finally, “Jim” Farley wants to know what the editors believe Ford should build. The vote is clearly in the direction of crossover a smaller pickup than the Ford Ranger - or a small SUV. The trend will not end that quickly, the advantages of the small high seats are too big - even if the passion of many car enthusiasts is sporty cars. Just like with Jim Farley.