Ford President and CEO Mark Fields sat down with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget for a question-and-answer session about the company’s future in smart mobility during Ford’s 6th Annual Further with Ford media event.
“You’ve heard us talk about how we’re expanding business to be both an automotive and mobility company,” Fields said. “But why are we doing this? It’s because the world is changing very quickly, and spinning faster than we’ve ever seen before.”
Fields cited the growth of megacities – metropolitan areas with populations in the multi-millions – as well as the doubling of the global middle class by 2030 and rising air quality concerns as top motivators for the industry and consumers alike.
“Attitudes regarding vehicles and transportation are changing rapidly,” Fields said. “The world has moved from just owning vehicles to both owning and sharing. This is causing us to think very differently as a company and driving us to rethink our entire business model. It’s not just about how many vehicles we can sell, it’s about what services we can provide as well.”
Fields mentioned the company’s recent announcements regarding Ford’s commitment to working with major global cities, and of course the company’s recent announcements regarding autonomous vehicles.
“Autonomy is a big topic in the industry,” he said. “We believe the next decade is going to be defined by the autonomous automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles having as significant of an impact as Henry Ford’s moving assembly line.”
Blodget asked Fields the key question: Why mobility, and why now?
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