- Ford’s Model E strategy operates like a startup, developing EV products and integrating digital aspects into the company.
- Ford is committed to delivering 600,000 EV units by end of 2023, with increased production rates for the F-150 Lightning.
- Ford is actively tackling infrastructure challenges in the EV industry, focusing on improving charging reliability and enhancing the overall charging experience for customers.
In a recent fireside chat at Electrify Expo: Industry Day in Long Beach, Mark Dipko, Vice President of Product Marketing of Ford, discussed with Ed Loh, Editorial Head at MotorTrend Group, Ford’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs) while maintaining the essence of driving, enhancing customer experiences, and revolutionizing the way vehicles are purchased.
Ford Model E Strategy: Leading the EV Innovation Race
Mark explained that the Ford Model E strategy operates as a startup within Ford, driving EV product development and digital integration. “The Ford Model E strategy was really set up to operate at the speed of a startup inside of Ford Motor Company, bringing digital aspects into the company and leading innovation in the EV space,” stated Mark. Furthermore, Ford Pro focuses on commercial customers’ needs, showcasing Ford’s comprehensive approach to the evolving automotive landscape.
Ford’s Customer-Centric Approach in EV Marketing
Ed Loh delved into the challenges of marketing EVs, specifically the Ford F-150 Lightning. Mark emphasized Ford’s commitment to delivering a great experience for customers, acknowledging that EVs have unique conditions, such as cold weather affecting range. Ford employs data-driven approaches, cloud-based predictions, and a robust charging infrastructure to ensure customers have a seamless towing experience. For customers with heavy towing needs, Ford offers alternatives such as the Super Duty lineup.
Software-Defined Vehicles: Ford’s Path to Continuous Improvement
Ed praised Ford’s over-the-air (OTA) updates, highlighting the recent enhancements to the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s vertical screen and BlueCruise feature. “Software-defined vehicles are living and breathing products that will continue to improve over time, utilizing data to enhance the customer experience,”mentioned Mark. Ford’s commitment to refining existing products while developing next-gen vehicles highlights their dedication to customer satisfaction and continuous innovation. “Our goal is to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for customers, whether it’s through OTA updates, charging infrastructure advancements, or reducing order times for immediate vehicle availability.”
Expanded Ford Charging Infrastructure and Addressing Charging Anxiety
The interview touched upon the infrastructure challenges associated with EV adoption, focusing on charge anxiety. Mark acknowledged the need for industry-wide improvements and emphasized Ford’s active participation in improving the overall charging experience. “Our real focus is making sure that the mainstream customers who love the F-150 Lightning have a great experience,” Mark mentioned. We use cloud-based data prediction for range and offer the Blue Oval charge network to ensure convenient charging options.
In an exciting development, Ford EV customers can now benefit from the use of Tesla Superchargers, further expanding their charging options and alleviating range anxiety. By partnering with Tesla’s Supercharger network, Ford is committed to providing greater convenience and accessibility for its customers, allowing them to tap into a vast and established charging infrastructure.
Ford’s Blue Oval Charge Network aggregates charging stations, streamlining the customer experience and offering easy payment options, while the recent collaboration with Tesla’s Superchargers reinforces Ford’s dedication to enhancing charging infrastructure. Additionally, Ford’s Charge Angels program empowers users to report charging station issues, further enhancing charging infrastructure reliability.
Shifting Customer Perspectives and Ford’s Market Strategies
Mark highlighted the changing customer landscape, emphasizing that customers now evaluate EVs based on value for money and everyday usability. “We’re scaling our production to meet the growing demand,” he mentioned. “Customers can now order a Mach-E, experience it at the dealership, and choose their preferred path, whether it’s online or through our dealer network. It’s all about giving customers choice and meeting their needs.” Ford’s focus on delivering inventory for immediate purchase and reducing order times caters to customers’ expectations in an evolving market. “Our approach is customer obsession with competitive awareness, ensuring that we define the experience for our customers while keeping an eye on what others in the industry are doing.”
Vision for the Future: Ford Scaling Up and Expanding EV Offerings
Ford’s focus on scaling production and delivering on its promise of 600,000 EV units by the end of 2023 showcases their commitment to meeting growing customer demand. “We’re scaling our production to fulfill more customers’ needs, with the goal of delivering 600,000 units by the end of 2023 and ramping up production rates for the Lightning.”
In line with this expansion strategy, Ford is taking a significant step by expanding its EV production to Canada, as highlighted in recent reports. The move to include Canada in Ford’s EV production network demonstrates their commitment to global growth and meeting the rising demand for electric vehicles.
Mark hinted at future product launches, mentioning the possibility of electric trucks, indicating Ford’s determination to expand their EV lineup and meet diverse customer needs. This expansion into Canada not only strengthens Ford’s manufacturing capabilities but also establishes a broader presence in the EV market, reinforcing their position as a leading player in the industry.
Ford’s Targeted Marketing and Engaging Experiences
Ford’s marketing strategies are evolving to target a broader customer base. Mark highlighted the importance of expanding messaging beyond traditional brand associations, such as the Mustang Mach-E’s dual role as a performance vehicle and an everyday car. “We’re augmenting our expertise by bringing in professionals from big tech companies like Tesla, Google, and Amazon, who bring innovative thinking to our digital platforms.” Ford intends to leverage events, test drive tours, and experiential marketing to allow customers to experience EVs firsthand, emphasizing the value of in-person interactions in the digital era.
As Ford embarks on its exciting journey into the world of EVs, the company’s focus on customer-centricity, continuous improvement, and expanding market presence positions it as a formidable player in the evolving automotive landscape. With a diverse lineup of EVs, investments in charging infrastructure, and engaging marketing initiatives, Ford is primed to shape the future of electric mobility while staying true to its legacy.
About Electrify Expo Industry Day
Electrify Expo Industry Day is a gathering of professionals and enthusiasts in the electric mobility industry. It offers presentations, panel discussions, and workshops on topics such as EV technology, charging infrastructure, policy, and sustainability. The event showcases cutting-edge vehicles and solutions while facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange among industry leaders, with the goal of advancing the transition to sustainable transportation. More info at electrifyexpo.com/industry-day.
About Electrify Expo
Electrify Expo is a national event tour dedicated to promoting electric mobility and sustainable transportation solutions. It offers a platform for attendees to explore a wide range of electric vehicles, learn about their features, and even test-drive some models. The festival features informative presentations, panel discussions, and a marketplace where visitors can connect with industry experts, learn about the environmental benefits of electric transportation, and explore and purchase electric vehicle-related products. Electrify Expo serves as a comprehensive platform that brings together the electric mobility community, facilitating education, engagement, and the latest advancements in sustainable transportation. More info at electrifyexpo.com.
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