Ford Investing $4.5 Billion in Electrified Vehicle Solutions, Reimagining How to Create Future Vehicle User Experiences

  • Ford is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle
    solutions by 2020, including the new Focus Electric with all-new DC
    fast-charge capability, which delivers 80 percent charge in an
    estimated 30 minutes and projected 100-mile range
  • The company is adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its product
    portfolio by 2020; more than 40 percent of Ford’s nameplates globally
    will be electrified by the decade’s end
  • Ford also redefining how future vehicles are created, moving from a
    features-based product development to a customer-experience-led
    process, applying insights from social scientists

DEARBORN, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle
solutions by 2020 as well as changing how the company develops vehicle
experiences for customers – all to make people’s lives better by
changing the way the world moves.

Ford is adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020,
when more than 40 percent of the company’s global nameplates will come
in electrified versions. This represents Ford’s largest-ever electrified
vehicle investment in a five-year period.

On the way next year is a new Focus Electric, which features all-new DC
fast-charge capability delivering an 80 percent charge in an estimated
30 minutes and projected 100-mile range – an estimated two hours faster
than today’s Focus Electric.

The new Focus Electric, which starts production late next year, also
will provide North American and European customers:

  • SmartGauge with EcoGuide LCD Instrument Cluster, which offers a
    multitude of customizable displays that can help the driver see
    real-time EV power usage to help maximize vehicle efficiency
  • Brake Coach, another smart feature that coaches the driver on how to
    use smooth braking to maximize the energy captured through the
    Regenerative Braking System. The more energy a driver captures through
    braking, the more energy is returned to the vehicle’s battery
  • Fun-to-drive character, with agile steering and handling engineered
    into the vehicle to give drivers a more connected feel to the road

Ford’s shift to add electrified vehicle solutions answers increasing
global trends calling for cleaner, more efficient vehicles.

Experience-Led Design

Ford also is reimagining how to set itself apart in the marketplace by
focusing on the customer experience and not just the vehicle itself. The
company is changing its product development process to support the shift.

“The challenge going forward isn’t who provides the most technology in a
vehicle but who best organizes that technology in a way that most
excites and delights people,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president,
Product Development. “By observing consumers, we can better understand
which features and strengths users truly use and value and create even
better experiences for them going forward.”

In addition to traditional market research, Ford is investing in social
science-based research globally, observing how consumers interact with
vehicles and gaining new insights into the cognitive, social, cultural,
technological and economic nuances that affect product design.

“This new way of working brings together marketing, research,
engineering and design in a new way to create meaningful user
experiences, rather than individually developing technologies and
features that need to be integrated into a final product,” Nair said.
“We are using new insights from anthropologists, sociologists,
economists, journalists and designers, along with traditional business
techniques, to reimagine our product development process, create new
experiences and make life better for millions of people.”

Next year, Ford is doubling the number of projects that use ethnographic
research versus this year.

The team of social scientists already has spent months exploring topics
such as the future of luxury transport, how people form relationships
with their cars and the role of trucks in the American heartland.

ReD, a social science-based strategy consultancy, has been innovating
with consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies for a decade. ReD
started working with Ford – its sole automotive client – in 2012.

During the past three years, the team has invested more than 4,000 hours
with thousands of vehicle users in more than 25 cities worldwide, taking
80,000 photos, nearly 3,000 hours of video and more than 8,000 pages of
field notes, feeding countless insights to improve the product creation

“For 70 years, market research has been done by asking people for their
opinion. But Ford has always been fundamentally skeptical about that.
Henry Ford used to say, ‘If I asked people what they wanted, they would
have asked for a faster horse,’” said Christian Madsbjerg, founder of
ReD Associates and author of The Moment of Clarity. “I chose to
work with Ford because this approach is in their DNA and is setting the
company at the forefront of this advanced and bold process, which is
redefining market research and silo-busting the way the company

Another new twist to the product development process is that designers
no longer just sketch products but also full customer experience
illustrations that visualize the experience each product is meant to
deliver. The series of vignettes define a unique user journey that
seamlessly integrates both hardware and software experiences.

This user experience design technique also plays an important role in
developing the Ford Smart Mobility plan, which is designed to take the
company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous
vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics.

“As both an auto and a mobility company, we at Ford are going further
than just designing the product to move people from point A to point B,”
Nair said. “We are considering the way customers interact with our
vehicles as a unified experience, looking for ways to excite and delight
customers and make their lives better.”

About Ford Motor Company

Motor Company
, a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 197,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the
company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company
provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more
information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

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