Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) has “rebranded and repositioned” a company unit to boost the development of autonomous vehicles and foster new technology businesses, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing company spokeswoman Jennifer Flake.
What Happened: The unit Ford Next was created last year and is led by former Renault SA (OTC: RNSLY) executive Franck Louis-Victor.
The unit has Ford’s stake in autonomous-auto startup Argo AI and would develop startups in mobility services and other businesses, according to the report. The recent joint venture between Ford and security specialist ADT Inc (NYSE: ADT) was also born out of Ford Next.
Ford told Benzinga it has had a separate autonomous unit, the Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, dating back to 2018. Late last year, the name of the entity was changed from Ford Autonomous Vehicle LLC to Ford Next LLC.
“This reflects a more nuanced rebranding and repositioning of an existing group, not creation of a new one or a significant structural shift,” Flake said, as noted by Bloomberg.
“It’s our approach to the business model. You use it to foster innovation, you use it to actually incubate new business ideas.”
Ford Next will begin posting its financial results in the company’s earnings reports next year.
See Also: Ford CEO Jim Farley Says Automaker Will Double EV Production By 2023, Aims To Become Largest Electric Player Soon
Why It Matters: The Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford split its electric vehicle and the internal combustion businesses earlier this month as it looks to boost profit margins and improve operational efficiency.
Ford has named its electric vehicle unit Model e while the gas-powered variant is named Ford Blue. The legacy automaker has also created Ford Pro, a unit that focuses on selling commercial vans and trucks.
The automaker expects EVs to account for 30% of its global sales within five years and a half by 2030. The company also said it now plans to spend a total of $50 billion by 2026 towards electric vehicles, $20 billion more than previously announced.
Price Action: Ford shares closed 0.9% higher at $16.83 a share on Thursday.
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