Ford's One Up on Tesla

Ford's One Up on Tesla

Ford Motor Company has announced the division of its electric vehicle (BEV) manufacturing operations from its ICE (internal combustion engine) or gasoline car manufacturing operations into two separate units. The rearrangement was a foregone conclusion. The Ford parent company will be in charge of both divisions. The interesting element is that Ford e will be the name of the electric car division.

Many Wall Street analysts and investors have pushed legacy manufacturers like Ford to spin off their electric vehicle operations in the hopes of reaping the high valuations that certain EV start-ups have received.

Ford intends to run its new electric vehicle operation, known as Ford Model e, like a start-up, with lean, flexible teams, an innovative culture, and the capacity to produce "clean-sheet" designs that don't rely on existing Ford products. While current CEO Jim Farley will be the Model e's president, Doug Field, a former Apple and Tesla executive, will be in charge on a day-to-day basis.

This is something that Tesla may not like. Apart from its very first model, the Roadster, the vehicles marketed by Elon Musk's company had names taken from the alphabet until Ford showed up.  Model S for the luxury sedan, and the Model X for the luxury SUV/crossover. After the Model X, Tesla wanted to introduce an entry-level vehicle to the market.

Back in 2014, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, had said "We have the S and the X and then a friend asked me at a party 'hey what are you going to call the third-generation car? Well we've got the S and the X so we might as well make it the E." But this car was eventually called Model 3.

So, why did Musk deviate from the alphabet? When Tesla attempted to register the trademark, it was met with unexpected pushback from Ford, which stymied the process.

Musk explained, "Ford gave us a call and said they're gonna sue us for using Model E.” To prevent Tesla from using the letter E as a car name, Jim Farley's firm cited a 2010 agreement between the two firms that stated Tesla could not use the word E as a vehicle name. Ford went on to say that there was a potential of confusion between the Model E and the renowned Model T, which was released in 1908.

The iconic Ford Model T

Until 1927, the Ford Model T was a tiny, light automobile that dominated sales in America. Initially, the Model T was available as a touring automobile, a Tourabout, and a Runabout. The Model T, dubbed the "Tin Lizzie," had seating for five passengers and had low, trim body lines. A Model T Touring automobile cost $290, while the Tudor sedan cost $580.

Customers could also join in a scheme called the "Ford Weekly Acquire Plan," which allowed them to purchase a new Ford Model T by making a five-dollar deposit at numerous approved Ford Dealers across the country. Ford Motor Company became an industrial powerhouse thanks to the Model T.

On May 26, 1927, production of the Model T came to an end after 19 years and over 15 million vehicles. It has been dubbed the most influential automobile of the twentieth century.


New Ford App

The developer of the Mustang and F-150 looks to have developed some new technology that could increase the popularity of its automobiles. Ford just released a new version of its FordPass Connect app, which allows Ford vehicle owners to interact with their vehicles remotely, including starting them while they are away. Images in the latest FordPass Connect edition show that, if the manufacturer's aim is realized, Ford automobiles will be able to park themselves in the near future.

All of this suggests that the Ford F-150 Lightning could be equipped with this option, giving it a significant advantage over General Motors' Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV, and Tesla's futuristic Cybertruck in the electric truck war.