Mark Fields, Ford’s former CEO thinks that the automotive industry needs to stop having such massive expectations when it comes to fully-electric vehicles. In fact, the feels that real growth won’t happen for many years to come.
“I think the industry is going to be under a reckoning over the next 2 to 3 years,” he said during a mobility conference. “My view is that yes, electrification is going to grow over the years, but it’s not going to grow to the extent all the experts are telling you.”
The ex Ford boss, who is currently a senior adviser at global asset management firm TPG, also said that carmakers will first have to manage high development costs and a lack of demand.
“The are going to have to first restructure the margins of the business and on top of it you’re going to have to incentivize demand. If you throw in, during that time period, a recession that’s going to happen at some point, that’s going to put a lot of pressure on the OEMs.”
During his time at Ford, Fields attempted to turn the blue oval brand into a leader in electrification – plans were set in motion for a long-range, fully electric model. However, his successor, Jim Hackett, ordered a redesign of that vehicle shortly after taking the job, reports Autonews Europe.
Another one of Fields’ accomplishments includes Ford investing $4.5 billion in electrification through 2020 – plans that have since been expanded.
As for what his stance is on autonomous vehicles, he doesn’t expect them to become the norm until the “back end of the next decade” and even then he thinks they will be focused mainly on specific purposes such as package deliveries.