At an automotive conference in Bochum, Germany, Ford CEO Mark Fields took to the stage and shared a rather sobering fear he has for the future of the industry: being dependent on the business models of others.
This story comes to us by way of Reuters, who explain that with the emergence of car sharing, for example, all emphasis might soon shift away from owning a brand of car. Instead, automakers like Ford could conceivably end up catering to fleet operators, and rely heavily on how these new companies operate their businesses.
Said Ford CEO Mark Fields: “Guess what, [these companies] are looking at our industry, not taking anything for granted, they are questioning tradition and they are knocking down walls. I want to make sure Ford doesn’t end up like the [mobile phone] business.” It’s not an unfounded comparison; the automotive industry has evolved substantially just over the last decade – and found itself in the middle of more than one paradigm shift (car sharing, autonomous cars, electrification).
Ford CEO Mark Fields continued: “There is always that pull to take things for granted. And to say that is the tradition. Our opportunity is to take those blinders off.”