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An ex-Tesla executive is overseeing the Ford skunkworks initiative to produce a low-cost electric vehicle

It has been revealed by that Alan Clarke, a former executive at Tesla and Ford Advanced EV Development, is now in charge of a Ford Skunkworks project that aims to build an affordable electric car.

A “skunkworks” team had been established in order to develop a “low-cost” electric vehicle platform, according to Ford CEO Jim Farley, who made a short mention of the matter on Tuesday during the company’s earnings call for the fourth quarter. Since then, has verified that Clarke is the person in charge of the Skunkworks project, which has been going on for almost two years and is headquartered in Irvine, California. There are engineers from Auto Motive Power, often known as AMP, which is an electric vehicle power startup that the automobile manufacturer purchased in November 2023. In addition, Anil Paryani, the inventor of AMP, is a participant in the Skunkworks project. Clarke and Paryani worked together at Tesla for around five years, which is a coincidence.

Skunkworks is currently working on an electric vehicle of the third generation. There was a refusal from a spokeswoman for Ford to share any further information on the project or its timing. On the other hand, Given the statements that Farley made on Tuesday, as well as those that he made a year ago, it is very probable that the skunkworks project is concentrating on cost, smaller electric vehicles, and efficiency, including the battery.

During the results call for the firm, Farley said, “We are also adjusting our capital, switching, and more focused onto smaller electric vehicle products.” This is significant because, two years ago, we took a gamble in secret, and we formed a skunkworks team comprised of really bright individuals with the intention of developing a low-cost electric vehicle platform. It was a tiny organization, a small crew, and it was independent from the Ford mothership. However, it had some of the most talented electric vehicle engineers in the world. They were a startup, and they designed a flexible platform that will not only deploy to a variety of vehicles, but there will also be a significant install base for software and services that we are already witnessing at Pro, which is the commercial portion of the firm.

In the last few months, Ford has reduced some of its plans for investing in electric cars (EVs), including delaying expenditures totaling $12 billion. This is because the company is adjusting to the fact that demand for specific kinds of battery-electric vehicles is decreasing while there is a growing hunger for hybrids. The manufacturer, meanwhile, is continuing to invest money in the development of future vehicles. In May of last year, Farley disclosed information on its second-generation electric vehicle platform. This platform will serve as the foundation for the T3 electric truck and three-row SUV that are scheduled to enter production in the year 2025.

According to Farley, “all of our electric vehicle (EV) teams are ruthlessly focused on cost and efficiency in our EV products.” This is due to the fact that the ultimate competition is going to be more inexpensive Tesla vehicles and Chinese original equipment manufacturers.

During the year 2022, Ford underwent a restructuring that resulted in the formation of three different groups inside the firm. These units included the commercial business known as Ford Pro, the hybrid business known as Ford Blue, and the Ford Model e, which would concentrate on connectivity and electric cars.

The expansion of Ford Pro, in addition to the sales of gas-powered and hybrid automobiles, has contributed to the organization’s financial success. The electric vehicle (EV) sector continues to be a drag on Ford’s profitability.

As of Tuesday, Ford revealed that their revenue for the fourth quarter of 2023 was $46 billion, representing a 4.5% rise over the same time in the previous year. Ford Blue accounted for the greatest portion of the total revenue, which was $26.2 billion, while Ford Pro was responsible for delivering $15.4 billion in revenue. In terms of revenue, Ford e, the electric vehicle division of the corporation, came in $1.6 billion, while Ford Credit brought in $2.7 billion.

The fourth quarter of Ford’s fiscal year resulted in a loss of $526 million, or 13 cents per share, in comparison to the profits of $1.3 billion, or 32 cents per share, in the same time of the previous year. The majority of the loss was incurred as a result of special expenses that were associated with the company’s employee pension systems as well as a restructuring of its operations abroad.

The corporation reported a total of $10.4 billion in revenue for the year, with the fourth quarter bringing in $1.05 billion from an adjusted perspective.

After-hours trading saw a 6.3% increase in the price of the company’s shares as a result of the company’s announcement that it anticipates achieving adjusted pre-tax profits of between $10 billion and $12 billion. This estimate is more optimistic than what was anticipated.

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