Ford increases investment in electrification to $11 bn

Detroit: Ford will increase its investment in electrification, planning to spend $11 billion by 2022 to create hybrid and all-electric versions of its vehicles, the company announced Sunday at the Detroit Auto Show.
Ford executive James Farley said the increased expenditure essentially doubles and extends Ford’s previous $4.5 billion investment in electrification until 2020.

The American car giant said the increased spending will lead to 16 fully electric and 24 hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. The company currently offers just one fully electric vehicle.

“What we learned from this first cycle of electrification is people want really nice products,” Farley said.

“We’re starting to telegraph where we’re going to play in the electrified business around the world,” he said. “And that is to electrify our iconic nameplates that tend to be higher transaction price vehicles.”

Ford also announced that it would begin building a hybrid version of its popular F-150 pickup in Dearborn, Michigan by 2020. It hinted at a fully electric car to come in that same year, but did not provide specifics.

In a flashy presentation, the company played up its connection with American history and culture, reaching into American film history and the association of its Mustang sports car with the thriller film “Bullitt.”

The original 1968 car driven by late actor Steve McQueen, who starred in the film, was recently discovered, and the restored car was brought out for a drive through the presentation gallery.

McQueen’s granddaughter Molly McQueen helped unveil the latest limited edition version of the Mustang, called the Bullitt, in tribute to the film. The Bullitt had not been offered since 2008.

Ford also unveiled another model that had disappeared in North America but was being brought back, the mid-sized Ranger pickup truck. It debuted a new sportier version of its Edge SUV, the ST.