Pivoting: Ford’s Future and Its Approach to Age-Old Adaptability

June 10th, 2022 by

A red 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium is shown from the side driving near a ramp after visiting a Murfreesboro Ford dealer.

How much have you changed in the last year or even the last decade? Growth is a constant in life as we continuously evolve, educating ourselves and expanding our views of the world. The automotive industry is no different with its evolution and advancements often fueled by fierce competition among automakers. But, as drivers, we reap the benefits, which is why you’ll see the latest and greatest innovations on the lot of your Murfreesboro Ford dealer, Newton Ford South.

Vast advancements in the automotive industry have not only led Ford back to the drawing board to usher its lineup into the future but have led the company to make historical changes. For the first time since its founding in the early 1900s, Ford is restructuring the company in an act that many refer to as “pivoting.” Over the last few years, pivoting has become commonplace, but no one expected Ford to shift its focus so dramatically and after so many years. So, what will it mean for the future of Ford, and how will it impact your search for dealerships like ours?

Pivoting: A New Word for an Age-Old Business Practice

Over the last few years, the world has dramatically shifted, with individuals and businesses forced to quickly adapt to ongoing changes in their daily lives and operations due to health, economic, and political concerns. Individuals who once logged 40 hours each week in the office pivoted to virtual roles just as businesses pivoted to develop more substantial online presences to become more accessible to customers. This pivoting taught us several things about our lives, specifically that we can adapt and that change isn’t always bad.

Ford’s recent announcement of its historic restructuring is a modern-day version of pivoting. But this idea of pivoting isn’t new to the automotive industry or any other industry for that matter. It’s called survival; it’s the ability to adapt to change, go with the flow, and evolve to meet the needs of society and the demands of life.

Dodge and Ram pivoted in 2009 when the companies split, allowing the automakers to focus on their strengths to better serve their customers, but pivoting goes even further back to the early years of the automotive industry. Henry Ford’s first two companies were flops, forcing him to pivot multiple times before hitting on something big. Abroad, Mazda shifted from manufacturing cork, Honda from producing bicycle engines, and Toyota from textiles to producing automobiles. Without this adaptability and evolution, we’d still be riding horses.

Pivoting: What It Means for Ford

Ford made a historical decision this year to reorganize the company, allowing it to focus on its strengths and adapt to the growing demands in the global automotive landscape. To put it simply, Ford is splitting the company into two parts–one that will focus entirely on electric vehicles and another that will remain true to its gas-powered roots. So, what’s the point? It’s akin to the Dodge-Ram split in 2008 in the sense that it’s hard to do two things exceptionally well at one time. Like Dodge and Ram, Ford’s answer is to divide and conquer.

A silver 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum is shown at a campsite with an Airstream trailer.

Ford Model E and Ford Blue

Everywhere you look, automakers tout their latest hybrid and electric models. As the world shifts to an all-electric future, Ford has notably jumped on the bandwagon with exceptional models like the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning. Sure, Mustang loyalists are a little perplexed that an electric SUV shares the icon’s name, but the Mach-E’s power has quickly quieted the disgruntled rumblings. With demand growing exponentially for these models, Ford positioned itself alongside segment leaders like Tesla.

With the restructuring, Ford sets itself up for tremendous success to not only join Tesla at the top of the segment but to take the reins. After all, it’s hard to argue with an automotive pioneer and the best-selling brand in America for decades. That’s an honor that Tesla will never touch. However, Ford knows the cautionary tale of jumping too far into the future and forgetting its roots. There has to be a balance, and for Ford, that means restructuring.

Ford will divide its company into two separate entities––Ford Model e and Ford Blue. Ford Model e will focus solely on electric vehicle production with the promise to build over two million electric vehicles by 2026. Under Ford’s former business structure, this tunnel vision would’ve shifted the focus from the automaker’s internal combustion lineup, which is a risk that Ford can’t afford to take. Pushing the best-selling truck in America and icons like the Mustang aside seems counterproductive, even if the future is electric. That’s where Ford Blue comes into play, allowing Ford to focus on its best-selling lineup, the one that’s earned the automaker a coveted place in the American automotive industry since the 1900s.

Together, But Separate

Ford’s separation into Ford Model e and Ford Blue is revolutionary in many ways and will lead the company toward a bigger and brighter future. Think about trying to play a classical piece on the piano and trying to eat a meatball sub at the same time. You can’t do the piece justice or enjoy the sandwich if you’re attempting both feats at once. It’s the same concept with Ford’s restructuring. Ford’s pivoting will give the company the freedom to focus on the future, to proverbially “go all in,” and build that future without sacrificing one segment for the other.

Perhaps even more important is that Ford Model e and Ford Blue will benefit from one another. With no need to reinvent the wheel, Ford will keep the companies under the same umbrella, and that means Ford Model e will reap the benefits of Ford’s massive success in the industry since the 1900s. That leverage is something that not even Tesla can compete with or gain. At the same time, it also means Ford’s traditional lineup (Ford Blue) will enjoy the ongoing advancements of the Model e segment, ushering best-sellers like the F-150, Mustang, Expedition, and countless others into a new realm.

A blue 2024 Chevy Silverado EV is shown parked outside a seafood restaurant.

The Future Is Ford

Financial analysts have pressured Ford to split the company into separate entities to compete financially with Tesla and attract more investors willing to share their wealth in advancing the EV segment. However, Ford doesn’t need the money, nor is it susceptible to persuasion. Just as Henry Ford remained adamant despite several failures in the 1900s, the Ford Motor Company remains adamant about doing things its own way.

Ford’s separation into Ford Model e and Ford Blue is what many call modern-day pivoting, but pivoting is nothing new to the automotive industry. Instead, it’s the age-old business practice of adapting to meet the demands of drivers and the evolution of the industry. Over a century ago, that evolution replaced the trusty steed with the automobile as Henry Ford himself put the world on wheels.

Today, that evolution is rooted in the promise of a future with zero emissions. Ford’s historical restructuring will set the stage for that future and allow the automaker to focus its efforts on both the present and future. This ability to look in both directions and focus on both segments will deliver extraordinary results with more electric models like the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E and more significant advancements to existing best-sellers across the Ford fleet.