Ford-led group starts work on transformational new model for US auto industry

Ford and a team of Silicon Valley-based companies are working together to bolster the American auto industry by creating a new paradigm for how millions of cars will be built over the next decade.

Ford is forming a strategic alliance with a dozen leading venture capital firms, venture capital management firms, and major chip manufacturers to speed up the development of advanced autonomous and connected vehicle platforms, bring about larger, more powerful batteries, and expedite electric vehicle manufacturing.

These elements, the goal of the alliance, will ensure reliable, swift, and affordable transit and mobility solutions to drivers, customers, dealers, dealers’ suppliers, and other industry stakeholders throughout the country.

These innovations will also protect the environment, enhance human health, and foster economic growth and business opportunity. The alliance brings together all those factors through a coherent plan.

Speaking at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s annual Automotive XPO conference in midtown Detroit today, Ford chairman and CEO James Hackett said the coalition has cleared many “legs” of regulatory approval, and is now looking to expand its range to cover all stages of the vehicle manufacturing process.

This will change how cars are built over the next decade, from assembly to testing to installation of specialized wiring and powertrain modules. The two groups will ultimately work together to develop a common culture, process, and proficiency within the industry.

“These new technologies and manufacturing processes will provide a revolution in mobility,” said Hackett. “We’ve seen what new technologies mean for the automotive industry before, with the introduction of electric vehicles to the U.S. market and Ford’s recent efforts to unveil new fuel-cell vehicles for the future.

“Over the next 10 years, I’m confident we’ll see another step change in automotive. We can’t wait to see the vehicles of the future.”

The coalition includes some of the leading investment firms in Silicon Valley, including Redpoint Ventures, SoftBank Capital, Supermicro, Azure Capital, Mission Critical Partners, Valor Equity Partners, Geneflect LLC, Athina Partners, Nth Power, WeWork Energy, and True Ventures.

More information on the Ford Automotive Alliance partners and work will be announced shortly.

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