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Ford‘s Jim Hackett speaks on keeping a 100+-year-old car company competitive in 21st century

(FinancialPress) — Ford‘s (F) new development plan has been rolled out. The carmaker will create a new-mobility corridor that will stretch from the home of its new headquarters, Detroit, to Ann Arbor‘s University of Michigan.

The company‘s CEO, Jim Hackett, has brought his “design thinking“ to its leadership in an effort to remake a 100+-year-old company. The first step in that direction has been the acquisition of a ran down train station by the centre of Detroit; he intends to synergize that with a project aimed to bring life back to the city‘s neighborhood of Corktown. The end goal is for the area to become the focal point of the company‘s smart mobility efforts.

Hackett was appointed as CEO of Ford in late 2017. Ever since, both the auto industry and the financial world have been attempting to guess how it is that the executive pretends to keep the century-old company in an incredibly competitive and innovative 21st-century market. He previously helmed furniture manufacturer Steelcase, and was called to his current position by the company‘s Chairman himself: Bill Ford.

His most recent visible effort has been the purchase of an abandoned railroad station next to downtown Detroit, and the revelation of plans to introduce over 1,000,000 square feet of brand new workspace in Motown.

“It’s a really exciting time, now that I’ve been here a little over a year,” Hackett said in an interview. “With Bill, I get to make a statement that the strategy is taking hold.”

Taking the lead

Hackett took the CEO mantle after the removal of former exec Mark Fields. Fields was piling up quarter after quarter of profits, but the company‘s stock price was not reflective of that. The lagging stock price led to Tesla leapfrogging Ford in market valuation. Executives were, understandably, not pleased – and decided to make a move to show that Ford is not only a carmaker – it‘s also a mobility company.

While the profits were there, they were consistently missing targets set by Fields himself. A series of factors that ultimately led to his departure from the carmaker.

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Written by Ruben Maciel

Ruben is a South American writer who focuses on the
state of the cryptocurrency, cannabis and tech industries worldwide.

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