Ford unit ‘notices’ and ‘repositions’ to ‘incubate’ new business ideas around autonomous vehicles and new technologies

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Ford Motor Co. F has ‘rebranded and repositioned’ a company unit to drive the development of autonomous vehicles and foster new tech companies, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing the company’s spokeswoman Jennifer Snowflake.

What happened: unit Ford Next was established last year and is run by former Renault S.A. RNSLY executive Frank Louis-Victor.

Unit owns Ford’s stake in self-driving car startup AI Argo and would develop startups in mobility services and other businesses, according to the report. The recent joint venture between Ford and the security specialist ADT inc. ADT was also born from Ford Next.

Ford told Benzinga that it has a separate autonomous unit, the Autonomous Vehicles Ford LLC, dating back to 2018. Late last year, the entity’s name was changed from Ford Autonomous Vehicle LLC to Ford Next LLC.

“This reflects a more nuanced rebranding and repositioning of an existing group, not the creation of a new group or a significant structural change,” Flake said, as noted by Bloomberg.

“That’s our approach to the business model. You use it to foster innovation, you use it to incubate new business ideas.

Ford Next will begin publishing its financial results in the company’s earnings reports next year.

See also: Ford CEO Jim Farley says the automaker will double its production of electric vehicles by 2023 and aims to soon become the biggest electric player

why is it important: Ford, based in Dearborn, Mich., split its electric vehicle and internal combustion businesses earlier this month as it seeks to boost profit margins and improve operational efficiency.

Ford has named its electric vehicle unit Model e while the petrol variant is named Ford Blue. The legacy automaker also created Ford Proa unit that focuses on the sale of vans and commercial trucks.

The automaker expects electric vehicles to account for 30% of its global sales within five and a half years by 2030. The company also said it now plans to spend a total of $50 billion by 2026 for electric vehicles, or $20 billion more than previously announced.

Price action: Shares of Ford closed 0.9% higher at $16.83 per share on Thursday.

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