Ford needs to bring more work in-house to keep jobs, the CEO said | Rare Techy


DETROIT, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co ( FN ) Chief Executive Jim Farley said on Tuesday the automaker needs to build more components for electric vehicles at its plants so “everyone has a role to play in the future.”

Electric vehicles require 40% less labor than current internal combustion engine vehicles, Farley said at a conference in Detroit sponsored by the civil rights group Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Farley told reporters on the sidelines of the conference that Ford is “returning … to our Model A,” when the company built many vehicle components in-house at the Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, Michigan.

Farley said manufacturing EV motors, batteries and other components in-house was necessary to preserve jobs and ensure competitiveness.

Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ), the No. 1 U.S. electric vehicle maker, builds much of its electric vehicle hardware, including batteries. Tesla’s profit margins are now better than those of Ford and many other well-known automakers.

“We want to be No. 1,” Farley said at the Rainbow PUSH conference in Detroit.

Ford has begun construction on Blue Oval City, an electric vehicle manufacturing complex in western Tennessee. Farley said he would be thrilled if the workers hired there decided to unionize. But that decision is up to the employees.

Ford and Detroit rivals General Motors Co ( GM.N ) and Stellantis NV will begin contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers next year. Central to these negotiations will be the changes brought about by the transition to electrification. UAW President Ray Curry has said he wants workers at new U.S. electric vehicle operations, including joint venture battery plants, to be organized without a secret ballot.

“Next year’s negotiations are very important for all stakeholders,” Farley said.

Farley has brought in a number of executives from outside the auto industry to lead the electrification and software development efforts. But he said Ford needs to do a better job of developing leaders from within its own ranks.

“We can’t continue to hire from the outside,” he said.

Reporting by Joe White; Edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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