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Ford CEO Jim Farley told the Wolfe Research virtual global auto technology conference Wednesday that the company could hit Tesla-like profit margins by using common electric motors, electronic components and other parts across all sizes of vehicles.
But to do that, Ford needs radically different human talent than it now has, Farley said in a surprisingly candid interview with analyst Rod Lache. He also said the company has too many people and too much complexity, and it doesn't have the expertise to transition to battery-electric vehicles. “That's the simple answer. There's waste," he said.
Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford has about 183,000 employees worldwide.
Ford, Farley said, can't just pivot from internal combustion engines to battery powered vehicles. The internal combustion engine organization is good at body, paint and manufacturing, and would be envied by startup EV makers.
But “I can't turn to the ICE organization and say, ‘Go be Tesla,’” Farley said. “They may do it on the (auto) body. They may do it in plant operations, but that's not good enough,” he said, without giving specifics of what changes are coming.