Ford, Michael Kassner, Poland discussed on Bloomberg Opinion


Radio Now a global news update this is a special report the Russian invasion of Ukraine I'm Michael kassner Officials in cities across Poland are reporting their capacity as Ukrainian refugees continue to pour in The mayor of Poland's second largest city Kraków is now asking for help to move refugees to less populated areas of the country Meanwhile in Poland's capital Warsaw's mayor is pleading for international help to relocate those fleeing war torn Ukraine He called the UN to set up centers in Poland to help with refugees and said more help from other countries around the world is necessary President Biden is calling for the end of normal trade relations with Russia following the invasion The most favored nation status designation means two countries have agreed to trade with each other under the best possible terms The move would clear the way for new tariffs on Russian imports which Biden said would be a crushing blow to Russia's economy This has been a special report the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Michael kassner You're listening to Bloomberg opinion on Bloomberg radio I'm June Grasso Ford Motor is splitting sort of with its electric vehicle operation getting a bit of corporate space of its own But Bloomberg's Liam dennings says because the much anticipated full spin off of Ford's electric vehicle business isn't happening the company stuck in hybrid mode and will have to protect its existing business while innovating like a startup Is Ford sort of dividing itself up It's not starting a spin off for the electric business What's it doing It splitting but internally So there's been speculation for a long time that you have these two very different businesses housed in Florida You have the dominant traditional business churning out trucks and a few cars burning burning gasoline and then this small but growing electric vehicle segment And the thinking has been the electric vehicle segment needs a lot of money to be developed but if you look at say a stock like Tesla if you had a separate kind of forward electric stock it might trade on some fantastic multiple raise a lot of money and do its own thing And then you can have like a separate legacy carmaker What Ford has chosen to do instead is to split the two companies but not spin them off So effectively it's like an internal reorganization So you will have Ford blue which is the traditional business You'll have Ford model E which is the electric business You'll still have some other bits and pieces in there There's four pro which is the fleet business It's a lot of Lincoln kind of floating around doing its thing So it's more of a reorganization It's not the Big Bang that some people were expecting but it is a significant evolution for the company How is Ford tackling becoming an electric carmaker So they've been surprisingly nimble I think if you've gone back a couple of years and asked people who's going to look better in electric vehicles a couple of years later out of Ford and GM probably most people would have said GM Ford has actually in some ways beating them to the punch And in broad terms what it did was it took existing models and electrified them Whereas GM has gone for a much more kind of bottom up blank sheet approach you know building in-house technology Ford essentially went out and bought some batteries You know retooled some models But it's been surprisingly successful The Mustang Mach-E is one lots of plaudits and you know it's a great car crossover SUV I guess to give it its proper title The Ford F one 50 lightning which is supposed to be starting deliveries this year That's caused a lot of excitement because the F one 50 is already the biggest single biggest brand in U.S. autos And the idea that you could have an electric version of it and have it get to market this quickly beating GM by the way in terms of an electric truck That's pretty exciting too I take it that Tesla is in a category all by itself You have Ford and GM and then you have Tesla Yeah I mean Tesla's in a class of its own in all sorts of ways from the valuation to the Twitter feed of its CEO and cofounder You know one way to think about it is Tesla is synonymous with electric vehicles If you mention the name Tesla people immediately think electric vehicles that Tesla doesn't even use any advertising All the legacy carmakers are in that difficult position of being much more identified with internal combustion engines but trying to build these electric vehicle businesses Now interestingly enough Ford in a survey that was done last summer Ford of all the legacy also makers has the highest brand awareness of having electric vehicles probably because it did get vehicles to market So quickly But it's still a long way behind Tesla What's the downside to Ford handling it this way and not spinning off It's the classic kind of innovators dilemma issue which is you have a you have a legacy business which is trying to do something very difficult which is to protect the profits of its legacy business as much as possible those highly profitable trucks that forward cells And use the money from those to develop a quite different business and one which over time is kind of supposed to eat the other business right Because the logic of EVs is that eventually they displace all these internal combustion engines Now on paper that seems eminently achievable You simply run that business for cash divert some of it over to this one grow it everybody's happy As we know it's incredibly difficult for legacy companies to pull that off You know all sorts of cultural issues all sorts of budgeting issues All sorts of attracting the right talent issues I think Ford can be given some benefit of the doubt just because it has shown some nimbleness thus far so I think we can just say let's wait and see how this pans out I think the logic of the internal split is that.

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