Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is creating a new subsidiary company called Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC to focus on their automated vehicle development. The decision to create a separate subsidiary for its’ autonomous vehicle development came in order to concentrate on developing suitable business strategies without altering the legacy business of Ford. In addition, having a smaller company can make it easier to prioritize resources and create simpler management and reporting. It also allows other companies to invest in Ford’s autonomous vehicle development.
This new subsidiary will be in control of vehicle research, advanced engineering, network development, user experience, deployment and business strategy. The current Vice President of autonomous vehicle and electrification for Ford, Sherif Marakby, will be the CEO and Marcy Klevorn will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The headquarters of the new subsidiary will be located in Detroit and will be owned by another Ford subsidiary, Ford Land, which currently owns and manages every other Ford property in Michigan. More specifically, the new headquarters will be located in the currently developing Corktown Campus, in the Michigan Central Station. Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC will also undertake Ford’s control in Argo AI, an AV start-up acquired by Ford in 2017. Argo AI is currently developing a virtual driver system for Ford. Ford has decided to invest USD 4 Billion into the subsidiary over the next five years, until 2023, in addition to the USD 1 Billion already pledged to Argo AI.
Ford President and CEO, Jim Hackett, said in a statement, “Ford has made tremendous progress across the self driving value chain -- from technology development to business model innovation to user experience. Now is the right time to consolidate our autonomous driving platform into one team to best position the business for the opportunities ahead.”