COVID-19 forces Ford and others to focus on core

Following the news that Ford has reported a net loss of $2bn for Q1 and put back its launch of driverless vehicles to 2022;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his views:

“Ford’s Q1 results illustrate the severe impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on companies in the automotive sector. Moreover, Ford is forecasting an even worse result for Q2.

“GlobalData’s estimates show that, so far this year, Ford will lose around 520,000 vehicles and $17.8bn in revenue due to the huge volume crash in Europe and North America alone (to end April).

“Ford, like others, is now focused on riding out the immediate crisis of lost sales, shuttered plants and the need to build cash reserves.

“The company is also reacting to the crisis by saving money wherever it can. It has put the brakes on investment in autonomous vehicles (AVs) – delaying rollout by a year to 2022 – and will no longer proceed with a programme to develop a Rivian architecture EV for Lincoln.

“The new focus for car companies is on core activity, on surviving and being competitive for the ‘new normal’ conditions ahead.”

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