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Ford to remove automatic parking assist

Date: February 08, 2024 —  Ford is planning to remove certain features from some of their vehicles, including the automatic parking assist. The move is part of the company’s goal to save US$2 billion (A$3.06 billion) in 2024 by improving its material and industrial efficiency. Ford is analyzing data from connected vehicles to identify specific features with low usage rates.

According to Ford’s chief operating officer, Kumar Galhotra, very few customers are using the auto-park feature, which costs about US$60 (A$92) per vehicle to install. By dropping it, Ford expects to save US$10 million (A$15.3 million) per year.

Galhotra said that Ford is using connected vehicle data to analyse which features are being used and which are not, and to make decisions accordingly. He also said that Ford is conducting extensive benchmarking for its manufacturing processes. This involves both internal and external efforts to find more ways to reduce costs and improve quality.

Another example of cost-saving innovation that Galhotra mentioned was redesigning an aero shield for one of its vehicle lines. This redesign delivered the same fuel economy benefit but with US$40 (A$61.35) less in production cost. This would save another US$10 million (A$15.3 million) per year.

Ford did not reveal which other features its cost-saving strategy will eliminate. However, it will likely announce more changes soon. It currently offers its semi-automatic parking assist in Australia on the Ranger, Everest, and Mustang Mach-E. The Escape and the Puma, both discontinued or in runout, also include this technology.

Ford’s cost-saving strategy comes at a time when the company is facing challenges from the global semiconductor shortage. This shortage has affected its production and sales of some of its key models, such as the F-150 pickup truck. It is also investing heavily in electrification and autonomous driving, which require significant research and development costs.

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