Detroit Auto Show: Biggest Changes in the 2019 Ram 1500

Leigh Mccormick
January 19, 2018

The company is shifting $500 million in annual spending from conventional gasoline or diesel cars to electrified vehicles. The revelation came after other manufacturers in General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen already revealed their ambitious electric vehicles plans.

This much is clear at the 2018 North American International Auto Show going on here this week: Passenger cars, crossovers and pickups are rapidly growing in size amid cheap gas and Americans' preferences for big, roomy highway cruisers.

That's a significantly higher level of investment than previously disclosed and includes costs associated with developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures.

In 2015, Ford pledged to invest $4.5 billion to develop 13 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020.

Meanwhile The Verge says Ford plans to develop an electric SUV with the iconic Mach 1 name, previously reserved for the company's Mustang sports auto. Ford expects to make distributions of $3.1 billion in 2018, subject to board approval, bringing the total to $18 billion since the company restored a regular dividend in 2012.

"We're all in on this and we're taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we're electrifying them", Ford told reporters.

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Since Ford is now using the same moniker for its upcoming electric vehicle, could this mean that the new Mach 1 is also inspired by the Mustang? These will be made up of 16 fully electric vehicles and 24 plug-in hybrids. It was one of the original cars used in the 1968 film Bullitt, which put the Mustang on the map with a famous chase scene.

Stephanie Brinley, a senior automotive analyst at IHS Markit, said it was part of a bigger trend of auto makers investing in electrification.

The new pickup will be related to the Ranger that has continued to sell overseas (pictured here), although Ford said it will have some design changes for the American version.

"What we learned from this first cycle of electrification is people want really nice products", Farley said.

Hackett says passion for Ford is at an all-time high.

The plan was finalised in recent months after an extensive review, a person familiar with the process said. She said the technology won't be successful unless consumers accept it. However, after the conference, Ford changed its mind through a Tweet from Mike Levine, Ford USA's media representative, by stating the vehicle in question would be an SUV.

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