2. Ford totals its awkward "Chariot" shuttle van
“The City of Tomorrow”... That was the Ford CEO's super originally titled keynote at 2018's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). He framed Ford as an urban mobility beast. But that was last year. Ford shares just slipped because now it's closing down its biggest urban star -- Chariot:
- It's a ride-hail van that acts like a bus
- Chariot slowly hauled itself into 5 US cities + London.
- It felt like a $65M textbook -- It taught Ford something, it didn’t get opened much, and now it’s been tossed to never be read again
"Mobility" & "Micro-transit" are easy rebrands... They're harder strategies. Transportation in cities should be “micro”: aka agile, smart, connected to the web, and within 1 block of a Starbucks. Chariot fit that formula, but failed. Ford needs better with its bike share program and e-scooter startup it just bought (Spin).
The Takeaway: Pickup trucks are Ford's sugar daddies... They make over 100% of Ford’s profits, while succulent-sized small cars and its Euro division lose $$ (now Ford's cutting jobs there). “Ford Smart Mobility” was supposed to be its 2nd core division for the future, but it's got problems in the present.