Ford, amid internal reorganization, creates unit for developing autonomous vehicles, new technologies


DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley has reshaped the company’s internal operations to accelerate development of autonomous vehicles and foster new technology businesses.

Farley formed Ford Next late last year and put it under the direction of Franck Louis-Victor, a hard-charging specialist in new businesses hired last June from Renault SA.

The unit contains Ford’s stake in autonomous-auto startup Argo AI and will develop startups in mobility services and other businesses. A joint venture that the automaker struck in January with security specialist ADT Inc. came out of Ford Next.

The operation is another move by Farley to carve up the 118-year-old carmaker into more agile and nimble pieces that can take on startups and tech giants like Google parent Alphabet Inc. and its Waymo self-driving unit.

Farley this month announced he was splitting carmaking at the company into two operations: Model e for electric models and Ford Blue for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. He also has created Ford Pro, which focuses on the highly profitable business of commercial vans and trucks.

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