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Ford Had Disrupted The Auto Industry Long Before Tesla, Its CEO Says

Ford Had Disrupted The Auto Industry Long Before Tesla, Its CEO Says
Many view the outspoken CEO of United States based electric car maker to be a great disruptor of the auto industry as it goes through a massive change.
However, during a television interview, Ford CEO Jim Hackett emphasized that biggest industrial disruption of the entire 20th century was arguably affected by his company. And he ios not willing to hand over that legacy to anyone else,
"I happen to compete with a rocket scientist who's really smart, and I respect that about him," Hackett said of Musk, who is also the founder and CEO of the spacecraft company SpaceX.
"And yeah, he's competing with the ultimate disruptor in Henry Ford," he said.
There were about 200,000 cars on America's roads when Ford had launched its Model T car in 1908 and that number rose to 20 million in 1927, when the production of the car was stopped, and yet half of the total cars in on American roads were the Model Ts.
Hackett claimed that just about everything in America, and not only the American auto industry, had been disrupted by the Model T. that car had led to the development of thousands of motels, parking lots, gas stations, highways - and even traffic jams, which were not seen earlier by Americans. The entire American landscape was literally changed forever by the affordable, rugged machine.
And compared to that, the disruption caused by Tesla appears to be very modest.
Hackett said that the future of the industry does not lie solely in Tesla's hands even though almost everyone agrees that most cars will be electric in the near future and in within just 16 years of being set up, Tesla is selling more electric cars than any other auto manufacturer.
"[F]itness, as we were saying, is a compendium of things that you have to get right. It's not just the technology," Hackett said. "In this case, we have to have an industrial model. Ford is really good at this."
"[It] took 12 hours to build a vehicle before [Henry Ford] built it. It went down to 52 minutes," Hackett said. "Today, we build an F-150 every 53 seconds."
The factory of Ford at River Rouge was revolutionary ever since it was opened in 1917 and names such as Henri Citro├źn, Louis Renault and Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Motor Company, had all paid a visit there to see how things were being done by Ford.
In comparison, Tesla has been unable to meet its own announced timeline of increasing production at its Fremont, California, factory on more than one occasion. And now despite a rise in output, there are questions about its quality.
Many experts also see a disruption in the global auto scenario coming from ride hailing companies such as Lyft and Uber which have claimed that people would no longer need to buy cars because of their services. However Hackett did not agree.
"Absolutely we will be selling cars, and trucks, and other kinds of products, because the future disruption is not coming from rides... We already have rides today. So, the disruption is different that's coming," he said.
According to Hackett, the next and biggest disruption in the global auto industry will come from self-driving technology and the artificial intelligence which are being used to develop the self driving capabilities of cars.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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