Ford's US $4.5 billion outlay to add 13 new electrified vehicles to its product lineup by 2020 defines the automaker's commitment to giving buyers "the power of choice."
Dianne Craig, Ford of Canada presi-dent and CEO, says the company is moving from being an automaker to a "mobility provider."
That process will redefine how future vehicles are created, she said in an interview at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich.
Beyond broadening its range of elec-trified vehicles and offering cleaner, more efficient vehicles overall, Ford is changing its internal product-develop-ment practices.
With insights from social scientists, Ford is moving from features-based product development, to a consumer experience-led process.
In "reimagining" how to set itself apart in the marketplace, the focus will be on the customer experience "and not just the vehicle itself."
Going forward, she said, the chal-lenge isn't who has the most technology in its vehicles, but who best organizes that technology in a way that excites and pleases people.
Social science-based research observes how consumers interact with vehicles to gain new insights into "the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic nuances" that affect product design.
This new way of working brings together marketing, research, engineer-ing and design "in a new way to create meaningful user experiences," Craig said, rather than individually developing technologies that must be integrated into a final product.