Ford dramatically raised the stakes in the driverless and electric car race overnight, announcing that it will more than double its investment into driverless and electric cars to $29bn.
Around $7bn of that amount will be spent on autonomous vehicles, while $22bn will go towards electric car development.
Ford boss Jim Farley described the plan as a “more aggressive” bid for control of an EV market currently led by Tesla, whose consistent profits over the past year have supercharged its share price and put Mr Musk in pole position with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for the title of world’s richest person.
“We are accelerating all our plans – breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan,” he said.
It comes after analysts predicted that Apple’s own driverless car programme could propell its market capitalisation to $3trn, while traditional giants such as Volkswagen, GM and Daimler AG are also going electric.
Ford executives also said yesterday that the continuing global shortage of semiconductors could reduce the company’s earnings by $2.5bn. John Lawler, the company’s chief financial officer, said reductions in production shifts for Ford’s F-150 truck due to the chip shortage could lead to the revenue drop.