Business changes

Ford splitting into separate EV and ICE divisions

Ford will split into two separate businesses by 2023

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is splitting up, though not in the negative way you might be thinking. Today, the automaker announced that it is creating separate and distinct businesses, one to house its electric vehicles and the other for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Ford says the move will help it accelerate innovation and streamline its operations.

The newly created divisions get fancy names, too. Ford's EV business will be called Ford Model e, and will focus on delivery of "breakthrough electric vehicles at scale." The unit will also be heavily involved with software and connected vehicle technologies. Ford Blue will handle ICE vehicles, and will focus on cost reductions, quality improvements, and operational efficiencies. The two new businesses join Ford Pro, the automaker's commercial vehicle division, and Ford says all three should have separate finances by 2023.

Accelerating Transformation | Ford+youtu.be

The moves come in the middle of Ford's shift to electric vehicles. The automaker says it plans to produce two million EVs annually by 2026, and notes that it wants EVs to represent half of its global volume by 2030. Ford's current electric offerings include the Mustang Mach-E, which has earned good reviews and offers strong range and performance. There's also the E-Transit, a commercial van available in several configurations.

Ford is gearing up for the release of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. The hotly anticipated pickup promises incredible capability and a load of advanced tech. Ford has taken tens of thousands of reservations for the new truck, so it's likely to be in high demand for quite some time.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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