Here at ABG, we're not fond of sniping with other sites. However, when someone call us out, we feel the need to respond. Such is the case with self-proclaimed analyst Jack Lifton. This past Tuesday, Ford held an event at in Dearborn to announce the development of a vehicle to grid communications system for plug-in vehicles. During the course of his remarks and the subsequent Q&A, Bill Ford responded to a question from veteran journalist Jim McCraw.
To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Lifton was not present at the event. So unless he heard a recording of the Q&A session, his comments regarding what Mr. Ford said about buying versus making batteries is utter speculation. However, we were there – recorder in hand – to capture McCraw's question and Ford's response.
Jim McCraw: Ultimately do you think it will be better for the company to make its own batteries or just buy them?There was no ambiguity in Mr. Ford's response and little room for interpretation. Ford Motor Company has no plans to build its own batteries. The degree of battery expertise Ford may have on its staff is debatable, but from ABG's past discussions, Ford was not actively involved in developing battery chemistry except to the degree that they tested various cell and battery types from different suppliers to evaluate performance.
Bill Ford: Well, initially just to buy them. I don't know, it's such early days. But we don't have any particular battery expertise. I think that we're very happy with the suppliers that we are working with. Nancy [Gioia] will have a view on this, but at least initially we don't plan to do it. Who knows when you get down the road, but I think we should probably stick to the vehicle integration piece which is what we do best.
You can listen to the entire session with Mr. Ford below or fast-forward to the 9:50 to hear McCraw's question.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford speaking to media