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Ford Hires Apple Software Exec With a Plan for Subscription Services: Automotive News.

Ford CEO Jim Farley asserts that the automotive sector is replete with unfavourable decisions regarding subscription services. As Ford strives to aggressively expand subscription services and has engaged a well-known Apple executive to create, integrate, and promote them for the American manufacturer, he wants to stay away from them.

After leaving Apple, where he served as vice president of services in charge of Apple TV+, iCloud, Apple News+, Apple Books, Apple Arcade, Apple One, Apple Fitness+, and MLS Season Pass, Stern is starting his new role today. The App Store, Apple Card, Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Maps are just a few of the services he oversaw for marketing. supervised Apple’s advertising operations. When Stern departed, Apple had more than 1 billion subscribers. Before joining Apple, Stern worked at Time Warner Cable (now Warner Brothers Discovery), where he contributed to the establishment of the company’s subscriber base.

Stern, who reports directly to Farley, will integrate hardware, software, subscriptions, and services for Ford’s other three divisions, Blue Oval (combustion engine vehicles), Model e (electric vehicles), and Ford Pro (commercial vehicles), including expanding BlueCruise hands-free driving. Doug Field, Ford’s chief advanced product development and technology officer, will be his partner in crime, according to Stern. Together, the two men worked at Apple.

Improved Vehicle Design, Regardless of Powertrain

The new hire and organisational changes are part of the Ford+ goal to change Ford into a hardware and software firm that depends heavily on digital revenue. To achieve that aim, Ford’s upcoming generation of electric cars, which will debut in 2025, will be software-defined cars with OTA software updates created by Ford. Additionally, the electrical architecture will be incorporated into vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, starting with the upcoming F-150, which Farley claims will be a fully software-upgradable vehicle.

Ford will be able to maintain a connection with customers long after they’ve bought a vehicle thanks to services, subscriptions, and other forms of online income. Ford is currently generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue with gross margins of more than 50%, and according to Farley, he anticipates that figure to increase by ten times over the next few years.

Developing BlueCruise

The development of Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driving system will be Stern’s initial focus. According to Farley, some 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E SUVs equipped with the newest BlueCruise 1.3 are currently being transported to dealers. In addition, Stern will concentrate on the safety and security services sector, which he sees as a significant untapped market. Ford, though, will continue to prioritise its Ford Pro customers. 80 percent of the 550,000 subscribers to date are businesses paying for logistical services that increase productivity.

Customers will accept new technology and be prepared to pay for it if it makes their lives better, according to Farley and Stern. The optimism is in stark contrast to the growing annoyance of customers who are concerned about the high price of vehicles, additional servicing costs, and how difficult it has all gotten to use. According to Stern, Ford doesn’t nickel and dime customers. The organisation is providing excellent value. Customers will want to sign up for a time and experience with their automobiles that is safer, more practical, and more productive.

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