Ford has warned its investors to expect lower profits in 2017 as a result of increased investment into autonomous and electric cars.
At an investor day conference on 14 September, the American carmaker said it expected 2017 profits to fall below the $10.2bn (£7.8bn) projected pre-tax profit recorded in 2016 owing to the increased investment.
Ford said: “Ford is investing in emerging opportunities, driving for leadership in electrification, autonomy, and mobility. The decline in 2017 is the result of increasing investments and costs for emerging opportunities.”
The conference outlined Ford’s plans for the next few years, focusing on automation, boosting electric vehicles (EVs), and ride sharing.
Reiterating earlier plans to develop fully autonomous vehicles ready for ride sharing by 2021, Ford confirmed that these products will be without steering wheels or gas or brake pedals.
Ford also unveiled plans to invest $4.5bn in electric car development, introducing 13 new models by 2020 to form 40% of their product line-up.
The company believes that EVs will exceed petrol and diesel powered cars by 2030, and said it hopes to corner the market.
The carmaker also announced a partnership with Motivate, a bike sharing company, to launch Ford GoBike. They stated that the data collected would be used to build an ‘interconnected mobility network’.
Despite issuing the warning, Ford’s chief financial officer Bob Shanks reassured investors that the company would deliver strong results.
Shanks said: “We expect Ford’s performance to be strong through 2018 – with our core business improving, allowing us to invest in the emerging opportunities that will ensure our future success.
“Our capital allocation continues to be disciplined and to deliver strong returns and we are fully prepared for a downturn. As a result, we plan to offer a secure regular dividend through the business cycle.”