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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ford CEO worries cars may get commoditised like mobile handsets, (NYSE: F)

Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Mark Fields said carmakers faced the challenge of avoiding becoming dependent on someone else's business model as companies from new industries increasingly enter the auto trade. "There are others who we never thought five years ago would be competitors for us," Fields said on Wednesday, stopping short of naming which companies were emerging as sector rivals. Software maker Google recently unveiled an autonomous vehicle."Guess what, they are looking at our industry, not taking anything for granted, they are questioning tradition and they are knocking down walls. I want to make sure Ford doesn't end up like the handset business," Fields told an automotive conference in Bochum. He added that most mobile phone makers had become reliant on the business model of telecom providers.He did not elaborate on his point. But as cars evolve technologically and become more connected to smartphones and similar devices, opportunities for new business models - such as car sharing - are emerging. These put less emphasis on owning a particular brand of car and opens up the industry to new competitors who rent out fleets of cars in large cities, charging users a fee for time spent in a car.Ford must stay on top of innovations to remain competitive, Fields emphasised. "There is always that pull to take things for granted. And to say that is the tradition. Our opportunity is to take those blinders off," he said.

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is a manufacturer of automobiles. Shares of F traded higher by 2.49% or $0.38/share to $15.65. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $13.26 and as high as $18.12. On average, 29839100 shares of F exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 48335684.