Electric vehicles and the possibilities that advances in computing afford was on the tips of the tongues of revelers last night as they gathered around the Lincoln L100 Concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford and Edsel Ford II, both great-grandsons of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, were in attendance to watch as Lincoln Motor Company unveiled its vision of the future.
“I just wish I was 30 years younger. I do. Because I think this is, by far, the most exciting time in my career,” Bill Ford told Newsweek.
“If you look at most other industries, most of them have had multiple revolutions over their evolution. You know, my great-grandfather would have walked into Ford five years ago and it would have looked very familiar to him. Yes, there have been a lot of improvements but there were no real revolutions. I mean, the car was still internal combustion, it was still sold through dealerships, it still had a steering wheel and four doors. I think now, if he were to walk into Ford today, and certainly five years from now, it would look very, very unfamiliar to him.”
The next generation of its Mustang muscle car is set to debut on September 14 adjacent to the Detroit Auto Show, which will feature events across the city. That car too will see an electric evolution.
“I can’t lie. The day that we will roll off, and it will happen in my lifetime, the last internal combustion engine stick-shift Mustang, I’ll have a tear in my eye,” Ford said. Ford is 65 years old.
The chairman’s father, William Clay Ford Sr., was Ford Motor Company’s Design Committee chairman during first-generation Mustang launch in 1964.
“Everything is changing and nothing is going to be familiar,” Ford said, noting that the evolution of vehicles at the company his great-grandfather founded, would be coming quickly as the automaker moves toward its second-generation of electric vehicle where the Internet of things (IoT) allows for a more fully connected vehicle ecosystem.
“The Mustang for almost 60 years now has been perhaps the most iconic, recognizable product for Ford. It’s importance is unrivaled, really being credited as the car that fueled Americans’ lust for fun attainable sports cars, Robby DeGraff, AutoPacfic analyst, told Newsweek.
“The Mustang has soldiered on through wild times. Its competitors have come and gone, consumer demand for sporty cars in general has slowed, and we’ve seen increasing regulation for better fuel economy. But, even amidst all of that, Ford has prioritized the Mustang. They haven’t been afraid to experiment and change things up.”
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