One small change can bring sizeable savings.
As the dawn of the electric era is upon us, automakers are racking their brains to save money as much as possible and redirect the funds to support their ambitious EV projects. Cost-cutting has become the name of the game, and even the smallest change made to a vehicle can save a company a lot of money over the product’s life cycle.
That’s especially true if the model in question is none other than the F-150 – the best-selling vehicle in America. The more units are produced, the bigger impact a cost-cutting measure has over the vehicle’s production run. For the fourteenth generation of the F-150, Ford has decided to remove the proximity sensors built into the rear doors of the Super Crew model.
Surely this minor change can’t possibly save the Blue Oval a lot of money, right? Well, COO Hau Thai-Tang revealed during a recent Goldman Sachs investor call the rear proximity sensor delete equates to six and a half million dollars saved each and every year. This decision was taken after having a closer look at the connected vehicle data, showing very few open the vehicle through the rear doors.
“And you can see across our product lineup here with the Aviator, Explorer, Nautilus, Edge Ranger – 80 plus, 90 percent of the time, it’s only being used in the driver’s door, and very and frequently is being used in the other doors, especially in the second row. So as part of our go-to-markets, on the new F-150, we eliminated this feature from the second row of the crew cabs.”
Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150
Using the connected vehicle data, Ford also took the decision to get rid of the adjustable pedals and paddle shifters on select 2021 models after noticing these were barely being used by owners. These might seem like insignificant changes, but every dollar saved counts nowadays.
It’s especially true when you’re Ford and looking to expand the portfolio with the Broncos and a Maverick small pickup, beyond the EV push heralded by the Mustang Mach-E and forthcoming F-150 EV.
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