Ford Invests $182 Million In Pivotal for Mobile Tech

BusinessmenFord Motor Co.’s self-imposed role of disruptor to its own sector is gaining momentum with a new investment in Pivotal, which suggests that big auto finance players are not afraid of making the switch from hunted to hunter.

Ford made the $182.2 investment in the San Francisco-based cloud-based software platform firm in a bid to enhance its development capabilities to quicken the return on innovative projects, according to a company press release.

This represents Ford’s concerted efforts to transform into a bi-functional auto and mobility company. Ford will, of course, remain focused on core auto sectors, e.g., manufacturing, designing, marketing, financing, and servicing cars like SUVs, trucks, and electric vehicles, according to the release.

This comes two months after Ford introduced Ford Smart Mobility (FSM), its in-house, start-up-mimicking subsidiary. In leveraging FSM, Ford expects to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience, and data and analytics, the company said.

“Expanding our business to be both an auto and mobility company requires leading-edge software expertise to deliver outstanding customer experiences,” Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, said in the release. “Our investment in Pivotal will help strengthen our ability to deliver these customer experiences at the speed of Silicon Valley, including continually expanding Fordpass — our digital, physical and personal mobility experience platform.”

Last month, Ford teamed up with Pivotal to launch FordPass, a consumer experience platform providing customers with enhanced services in fields like mobility solutions (parking and car-sharing), and remote access to vehicles through a smartphone app. It seems Ford is capitalizing on the growth of its relationship by integrating Pivotal’s innovative impetus across its IT efforts, research and engineering teams, and product development. In the future, Ford will transfer Pivotal’s next-gen cloud platform and analytics prowess to work on Ford’s new mobility projects, e.g., the Dynamic Shuttle pilot program.

“Today we are at a major inflection point in global business, and Pivotal is at the fulcrum of that change,” said Rob Mee, CEO of Pivotal. “We are collaborating with iconic companies like Ford to help transform their businesses with our unique software development methodology and modern cloud platform and analytics tools. We are thrilled to create a deeper partnership with Ford through this investment as we drive its evolution to becoming both an auto and mobility company — reinventing yet again how the world moves.”

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