With the announcement of the F-150 Lightning, Ford added another electrified commercial vehicle to its portfolio. The new truck will be available in a less expensive, work-oriented model, and will join the upcoming E-Transit van in The Blue Oval’s commercial lineup. Ford has big plans for its commercial vehicle operations, however, and they go way beyond rolling out new models.
Ford will spin its commercial business off into a new standalone entity called Ford Pro, which will be headed by its own CEO, Ted Cannis. In addition to announcing the new business unit, Ford says that it now plans to increase its investment in building electric vehicles to more than $30 billion.
Those are big numbers, but Ford has the business to back it up. The Blue Oval says that it anticipates the new unit to generate $45 billion in annual revenue by 2025, and notes that it expects to grow its already stout 43 percent share of the commercial truck and van market. Ford already has around 125,000 fleet customers in North America, and notes that its operators replace between 10 and 15 percent of their inventories each year.
Ford’s expansion and efforts in the commercial space have heated up over the last year, as the automaker has rolled out two new fleet-oriented EVs and a load of new tech to back them up. The e-Transit and F-150 Lightning are both available to commercial buyers, but Ford’s connected services technology offerings are likely just as big of a draw for fleet operators. Connected vehicles offer over-the-air updates and can help fleet owners schedule vehicle service, monitor driver behavior, and plan routes or charging stops.
As part of its growth strategy, Ford will offer dedicated financing for its commercial customers. Known as Ford Pro FinSimple, the service will provide special financial services for not only the vehicles themselves, but also for service plans and charging. That service is in addition to the 300 or so service centers in North America that Ford says can service EVs and gas-powered Transit and F-150 models.