by Mish

In a shake-up reflecting the pressures on the American auto industry, Ford Motor is replacing its chief executive, Mark Fields, according to officials briefed on the move.

Jim Hackett, who oversees the Ford subsidiary that works on autonomous vehicles, will take the reins from Mr. Fields. Ford plans to make an announcement on Monday morning, the officials said.

During Mr. Fields’s three-year tenure — a period when Ford’s shares dropped 40 percent — he came under fire from investors and Ford’s board for failing to expand the company’s core auto business and for lagging in developing the high-tech cars of the future.

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Despite spending heavily on self-driving research, Ford was struggling to keep pace with larger automakers such as General Motors and tech giants like Google, both of which have been testing self-driving vehicles. Ford is promising to have a fully autonomous vehicle on the road by 2021.

The upstart electric-vehicle maker Tesla — which recently surpassed G.M. and Ford in market capitalization — is bringing a mass-market model to market later this year.

2021 Not Fast Enough

I had no idea this news was coming when I wrote on Sunday Self-Driving Vehicles and the Failure to Understand Capitalism.

However, I am not surprised in the least. If 2021 is not fast enough for cars, what about long-haul trucking, sure to come first?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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