Ford announced this week that 2023 was a profitable year for it despite losses in the fourth quarter, and despite its electric division is losing money due to the investments that have been directed there.
Even so, the company is keen to reduce its operating costs significantly. To that end, it has launched a campaign to increase profitability and combat inflation.
One of the solutions is to eliminate certain functions that were once heralded as marvels by the automaker, including automated parallel parking.
In all, the company plans to save $2 billion USD. Cuts will be made in a number of areas, including the manufacturing process, transportation, material purchasing and so on.
The cuts will also affect little-used technologies, which real-time data show are not very popular with drivers. This is what Ford COO Kumar Galhotra told analysts during a conference call on Tuesday.
Automatic parallel parking is one such feature. In one sense, it's reassuring to know that people don't often use it and are still able to park their vehicles themselves.
Said Galhotra, “Connected vehicle data here is very important because it helps us see what we’re providing, whether the customers are using it or not.” He confirmed that the feature allowing users to have the vehicle to parallel park itself without the driver's assistance is very little used. This is why the company can afford to withdraw this technology, at as saving, according to Galhotra, of around $60 USD per vehicle. That amounts to annual savings of $10 million.
The function was introduced over 10 years ago by Ford, which had been innovative with this option. It was introduced because parallel parking was recognized at the time as one of the most stressful operations for drivers.