Ford to fund newly formed autonomous-vehicle subsidiary with $4B

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Ford Motor Co. recently announced plans to invest $4 billion into autonomous vehicles over the next five years. Ford’s stated goal is to launch a self-driving commercial vehicle at scale in 2021.

The new unit is being formed as a separate company, albeit one currently fully owned by Ford. That backs up the theory in AutonoMusings #7 that GM and SoftBank were setting Cruise up to have its own IPO in the future so that it can enjoy a “tech multiple” on its stock price that GM doesn’t get as a manufacturing company. Ford could be hoping to do something similar with Argo AI and the rest of its autonomous-vehicle businesses.

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