Ford goes all-in on Google

US automotive giant Ford is not only making all its cars Android-native, it’s also betting its corporate future on Google Cloud.

Scott Bicheno

February 2, 2021

2 Min Read
Ford goes all-in on Google
Ford-Google partnership

US automotive giant Ford is not only making all its cars Android-native, it’s also betting its corporate future on Google Cloud.

“We are obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “This integration will unleash our teams to innovate for Ford and Lincoln customers while seamlessly providing access to Google’s world-class apps and services.” For once the hyperbolic language seems justified this time, with Ford’s commitment to Google bordering on obsessive. As if that wasn’t enough the word ‘leverage’ is used (note) liberally throughout the announcement.

A new collaborative group, Team Upshift, will leverage the talent and assets of both companies, we’re told. “Team Upshift will push the boundaries of Ford’s transformation, unlock personalized consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities,” says the press release. These could include new ownership offers based on data, whatever that entails. From 2023 all Ford cars will come with Android built in, which could be interesting for iPhone users.

The Google Cloud bit makes all the usual claims about big public cloud providers. So there will be all sorts of efficiencies and newfound agility to innovate and that sort of things. Google Cloud is also expected to help with the customer relationship interactions such as maintenance requests and trade-in alerts. Why Ford’s existing CRM systems are incapable of such simple tasks is another matter.

“From the first moving assembly line to the latest driver-assist technology, Ford has set the pace of innovation for the automotive industry for nearly 120 years,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “We’re proud to partner to apply the best of Google’s AI, data analytics, compute and cloud platforms to help transform Ford’s business and build automotive technologies that keep people safe and connected on the road.”

“As Ford continues the most profound transformation in our history with electrification, connectivity and self-driving, Google and Ford coming together establishes an innovation powerhouse truly able to deliver a superior experience for our customers and modernize our business,” said Farley.

We have been critical in the past of companies entrusting their digital fortunes to an external public cloud provider, but this model probably makes most sense for very large companies. Google will presumably prioritize Ford and build in sufficient redundancy to minimize the chance of any high-profile outages. For the same reason it’s also unlikely to do an AWS and pull the plug on Ford if one of its customers happens to hold views it disagrees with.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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