Bill Ford’s Vision for a World Beyond Cars

BILL FORD, JR. loves cars. He’s the first in line for the new Ford GT, the wind-slicing wonder beast coming next year from the company his great-grandfather Henry founded in 1903, and which he ran as CEO from 2001 to 2006.

But when he looks at the way the world’s bound to change in the coming decades, he sees a need to move away from the core notion that made the Ford Motor Company one of the most successful enterprises in modern history: one person, one car. The global population is booming, especially in the developing world and in urban cities. It’s wrong to interpret that as a huge new customer base, Ford, now the company’s executive chairman, said in an interview with WIRED.

Gridlock’s already an issue in young, growing cities, and more personal cars just make things worse. At best, life gets less convenient, Ford says. At worst, you can’t deliver health care or even food—and it becomes a human rights issue. “Unless we figure out a very different urban transportation model, it’s not gonna work,” he says. “If you think we’re gonna shove two cars in every car in garage in Mumbai, you’re crazy.”