Farley, in an interview, said the approach is unique in that most other automakers producing EV and gasoline-powered vehicles have similar teams working on both.
"We're not going to go to ICE people and say, 'Go do a deal on lithium raw material,' " he said. "We're not going to ask our designers to design the next Lincoln EV and then the Super Duty at the same time. Most OEMs including us, until [today], have been asking our teams to do both."
To underscore the different needs and expertise of the teams, Farley recalled the product development team for the F-150 Lightning, made up of veterans of its gasoline pickups, originally projecting that Ford would need to produce just 20,000 Lightnings a year. It's now working to create capacity to build 150,000 annually, even before sales have started.
Although product development, supply chain and customer experience teams will be separated between the combustion and EV units, Farley said the two units will collaborate and complement each other in a handful of areas. At the Blue Oval City assembly plant being built in Tennessee, Ford Blue will handle body engineering and manufacturing operations, Farley said, while Model e will design the plant itself and source its advanced electrical architectures.
Model e also will handle upcoming digital services, software and over-the-air update experiences, although such services will be available in gasoline vehicles as well.
While Farley said Wednesday the automaker considered a spinoff, he told Automotive News Ford is not spinning off its combustion or EV businesses into separate companies because doing so would require greater access to capital markets and make them less likely to work together.
The company also hopes to avoid the notion that it soon plans to wind down its gasoline-powered products.
"We still think that more than half our customers are going to be ICE, and they're going to be ICE for a long time," Farley said. "It's almost like our industry's kind of given up on that business. Even if the unit volume starts to fall over when mass adoption of electrification happens, in a lot of segments that's not going to happen, and we want to have a dedicated team to run that business with passion."
Galhotra said in a statement that Ford Blue plans to "unleash the full potential" of nameplates such the Bronco and Maverick and the Raptor performance variant.
"We'll pair these great products with a simple, connected and convenient customer experience that earns higher loyalty," Galhotra said. "We are going to be hyper-competitive on costs and make quality a reason to choose Ford. And by doing all that, Ford Blue will be an engine of cash and profitability for the whole company."
Ford says it hopes to take out $3 billion in structural costs from its Ford Blue business by 2026.
The UAW issued a statement supporting the moves.
"We embrace the challenge of new technology as an opportunity while we maintain our strong commitment to union jobs under the current and any future Ford collective bargaining agreements," UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement.
Chuck Browning, the head of the UAW Ford division, said in the statement: "As has always been the case, the best interests of our members remain at the forefront of discussions with Ford in order to assure job security and shared prosperity as Ford emerges as a leader in the manufacturing of electric vehicles."