Ford announced a major restructuring on Wednesday, saying it will create two auto businesses: one focused on traditional combustion engines and another dedicated to the company’s burgeoning electric-vehicle efforts.
The electric unit will be called Ford Model e, a name the company barred Tesla from using years ago. Elon Musk wanted to call Tesla’s third mass-produced car, the Model 3, the Model E.
The name Ford chose for the latter should ring a bell for Elon Musk. The gasoline division will be called Ford Blue, while its EV counterpart will be known as Ford Model e, a name the Detroit automaker stopped Tesla from using nearly a decade ago.
After the release of Tesla’s Model S and Model X, Musk planned to name the company’s third major vehicle the Model E. (It spells “sex,” get it?)
Tesla and Ford entered a contract in 2010 that prohibited Tesla from using the Model E name, and the companies resolved the dispute amicably, a Ford spokesperson told CNN Money.
Tesla kept with the suggestive theme anyway, coming out with the Model 3 sedan instead, and later the Model Y SUV.
Ford says that splitting into two units will help boost profits and streamline operations. The reorganization will allow engineers, designers, and other Ford employees to focus on either EV or gasoline efforts, rather than splitting their time between the two, the company said. Ford said the new structure will help it nearly double profit margins by 2026, the same year it plans to produce more than 2 million electric cars.
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