Ford cuts investment in autonomous vehicle unit, posts loss

Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, and was founded by Henry Ford. (Copyright 2018 CNN)

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford is pulling out of its investment in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle company that it jointly owns mainly with Volkswagen.

The company said Wednesday in its third-quarter earnings materials that it is switching investment priorities from fully autonomous vehicles to advanced driver assist systems.

Ford is taking a $2.7 billion accounting charge to reduce the value of its investment in Pittsburgh-based Argo, and it’s writing off a cash investment of about $500 million.

Due largely to the noncash accounting charge, the Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford reported a net loss of $827 million from July through September.

Ford said in a news release that it has concluded that large-scale commercialization of self-driving vehicles “will be further out than originally anticipated.” Yet customer enthusiasm for driver assist systems warranted additional commitment. Ford also said Argo had been unable to attract more investors.

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