Automaker Explores Spinning Off EV Company

The separate companies could each employ 10,000 workers by next year.

Earlier this year, Ford made headlines after it came to light that the American automotive titan was considering spinning off its rapidly expanding electric-vehicle operations from its conventional, internal-combustion engine ones. A complete split was quickly ruled out – likely amid opposition from the Ford family – and the company instead announced plans to create two separate businesses — sort of — under the Ford corporate umbrella.

Ford officials said the move would give the company the best of both worlds — the flexibility of a startup and the scale of an established automaker — but analysts continue to wonder how the company will deal with decades-old, legacy operations that run the risk of becoming obsolete as the world pushes car makers to change.

Everyone involved, it seems, could get a look at what might have been from across the pond.

Recent reports indicated that Renault is also exploring the possibility of spinning off its EV operations, complete with its own initial public offering. The company this week acknowledged that it was evaluating a separation and suggested that the individual units could employ 10,000 workers each by next year.

Reuters reported that several working groups were studying two separate legal structures: an EV operation, code-named "Ampere," and "Horse," which would comprise its gas-powered and hybrid cars. The EV jobs would be located in the company’s native France, while the internal combustion operations would be located elsewhere.

Executives are reportedly pressing ahead despite continued uncertainty over the company’s operations in Russia. They plan to present the findings at a company conference this fall.

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