What happened

Shares of Ford Motor Company (F 0.66%) were trading sharply higher on Wednesday, after the company shared details of its electric vehicle and profit growth plans at a morning-long event for investors and analysts. 

As of 1:30 p.m. EDT, Ford's shares were up about 7.4% from Tuesday's closing price.

So what

In a live-streamed event on Wednesday morning, CEO Jim Farley and other Ford executives outlined the company's plan to transition to electric vehicles with advanced connectivity that deliver ongoing revenue streams via a series of subscription software applications. 

A black 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro, an electric work pickup, on a construction site.

Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro, an electric pickup with special features intended for commercial- and government-fleet customers, is just one part of a new effort to boost revenue from Ford's market-leading commercial vehicles business. Image source: Ford Motor Company.

The plan, called "Ford+", has a lot of moving parts, but here are the key points for auto investors. 

  • Ford is accelerating its electric-vehicle efforts. It now says it will spend at least $30 billion on EVs by 2025, up from $22 billion in its most recent forecast. 
  • Ford is boosting its commercial-vehicle business under a new sub-brand ("Ford Pro") and working to bring new products and services (including software) to its commercial and government-fleet customers. Commercial vehicles and related products accounted for $27 billion of revenue in 2019; Ford expects that to grow to $45 billion per year by 2025.
  • Ford has already begun rolling out a sophisticated new electrical architecture for its vehicles that incorporates much greater computing power than in the past. Vehicles with that architecture can receive over-the-air (OTA) updates; Ford expects to have 1 million of them on the road by the end of 2021, and 33 million by 2028.
  • Ford will use that connectivity to offer upgrades and new features to customers, maintaining a stronger connection with customers and generating additional revenue over the vehicle's life.

Last but not least: Ford now says that it will hit its longtime targets for operating margin -- 10% in North America, 6% in Europe, 8% overall -- by 2023.

Now what

While Ford had a lot of bullish news to share, executives were careful not to discuss the company's near-term prospects. Ford lowered its full-year guidance in April on concerns around the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors; CFO John Lawler declined to change that guidance on Wednesday.