Ford & Google, Part 2

Here’s something to consider about the relationship announced yesterday between Ford and Google. The companies indicated their collaboration “This may include projects ranging from developing new retail experiences when buying a vehicle, creating new ownership offers based on data, and more.”

The word that doesn’t appear in the announcement is monetization.

As in “data monetization.” As in getting a return from the data that is associated with the owner, driver, passenger of a vehicle.

You know: the sort of thing that drives the valuation of companies like, well, Google.

A question is “who owns the data”? While you might think that you do, again, look at the valuation of Alphabet (or Facebook): where do you think the value comes from?

Let’s say for example that the value for the data from a given vehicle is $5.

Let’s further say that the two companies split it. (That’s what “partners” do.)

In 2020, a not particularly good year so far as vehicle sales goes, Ford sold 2,044,744 units in the U.S.

So if the value per vehicle is $5, and each gets half, then $2.50 x 2,044,744 = $5,111,860 each. If it is $10 per vehicle (remember, they’re also talking about using this during the “retail” portion of the transaction, so sliding in a few bucks is not necessarily going to be all that noticeable), then that would be $10,223,720 each.

Pretty soon it is evident it is real money.