Don't worry, Ford (F) - Get Report has a plan to attack Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report.

Investments in electric cars and artificial intelligence contributed to a 35% year over year decline in Ford's first quarter profits, which stood at $1.6 billion.

"The declines were driven by higher costs," said Bob Shanks, Ford's chief financial officer, in an interview with TheStreet TV.

Ford has invested $1 billion in artificial intelligence company Argo AI. "We've invested into Argo around the creation of the brain for the autonomous vehicle," Shanks said. "We expect to have our first autonomous vehicle to market by the 2021 time frame so we feel we're on track for that."

Shanks sees sales for the broader U.S. auto market plateauing, albeit at very high levels. "The last couple of years we've been more or less at record levels," he said. "We're guiding to a decline this year, but it's a relatively small decline."

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