Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley recently unveiled what could become one of the most important vehicles in the company’s 113-year history: an electric F-150 pickup truck.
Mr. Farley Dearborn, Mr. It was prepared by sitting at the wheel of a prototype on the company’s test track. From the standing stop, the 4,000-pound truck moved forward. “Four seconds,” he shouted when it reached 60 mph. “It’s incredible for a vehicle of this size.”
“I can’t wait,” said Mr. Farley as he walked out, shaking his head. “I can’t wait until the customers get this truck.”
These are stressful and exciting times for the auto industry. Driven by Tesla’s tremendous success, sales of electric vehicles continue to grow. Converting gasoline-powered cars and trucks to electric vehicles that emit no tailpipe pollution will have far-reaching impacts on the environment, climate change, public policy and the economy.
Automakers are spending billions of dollars to remodel plants and are rushing to retrain workers for the industry’s biggest transformation since Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing with a moving assembly line in 1913. Huh. They’re also fighting to capture that juggernaut Tesla is.
The question for Ford is whether a Detroit-area car man can take on Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, whose company is rapidly expanding and is valued by investors at nearly 16 times as much as Ford. Mr Farley took office in December 2020.
Production of the company’s electric truck F-150 Lightning is scheduled to start from next Monday. Competing models from General Motors, Stelantis and Toyota — Ford’s main rivals in pickups — are at least a year away. Rivian, a new manufacturer that Ford has invested in, has started selling an electric truck, but is struggling to ramp up production.
“If the Lightning launch goes well, we have a huge opportunity,” said Mr. Ford. And he knows that stumbling will hurt. Read full article →