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Is Ford's Mega EV Plan Too Ambitious?

By John Rosevear – Dec 21, 2021 at 2:17PM

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Ford wants to be No. 2 in EVs within two years. Is that even possible?

Ford Motor Company (F -1.06%) CEO Jim Farley has said he wants Ford to be the second-largest electric vehicle maker in the U.S. in two years, behind only Tesla (TSLA 1.73%). Is that realistic, particularly in light of archrival General Motors' (GM 0.72%) plan to go very big on electric vehicles? 

In this Motley Fool Live video, recorded on Dec. 9, Industry Focus host Nick Sciple and Motley Fool senior auto specialist John Rosevear consider that question and whether Ford might have -- or might not have -- set its sights unrealistically high. 

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Nick Sciple: They said earlier this week they have plans to become the No. 2 EV maker. There has been some reports globally, some reports that they meant the U.S. But anyway, within the next two years, they want to become the No. 2 EV maker, obviously behind No. 1 Tesla. What do you make of how this fits into Ford's EV ambitions, and I guess, the prospects of them achieving that goal?

John Rosevear: Well, they're not going to become the No. 2 EV maker in the world. I don't think anybody thinks that. For one thing, Volkswagen is ramping pretty aggressively in Europe and China. But it is possible that they could become the No. 2 EV maker in the U.S. or in North America. That would be more aggressive than Ford has let on until recently -- they say now they want to make 600,000 EVs a year in a couple of years. That is significant. I think what Jim Farley was saying when he first said this is we're getting out in front of GM, which has, of course, gotten a lot of plaudits for its very ambitious EV plans. I think Farley's saying, well, we might outsell them in a couple of years or at least for a little while, while they continue to ramp, because Ford looked for a long time like they were lagging GM on ramping up to aggressive levels of EV production. But under Farley over the last year and a couple of months, they've really changed that tune a bit. It's just from what they're seeing in their own demand. They've got almost 200,000 reservations for the electric F-150 now. They're saying now they're not going to take any more reservations, or they may close them soon and now start, you want one, go to your dealer, place an order.

Sciple: Scarcity mindset.

Rosevear: Let's do this properly. Somebody at Ford, I think, it might have been Jim Farley himself said the other day, we are frantically trying to figure out how to make twice as many F-150 Lightnings as we had planned. [laughs] Because the demand is just so high. This is all part of that. Again, I don't think they're going to outdo VW or whoever globally. But if they can sell more EVs in the United States than Tesla does, and we know Tesla will be making more EVs, but a lot of those are sold elsewhere. Then that will be a small feather in Ford's cap and that's what I think they're realistically aiming at.

John Rosevear owns Ford and General Motors. Nick Sciple has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Tesla and Volkswagen AG. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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