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Ford's Electric Strides in Q3 Overshadowed by Tesla and Rivian’s Pace

by Lars EVBASE October 05, 2023

Ford's Electric Strides in Q3 Overshadowed by Tesla and Rivian’s Pace

In the recently concluded third quarter, Ford has reported a significant growth in its electric vehicle (EV) sales, marking its best-ever quarter for EVs, thanks to the performance of Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit. However, the shine of this achievement seems to dull when compared to the strides made by electric behemoths like Tesla and emerging player Rivian.

Ford's Q3 delivery numbers showed a promising uptick, with the Transit growing from 1379 to 2617 units, marking an 89.8% increase, and the Mach-E advancing from 10,414 to 14,842 units, a rise of 42.5%. It's a reassuring sign seeing the Mach E gain some momentum, especially given that it has been around for about three years now with a modest monthly production of around 5000 units. Yet, when juxtaposed with Tesla's Model Y - a vehicle that commenced production merely six months before the Mach E - the contrast is stark. The Model Y is now the world's best-selling car with a production rate of about 100,000 units a month, dwarfing Ford’s 5000 units. This was a stark rebuttal to earlier claims that the Mach-E, dubbed a 'Tesla killer,' would outpace Tesla in EV production owing to Ford's established production prowess. However, reality paints a different picture with Model Y outselling Mach-E 20 to 1.

The journey was rockier for the F-150 Lightning, witnessing a dip in Q3 by 45.8% from 6464 to 3503 units. Despite this setback, Ford remains optimistic about ramping up the F150 Lightning production in Q4, just in time as Tesla’s Cybertruck begins its delivery. The scenario was thought to be different; the early arrival of F150 Lightning was seen as a head start over Tesla’s Cybertruck. But the production volume - a true test for legacy automakers - is where the rubber meets the road. The F150 Lightning's production, which started almost alongside Model Y's Berlin production, is far from impressive with 3500 units a quarter against Model Y's 5000 units a week. This lays bare the narrative of traditional automakers like Ford outpacing Tesla in EV production ramp-up.

Adding salt to the wound, Ford’s labor woes with the UAW leading to strikes have resulted in F150 Lightning orders being cancelled across Canada. This could signify Ford’s struggle in managing production costs for the Lightning, further exacerbated by UAW strikes affecting its profitable lines. As Cybertruck gears up for its market entry, the timing couldn’t be more unfavorable for Ford.


On the other hand, Rivian is creating ripples in the EV market with 16,304 units produced in Q3, albeit lower than Ford's total, but noteworthy on just two models. The R1T is already outpacing the F150 Lightning, and with a projection of 52,000 EVs in 2023, Rivian's trajectory is indeed promising. Rivian’s CEO, RJ, highlighted a fast declining loss per vehicle sold, indicating a path towards profitability, potentially outpacing Ford’s electric ventures.

 


Ford's modest increase of 2,705 units in EV sales after a year of ramping up production to a total of 20,962 electric vehicles in Q3 is a step forward, yet lags behind when compared to Tesla and Rivian's progress. The landscape of electric vehicle market in the US is rapidly evolving with Tesla leading the charge, Rivian showing promising potential, and Ford striving to catch up. As we transition into Q4 of 2023, it's a crucial period for Ford to accelerate its EV ambitions, especially with the looming competition from the most pre-ordered vehicle in history, The Cybertruck!

The coming months will be a true testament to whether Ford can hit the gas on its electric dreams and catch up with the fast-moving EV tide led by Tesla.

Thanks for reading. Lars Strandridder, BestInTESLA

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