It's impossible to ignore the competition.
For a while now, we've been hearing that Ford could introduce an all-electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck. With the recent introduction of the Rivian R1T pickup at LA and Tesla's plan to introduce a truck of its own, an electric F-150 would make sense. Speaking with the Detroit Free Press, Jim Farley, Ford president of global markets, finally put an end to speculation by saying, "we’re going to be electrifying the F-Series - battery electric and hybrid." Farley said this move will "futureproof” the F-Series, which he referred to as a "global juggernaut.”
Clearly, Ford is looking at the positive response Rivian received with its electric truck and the hype Tesla has garnered in the market. Industry observer John McElroy said, "Tesla is talking about coming out with an electric pickup. And look what Tesla has done in the luxury segment. They’ve clobbered just about everybody. You can’t pooh-pooh that people won't be interested in an electric pickup. Rivian Automotive is coming out with an all-electric pickup. These are the crown jewels for Ford Motor Co., the F-Series. Ford has got to react to competitive threats.”
Of course, this announcement doesn't mean Ford will stop building trucks with gasoline engines. Ford knows who its loyal customers are but wants to make sure it doesn't alienate any new buyers. "Ninety-percent of our capital now is allocated toward trucks and utilities,” Farley said. "We have the F-Series, the world and America’s best-selling truck. More than a million units were sold last year. F-Series core strength at the end of the day is: There’s a truck for every customer and we know those customers really, really well. From the F-150 all the way to the F-750. They all matter to us.”