Can the Blue Oval really challenge America's largest EV maker?
Ford CEO Jim Farley told Automotive News that the company is projecting to produce 600,000 EVs per year, coming in second to Tesla, within 24 months. It's a big ask for the company, which currently is behind in the EV race. It produced just about 18,000 electric cars in the first three quarters of 2021. That means it will have to produce about 30 times that many by the end of 2023.
That seems like a lofty goal, with the company only producing three EVs currently: the F-150 Lightning, the Mustang Mach-E, and the E-Transit van. Granted, they are all selling well. Farley added that the new projected number will come up before its completion of Blue Oval City, which we reported on in September.
"The demand is so much higher than we expected," Farley said in an interview. "It's a really new experience for this big company, trying to be agile. We had to approach it very differently than we've done capacity planning."
The Mustang Mach-E is built in Mexico, and another shift could be added there, Farley told AN. But the Lightning pickup, which has gone gangbusters in sales, needs more literal space. Of the 200,000 reservations, Farley expects more than 80% to convert to orders. Thankfully, just placing a reservation does not lock you in to a final purchase.
"We're kind of learning this new muscle after 118 years of 'how do you scale' and not have all the answers - in the middle of a chip crisis," Farley said. "We'll see how it plays out, but that's what we're targeting. I'm saying No. 2 in the next two years."
That's a bold prediction from Farley, who recently had a serious message for his company, but he has steered Ford in the right direction since he took over in 2020 from Jim Hackett. We know he's a car guy by blood, racing on the weekends in addition to running one of the biggest companies in the world. He is an optimist, but we'll bet Ford does jump the ranks in EV sales, though it might be a while before they catch the big T.