Auto experts say the electric F-150, known as the Lighting, should succeed if Ford has to make improvements during the era of electric vehicles. Introducing this truck now equates to “betting on the company,” said William C. Ford Jr., the company’s executive chairman, and Henry Ford’s great-grandson. “If this launch doesn’t go well, we could ruin the entire franchise.”
A critical year for electric vehicles
The popularity of battery operated cars is increasing worldwide, even as the auto market is stagnant.
The company has collected about 200,000 reservations for trucks, but it can still happen. Production may slow down due to global chip shortages or rising costs of significant lithium, nickel and other raw materials for batteries. The software that Ford has produced may be faulty for the truck, an issue that will halt the sale of the new electric Volkswagen in 2020.
Ford and Mr. Farley have a few things to look for. Unlike many other electric cars, the F-150 light is relatively inexpensive – it starts at $ 40,000. Tesla’s affordable car compact Model 3 sedan starts at more than $ 48,000. Lighting has many stores, including a large front truck that is appealing to families and businesses with larger truck fleets. And it helps that Tesla won’t start producing its own cyber truck until next year.
And Ford is also already in the EV game with the Mustang Mach-A, an electric sports utility vehicle. It sold 27,000 ۾ over 2021, its first year on the market, and received favorable reviews.
Production of the F-150 Lighting is set to begin next Monday. Competing models of General Motors, Stellenitis and Toyota – Ford’s main competitors in the pick-up – are at least a year away. Rivian, a new manufacturer in which Ford has invested, has begun selling an electric truck but has been struggling to increase production.
“If the light launches, we have a great opportunity,” said Mr Ford.
In many ways, Mr. Farley often checks the box when it comes to leading American vehicles. My three Like Bara, the GM’s chief executive, whose father worked on the Pontiac assembly line, Mr. Farley’s family has roots in the industry: his father worked in a Ford factory. During his visit, he will visit Ford Plants and other sites important to the company’s history. At the age of 15, he bought a Mustang while working in California one summer and drove it home to Michigan without a license. His grandmother nicknamed him “Jimmy Car-Car”.
But like Mr Musk, a South African resident who founded PayPal and other companies, Mr Farley’s career was different and involved in business creation. Born in Argentina when his father was working as a banker, Mr. Farley, 59, also lived in Brazil and Canada when he was growing up. His career started out not in the auto industry but at IBM. He spent a long time in Toyota. He helped the Japanese auto maker work on its latest Lexus luxury brand, which is now a powerhouse, to control its reputation for producing boring and affordable cars.