Ford CEO says automaker is sold out of electric vehicles: What it really means – Detroit Free Press

March 17, 2022 by No Comments

As soon as CEO Jim Farley said the words, they hit the Twittersphere:

“We are sold out for a couple years now,” he said.

Farley, on stage for a CERAWeek energy conference discussion streamed live March 10 from Texas and sponsored by S&P Global, was talking about his roadmap to transform the 118-year-old company into an electric vehicle leader.

The moderator asked: How are things going with the Mustang Mach-E?

Farley didn’t skip a beat.

“It’s totally sold out. We’re just completely overwhelmed. I mean, we have the chip supply thing, that makes it worse. But we’re completely oversubscribed,” he said. “Actually, in all of our electric vehicles, we are sold out for a couple years now. So we’re very fortunate that we made that choice to go into those passion products.”

So, is Ford really sold out of its electric vehicles?

Let’s slow down a minute and look at the whole situation.

Why Ford is seeing quick adoption

The semiconductor chip shortage has crippled the auto industry and other manufacturing sectors. Ford even announced in recent days a plan to start shipping Ford Explorer SUVs without the chips that allow for heat and air-conditioning control in the rear seating area.

But the overall situation remains fluid and complicated: Electrifying the names of vehicles already established as part of Americana — the iconic Mustang and the bestselling F-Series — delivers new technology inside an already-loved vehicle.

Also, while the Dearborn automaker takes pride in pivoting to all-electric, the gasoline-powered F-Series remains a multi-billion dollar franchise.

At the energy conference, Farley had explained how Ford set itself up for EV success and why demand was so overwhelming now.

“We were lucky. We got to watch from a distance what happened at Tesla and the first generation of leaders like BMW and GM. They went first, and Nissan, and Tesla won and the generic products didn’t,” Farley said. 

“What we learned from that as a management team, which was actually not popular in the company, was that early adopters of zero emission wanted the good stuff,” he said. “They don’t want generic homogeneous small cars that are unremarkable. They want great vehicles. They want aspirational vehicles … And so we said let’s electrify the icons.”

This is the reason Ford built the Mustang Mach-E and Mach-E GT, as well as the upcoming F-150 Lightning, which is scheduled to begin delivery soon.

The automaker has been so overwhelmed by orders for its award-winning Mach-E that it has had to stop taking orders for the 2022 model because many are sold out.

Not all versions, but many.

Customers cannot order the Mach-E Premium or Mach-E California Route 1 right now. However, they can still order the least expensive base model Mach-E Select and the more expensive Mach-E GT and Mach-E Performance Edition, confirmed Ford spokesperson Said Deep.

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