Ford’s EV Future Destroyed

Jan Kopřiva Pexels

Ford retreated further from its ambitious EV plans by laying off 1,400 workers at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Last year, the plant operated on two shifts.  Now Ford has only one EV shift at this plant where Ford’s EV flagship, the F-150 Lightening is built. The gas-powered F-series is the top-selling vehicle in the world. Ford can barely sell any Lightnings despite Herculean efforts. 

It may get worse: EV sales in Europe fall apart.

William Clay Ford Jr., known often as “Bill” is the architect of the EV failure of America’s second largest car maker. His title is Executive Chairman, and he represents the Ford family’s control of  Ford through a special class of shares. CEO in name only is Jim Farly, one in a list of CEOs Bill Ford has put in the position temporarily. Bill Ford made the imprudent decision of calling the EV rollouts the signifature advance of the company’s prospects before he had any idea if these vehicles would sell.  He told the Detroit News,” To put this in perspective … it is probably the most important launch of my career. … This has been a personal journey of mine since I joined the company 43 years ago. “ At this point, it seems that journey has ended.

A few months before the current layoff, Ford delayed a $12 billion EV expansion. Part of that money was allocated for the construction of a huge battery factory in Kentucky, a state  which could use the money. The reason seems to be that people do not want to buy EVs in large enough numbers. That dodges the question of how Tesla sold 1.81 million cars last year, up 35% from 2022.

The F-150 Lightning should have been a sure fire success. The F-Series pick up line has been the best selling vehicle in America for 42 years. The Lightening has a built in market. Ford has not been able to leverage that, even with advertising that shows the Lighteneing can power an entire house if the home’s electricity fails. The Ligntning qualifies for the federal government’s $7,500 EV purchase credit. Even with this advantage Ford sold only 24,165 Ligntnings last year.

Ford had more bad news recently:  EV sales have cratered in Europe. As EV sales in the US slow, for everyone but Tesla, the US could be next. As ClimateCrisis247 reported: “In the EU, EV sales in December were 193,371 in 2022, dropping to 160,700 in 2023. In Germany, the largest EV market in Europe by far, December EV sales were 54,654, down from  104,325 in December 2022.” 

In 2024, it may be that the last person who leaves the  Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will have to turn out the lights.

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