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Ford CEO to electric truck rivals: We are the Coca-Cola of pickups

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·3 min read
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Ford (F) CEO Jim Farley used a metaphor when the Yahoo Finance Live team asked him if he is concerned about electric truck competitors. 

"There are a lot of great soda companies out there, but there is only one Coke. Bring on the Mountain Dews, bring on the Pepsis, but there is only one F-150," said Farley, referring to Ford's all-new F-150 Lightning.

To be sure the competitors are ready to bring it on in terms of electric trucks.

Rivian (which counts Ford as an investor) is slated to bring its first electric truck to market in June, a $75,000 high-end model that looks to get 250 miles to 400 miles on a charge. Tesla's more than $40,000 electric CyberTruck (entry model) is supposed to begin arriving to market later this year. And Detroit-based upstart Lordstown is expected to bring its $50,000-plus electric Endurance to market sometime this year.

But the Coca-Cola of pickup trucks (Ford's F-150 is best known for being America's best-selling vehicle), has emphatically planted a flag in the ground with the introduction this week of the Lightning. It marks Ford's first all-electric pickup truck. 

The extended range, battery powered Lightning promises 10,000 pounds of towing capacity, over the air software updates and the ability to power your home via a backup power capability. This version — which starts at $50,000 or so — boasts a 300-mile range on a charge, 563 horsepower and travels 0 mph to 60 mph in about 4.4 seconds.

Ford Motor Company unveils their new electric F-150 Lightning outside of their headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on May 19, 2021. - One day after winning an enthusiastic endorsement from President Joe Biden, Ford will officially preview the all-electric version of its best-selling F-150 truck on May 19, 2021. The battery-powered Ford F-150
Ford Motor Company unveils their new electric F-150 Lightning outside of their headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on May 19, 2021. - One day after winning an enthusiastic endorsement from President Joe Biden, Ford will officially preview the all-electric version of its best-selling F-150 truck on May 19, 2021. The battery-powered Ford F-150 "Lightning" is part of the US auto giant's $22 billion campaign to ramp up its electric vehicle offerings by 2025. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Farley said Ford has already amassed 20,000 pre-orders for the truck in about 12 hours, underscoring the popularity of the F-150 brand. The F-150 Lightning is set to begin production in mid-2022.

"We believe the unveil was a positive and a key step forward for Ford, as it reflected the continued unfolding of its EV narrative. While we expect F-150 Lightning to be dilutive to Ford margins, it is nevertheless important as it reflects Ford’s bid to protect its golden goose truck franchise – Ford provided a strong response to the rush of competition we’ve heard of in the EV truck segment. And with Ford unveiling the truck at a lower starting price than we and others anticipated, it likely reflects Ford’s plans to maintain its share in the large pickup segment even when it eventually goes electric," Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy wrote in a research note to clients. 

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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