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Ford throws shade at 'eight or nine top hats' worn by electric vehicle rival

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read
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While General Motors fumbles around trying to bring 20 electric vehicles to market by 2023, Ford CEO Jim Farley says his company will be taking a decidedly different approach to the EV space.

"I want to make this very clear: Some companies seem to be pursuing a strategy of trying to match model-wise volume with eight or nine top hats — that's not a winning plan in our view," Farley said on a Wednesday evening earnings call in an apparent dig at GM's EV strategy. "We will focus on key volume nameplates but really look to leverage scale and efficiency to reach and eventually exceed our 8% EBIT [margin] target for EVs."

Farley stressed that "as we move forward, our EV designs will be progressive and they're going to be aimed at bringing new customers to Ford and Lincoln. They will not be electric versions of our existing line up."

Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks are shown at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on April 26, 2022 in Dearborn, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks are shown at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on April 26, 2022 in Dearborn, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Farley's comments come after a big week for the blue oval. Earlier in the week, Ford started production of its F-150 Lightning — it's first all-electric pickup truck.

In an interview, Farley told Yahoo Finance that he is laser-focused on catching Tesla in the EV space.

"You bet, we have to because Tesla is way in front," Farley said on whether the storied automaker is adopting an underdog mentality against EV leader Tesla. "I think we can catch them."

The company also reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings after the close on Wednesday. Here is how the numbers stacked up against Wall Street estimates:

  • Net Sales: $34.5 billion vs $31.05 billion expected

  • Adjusted EPS: $0.38 vs. $0.36 expected

Ford maintained its forecast to produce 600,000 battery electric vehicles by 2023, and deliver more than 2 million electric vehicles annually by 2026, which is about one-third of Ford’s global volume. Eventually Ford is targeting 50% EV sales by 2030.

The company also reaffirmed its full year operating profits target of $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion, despite a $4 billion expected hit from higher commodities costs.

Ford shares rose 2.5% in pre-market trading on Thursday.

Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian contributed to this story.

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

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