“We’re sharing some exciting news today about new jobs, new products and our latest investment in America’s workforce,” said CEO Jim Farley.
Ford Motor (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report shares moved higher Thursday after the carmaker said it will publish a major business update, focused on jobs and investment, prior to the start of trading.
Ford CEO Jim Farley, who outlined the broad strokes of the carmaker’s near-term plans to boost electric vehicle sales and accelerate its challenge to Tesla’s (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report market dominance, said the announcement will focus on “new jobs, new products and our latest investment in America’s workforce”.
Farley told the Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference in New York yesterday that Ford could mimic Tesla’s strategy of selling directly to customers, with a stripped-down dealer network, in order to meet its lofty EV ambitions.
“We’ve got to go to non-negotiated price. We’ve got to go to 100% online. There’s no inventory (at dealerships), it goes directly to the customer,” Farley said. “And 100% remote pickup and delivery.”
“The standards (for dealers) are going to be brutal,” he added. “They’re going to be very different than they are today.”
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Ford shares were marked 1.77% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $13.80 each, a move that would leave the stock with a year-to-date decline of around 33.6%.
Ford said in late April that pricing power and robust demand, particularly for its just-launched F-150 Lightning, would offset supply constraints and the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine as it stuck to its full-year operating earnings forecast of between $11.5 billion and $12.5 billion.
Farley said at the time that the carmaker’s “major focus now is accelerating a more fundamental change in our supply chain management”, adding that he’s absolutely committed to “unlocking value by improving our growth profile, our profitability and ability to generate sustainable cash flows from our automotive-related businesses.”
The group has also been split into three separate divisions — Ford Model E, which focuses on EV development, Ford Pro, its commercial unit, and Ford Blue for its ICE-based trucks and SUVs.
It has also agreed a deal with South Korea’s SK On and Turkey’s Koc Holding to develop an electric vehicle batter plant in southeastern Europe, with plans to double the number of cars made on the German group’s modular electric-drive platform (MEB) to around 1.2 million units over the next six years.
Nickel prices, however, a key component in battery production, have risen 33.8% so far this year to around $27,700 per ton on the London Metals Exchange, while battery-grade lithium carbonate prices are up around 60% from early 2021 levels.