Ford CEO Jim Farley does not mince words when it comes to describing potential competitors for the Blue Oval’s pickup truck business, including the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck, which he dismissed as not being a real truck during a recent interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
Farley said he isn’t worried that Elon Musk’s pickup venture will take his company’s customers away, adding that America loves an underdog, but when it comes to EV trucks and vans, Ford knows those customers better than anyone.
“And if he wants to design a Cybertruck for Silicon Valley people, fine,” the Blue Oval company’s head honcho said during the interview. “It’s like a cool high-end product parked in front of a hotel,” Farley continued. “But I don’t make trucks like that. I make trucks for real people who do real work, and that’s a different kind of truck.”
The comments come in the context of Ford being the first automotive company to strike a deal with Tesla to use its expansive Supercharger network of over 12,000 DC fast chargers across the United States and Canada, with Ford customers gaining access to the most reliable EV charging stations in North America starting next year. The Michigan-based firm’s all-electric vehicles will also be fitted with the NACS plug from 2025, eliminating the need for an adaptor. General Motors and Rivian soon followed, striking similar deals.
Gallery: Tesla Cybertruck
In this regard, Farley said that during the negotiations, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was respectful but “more because of Henry Ford than Jim Farley.”
“I have no problem being opportunistic when it comes to advantaging my customers,” Farley said, referring to the Supercharger deal. “Our team didn’t really hesitate because it’s good for customers.”
In the first quarter of this year, Ford’s F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup truck was sold in 4,291 units in the United States, with a total of over 20,000 units delivered since the start of production in April 2022.
The Tesla Cybertruck is still in development but production is scheduled to finally begin sometime later this year, after multiple delays caused by the global semiconductor shortage, among other things. The American EV brand’s first-ever pickup has reportedly been pre-ordered by over 1.5 million people, but it remains to be seen how many of these will translate into finalized orders.
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