This CEO Thinks Tesla Is A Ford-Killer

DEC 4 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 144

Can it survive on internal combustion trucks alone?

The term “Tesla-killer” is something we’ve seen in headlines a thousand times. Probably more. But what if the pundits have this all wrong? What if Tesla is actually the one that will be doing the killing. That’s the take of Richard Thalheimer, the founder and former CEO of The Sharper Image, a company that sells all kinds of neat doodads and gadgets you never knew you needed. He thinks traditional automakers like Ford are on their way out.

Thalheimer, like many Tesla owners — he’s owned four, so far — is pretty bullish on the company. But it’s his experience watching products get disrupted in the marketplace that informs his views on the automaker. He brings up one example:

“I remember when Sharper Image started selling the first Apple iPod. It was a revolutionary product that changed the industry, and ended the reign of Sony Walkman, though many observers and industry veterans didn’t see it coming.”

For Thalheimer, the Tesla advantages seem obvious, and he runs through a familiar list of positive attributes: instant torque, climate benefits, and the Supercharger network, which he sees as a competitive edge. He questions whether Ford, with its heavy dependence on pickups for profit, will even be around five years hence. If share prices are any indication of future expectations, then the trajectory of the Ford stock price over the past five years certainly indicates challenges ahead for the company.

One of those Thalheimer singles out for short-sightedness is Bob Lutz. The one-time Ford, Chrysler, and GM executive famously said in September that Tesla is “headed for the graveyard.” He even went as far as stating Tesla CEO Elon Musk is “a nice guy who doesn’t know how to run a car company.” We probably don’t need to remind our readers that the California company is the first new auto manufacturer in the U.S. since 1925 saw the creation of Chrysler and is now outselling any number of models from traditional nameplates.

Thalheimer isn’t the only one that sees stormy weather ahead for Ford. In a video yesterday (embedded below), Galileo Russell from Hyperchange called for Ford to buy Rivian as a way of helping to secure its future. We don’t think that is going to happen (or even a great idea), but his analysis of the Detroit company’s current business model is worth a watch. He points out that the Blue Oval is depending heavily on its F-series pickups to prop itself up and electric versions from new competitors could have a real impact on Ford’s bottom line.

While it’s too early to say whether Rivian could be that effective new competitor, the yet-to-be-revealed pickup truck from Tesla could certainly make a dent, depending on how enthusiastically it’s received. Either way, we can only hope Ford’s future electric plans include an all-electric F-150 as hinted at recently.

Source: Valuewalk

Categories: Ford, Tesla

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144 Comments on "This CEO Thinks Tesla Is A Ford-Killer"

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William

F.0.R.D. is going to be prominently featured on the cover, in the next issue, of the “Duller Image” Catalog!

Mike

Ford isn’t an initialism/acronym, it’s a family name.

Your Dad

Fix Or Repair Daily

Mega

Found On the Road Dead.

Bill Howland

Fuhcked over road disaster.

Seriously, since when did ford claim they were making an electric pickup? Its BEEN CLAIMED here that they’re going to make a PHEV, but I haven’t seen any basis for making either a BEV or PHEV claim.

ffbj

Today.

MikeG

F’d Over Rebuilt Dodge

ffbj

The ’70’s.

Bar

Forever Obsolete Research & Development

Me

First On Race Day

Clive

F’d On Race Day ‼️

ffbj

The 60’s.

Jeff

Tell Elon Supercharger Lineups are Annoying

Will

Tell Mary that needing to go to a gas station is annoying.

Jeff

The Electricity is Showing Low Again
This will be a familiar phrase this winter.

Will

But not quite as familiar as, “need to go get gas again!”

Jeff

Still better than “we’ve got to plan our route along the supercharging stations. Hope there’s no lineup” .

Old guy

I remember the times when people were saying Apple, Google, GM, etc should buy Tesla. My have times changed. Tesla might be the ones that starts buying other companies.

Your Dad

They don’t have cash to buy anything.

REXtoCheckMate

Funny, neither does Ford.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Okay then, I guess it’s just our imagination that Tesla has bought Grohmann Automation and SolarCity, created a glass manufacturing group, and recently bought some trucking companies (link below) to help with deliveries. Not to mention securing a long-term lease on a large amount of land in Shanghai to build a new Gigafactory.
🙄

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-15/tesla-bought-trucking-companies-to-boost-deliveries-musk-tweets

Wannabe Dad, Tesla won. You short-sellers lost… big time. Get over it, and find something else to do with your time.

Vexar

Riviera Tool and Die, Perbix, that motor engineering firm in Greece, you missed a few! I don’t think they have the cash at the moment to buy, however Q1 2019 may be different. I do expect they will get some parts or custom build orders from the Boring Company very soon, and I expect Tesla Energy in Buffalo to hurry up and start building the rooftop solar tiling. The leash is off the hounds when Gigafactory 3 starts producing, however!

Elemental

You don’t need cash to buy things, credit does just fine, especially when your company name is Tesla. Those who think Tesla isn’t worth anything, are letting their own personal agendas cloud their perceptions.

Clive

Tesla puts aside money and continually invests in themselves.

Ford doesn’t Son ❗️

MDEV

They can buy Ford with Elon Money Pig

Re-Volted

But does Ford have anything that Tesla wants to buy?

TomArt

Love the name!!

amt

To even think of Tesla Buying Any Of These Other Dead Beat, Dinosaur Relics would be Foolish , Because They Have “Tesla To Grow”…

Clive

Agreed.

Oscar

And they (Ford, etc.) also have dealerships. Imagine how many dealerships will close if Teala bought any legacy automaker.

antrik

People are *still* saying Apple should buy Tesla.

Dimitrij

Apples, when cooked, are just not the same

F150 Brian

May the best survive.

Right now, no one builds an EV truck, let alone a successful one. The race has barely started. It’s a little premature to predict the finish.

Just because a company doesn’t run around trying desprately to borrow money from future customers, doesn’t mean they aren’t working on something they haven’t told you about.

REXtoCheckMate

Only, there is a race, and Ford isn’t in it.

Sunny Minnesota

What, are you on the Ford board? You never know what’s going on in those places until they want you to know.

ffbj

Oh really.

Will

Even if they put out an announcement tomorrow, that would still put Ford and GM tied for last.

ffbj

No, they are in it, but in soapbox derby car, and they’re trying to go uphill. Maybe they will get some help from Trump who wants to impose huge tariffs on European vehicles imported into the U.S.
The CEO’s currently in talks with U.S. will not leave smiling. Though it won’t help Ford much, nothing can, really.
Like Musk said if there’s recession Ford will crumble, and it looks like there is reasonable potential for one, what with Tariff Trump at the helm.

scott

Dude took a great economy and trashed it. Stupid tarrifs and blew up the deficit with his stupid tax cuts.

esto_perpetua

“Dude took a great economy and trashed it”. I don’t know whether this statement is a product of stupidity or dishonesty but it is totally false. In 8 years of Obama we never had even a decent economy, never mind “great”. Under Trump, the best economy in decades. Funny, most comments from liberals I read acknowledge the current great economy but try to attribute it to Obama. Lol .

The Woodster

Esto, regardless of your (or anyone else’s) political affiliation, you could certainly benefit from a refresher course in Economics 101 at the local community college. Pass the class… then come back and comment on the US economy under George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

Facts are true, whether you choose to believe them or not.

Will

More jobs were made in Obama’s last year than trump’s first. And it continues to trend down.

Oscar

Jajjjjajajaja…. your funny.

Oscar

Exactly!!!! Can’t wait til its over. Only 2 more years of his nonsense.

Andy

The “race” currently consists of two companies saying they may/will build a BEV truck (Ford and Tesla), one company that has produced concept images and one company that has produced a production concept midsized truck for release in two years, at twice the price of the equivalent ICE model.

We haven’t even got to the track yet, let alone the start line.

Will

W-15 (PHEV truck with 80 mile battery only range) is in production now. The van from the same company has already started deliveries. Renault and Nissan both have EV cargo vans for sale now.
At least Ford is getting some experience with Streetscooter.

Vexar

Potentially incorrect. Workhorse W15 is building now for deliveries next year.

Lou Grinzo

Bingo! I will never understand how enthusiasts who obsessively follow EVs or computers or whatever fall into the trap of thinking they know what companies are doing behind the scenes. Do I really have to remind everyone in our little virtual living room here that we were all surprised by the 64kWh Kia Soul? Or all the times Tesla tweaked their product lineup and surprised us?

Does anyone here seriously think that Toyota hasn’t done work on a Prius EV, or that Honda hasn’t developed a longer range Clarity EV?

ffbj

Yes, I think they’re acting like deer in the headlights. They just freeze, and then get splattered all over the road.
Thus the name, roadkill.

antrik

Toyota has actually announced the formation of a dedicated EV development group back in 2016; and Fort too, in 2016 or 2017. Haven’t heard anything from either in quite a while — but they are certainly working on something behind the scenes…

Will

Doesn’t matter, they haven’t started the work on the ground. Workhorse is available for orders now for delivery first half next year. Rivian the same for 2021. If they rush started now, they would just beat Tesla, but if they don’t start doing by the end of 2019, Ford will be in fourth place and GM fith, fighting more experienced Workhorse, Rivian, and Tesla for marketshare.

amt

Must Be “Ancient Chinese Ford Secret”…lol.. 🙂

antrik

There is nothing desperate about taking refundable pre-orders. Are you suggesting companies like Porsche are desperate?

Andy
I think the biggest issue is that most non truck owners have no idea about trucks and what makes a successful one (just look at the constant talk about Torque as the be all and end all of everything) AND appear to assume that most truck buyers drive trucks for no other reason than for show. There’s also probably the urban/rural split. Most current EV owners appear to be either top 10% earners (able to afford a long range Tesla and willing to spend $60+ on a vehicle) or urban dwellers that rarely leave the city and/or living in warm climates – the kind of people that don’t need range, larger vehicles or a vehicle that can negotiate more difficult terrain. The Rivian is a great truck (i’d be very tempted, if it had a longer bed and I had $100k to spare…) but so far there’s no evidence it is either a Raptor “killer” (sure, it’s fast, but that’s not the main focus of the Raptor – If Rivian can show their truck desert running and jumping then maybe they’ll be getting somewhere) or an F150 “killer” (largely price, but also bed size). It’s certainly a start, and for… Read more »
Will

Good luck getting a 4 wheel drive F-150 for between $30-40k. 4 wheel drive starts at $45. By the time you get to the kind of accessories Rivian offers, you are well over $70k.

Will

Look up Workhorse. They are a US company with multiple PHEV truck and van offerings right now. Rivian, another US company, in 2021, Tesla 2022. By the time Ford and GM get in, they will be forth or fith.

Nelson

If Rivian partners with Tesla to support, expand and use the Tesla Supercharging network it will be the end of Ford for sure.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

Pushmi-Pullyu

I think announcing the end of Ford is about as premature as all those times the FÜDsters announced the end of Tesla. Ford certainly looks to be in decline, but…

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” — Mark Twain

Lou Grinzo

And during the Great Recession roughly a decade ago it wasn’t hard to find predictions that GM wouldn’t survive, even with a gov’t bailout. Big, plodding, and seemingly none-too-bright corporations have a habit of shocking us when their lives are on the line.

I expect a lot more disruption and some humongous surprises in the coming years, but there’s no way I’d predict a given company will go out of business or be forced to merge with/be bought out by another company.

Windbourne

In fact, most ppl are missing that Ford is working with Porsche and the German Consortium on the 350 KW charging.
Sadly, these ppl are idiots in how they are doing most of it ( installing them in dealers that are in cities is about as stupid as they come). So, it should be obvious that Ford is up to SOME things, just not very fast. They are no different then the rest of the legacy car companies.

Robert Weekley

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” — Niel Young!

Will

It is an exaggeration only if Ford starts showing some movement before it is too late. I expect they think they are waiting for the right moment, but if they don’t put out an EV truck in 2 years, they will be hurting. If they wait 5, that could put them out of business.

amt

Tesla Will Never Partner Up , Tesla Will Build There Own Truck They Don’t Need Rivian Or Anyone Else……. 🙂 …Trust Me ..

Roy_H

Tesla has expressed interest in sharing access to the Super Charger network. I don’t think he meant that the companies would be partners. Just that Rivian would have to have the same connector or adapter be billed by Tesla.

Bob Wilson

Not just Ford, Tesla has eviscerated the luxury car market and the Model 3 is already pulling from the mid-grade sedans. Those luxury and performance cars were high margin, charging the wealthy all they can get away with. Then Tesla comes along and raids their traditional customers. Not all but enough to put all of the other manufacturers on a diet.

Bill Howland

Well, yes –> If Ford, FCA and GM discontinue most or all of their Sedans, then Tesla will be the sales leader of Sedans.

Vexar

That doesn’t work in either direction. Toyota and Honda still have higher numbers. Tesla is 2x (in the US) the sales numbers of the German brands. Lexus/Infiniti are starving, I remember a 20% drop in sales one year for Lexus.

Windbourne

You do know that even Honda accord sales are dropping, while Tesla model 3, a sedan, is jumping. Right?
http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/honda-accord-sales-figures/

Same is true of the Camry:
http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/toyota-camry-sales-figures/

Vexar

I did not. Still, Tesla has a long way to go to close 250k-300k a year in US sales for the Model III. They’d have to maintain sales of 20k per month in order to do that. Hmm. Maybe they don’t have to do that much after all.

Robert Weekley

20K per Month? Thats it? So the recent mention of them “Only” making 4,300 a week, and they were already there? They just need full delivery capacity! Seems like they moved on that challenge this Quarter!

Anyway, 4,300 a week, for just 50 Weeks = 215,000 for the year, to say nothing of them reaching for 7,000 a week (350,000 a year!).

antrik

They want to sell some in Europe, too… And even in China, until local production starts.

Andy

They’ve been dropping since 2014, line pretty much every other sedan. It’s the consumer move from Sedans to other vehicle types (largely CUV’s).

Overall sales for Honda vehicles overall are pretty much unchanged year on year.

Part of Tesla’s Model 3 “success” story regarding car market share is because sales of other sedans have dropped by over a third in the last four years. It has little to do with Tesla, and much more to do with a changing market.

TomArt

If sedan sales are dropping like flies, but Tesla can’t keep up with their demand of their sedans, then it says a hell of a lot about Tesla’s products – and about the competitor’s products. Sedans are not as much out-of-style as we thought, apparently… you just need a compelling BEV sedan…

Andy

It says there’s a large backlog in requests and it’s a desirable vehicle because it’s just about the only large volume long range EV…

A question for you – do you think Tesla will eventually sell more Model Y’s that Model 3’s? The answer to that is almost certainly yes, because even more people will be interested in the CUV version of the Model 3.

Windbourne

Actually, Tesla sales will pick up to meet their supplies. The fact is, that more than enough ppl want Tesla such that if they produced 10M today, they would sell all of them and still be behind.

I wish that Soros or some of these billionaires that claim that they want to improve the climate would invest/loan Tesla enough to open another GF in Europe. With M3/MY, they could go into top 10, if not top 5, car makers in the world quickly.

Impartial Observer

@Windbourne said: “The fact is, that more than enough ppl want Tesla such that if they produced 10M today, they would sell all of them and still be behind.”

🙄 10M? Really? Dude, how much Tesla Kool-Aid did you drink today? So you’re saying that there are 9.5M people who have at least $50,000 to spend on a Tesla, but are too cheap, or for some reason refuse to put down a $1000 deposit like 500,000 potential customers have already done. Wow, just wow. Words fail me.

Jason

I’m pretty sure most people are waiting to see if the US$35k model comes to market. Add a few options and you’re at $45k.
There is plenty of unmet demand of that cheapest model comes, I bet so many who just have to wait before committing. Reviews are showing Model 3 is an awesome vehicle, which will fuel more demand.
If anything, the centre screen is the polarising design that might see people pass on the Model 3.

Andy

The average US car sells for around $20-25k. That’s a massive uplift in price there.

The idea that one in every four cars sold in North America and Europe would be a $40k Model 3 has so many holes it’s not even worth debating. The two biggest issues are: the price, and the practicality – most people don’t want Sedans.

The Model 3 will do well, but the idea that Tesla would be able to take over such a significant market share with a single high priced vehicle is a pipe dream, whether they could manufacture enough or not.

TomArt

That’s not average for a NEW car. That’s including used sales.

The average new car in the US is close to $35k, and the average new pickup is approx. $40k. Tesla will be able to sell every vehicle it makes for a long, long time.

Andy

Nope, that’s the average NEW car. $35k is the average vehicle, which is higher due to the inclusion of trucks and SUV’s.

Here’s KBB’s list from earlier this year.

https://mediaroom.kbb.com/2018-02-01-Average-New-Car-Prices-Rise-Nearly-4-Percent-For-January-2018-On-Shifting-Sales-Mix-According-To-Kelley-Blue-Book

The average mid sized car (which is what the Model 3 is) was $25,865.

That means there’s a $10,000 price differential between the cheapest possible Model 3 and the average mid sized car. That’s around 7+ years of fuel savings to break even (and the average vehicle is kept for around 6).

And that’s just average. The median of all cars/vehicles (i.e. half of cars sold below that and half above) will be even lower due to the fact the lower limit on vehicles is around $17k, whereas the upper will be six figures.

Will

People are trading in from all over the price map so the $34k average price for a new passenger car is the correct one to use. But if really wanted to be picky, you should get the average for the mid sized luxury car, which would be even higher.

Robert Weekley

Well … Millions of people buy cars … Never putting a Deposit Down for more than a 3-7 day wait, to buy a Vehicle…. AFTER They Do A Test Drive! So, stop thinking only 500,000 people on the planet want a Model 3!

Will

Really, the global market is 90 million per year so they likely could unload all with little difficulty.

ffbj

Point being that for all intents and purposes Tesla is now enjoying virtually unlimited demand for their Model 3 stable demand for their other models, and extremely high demand for coming products.
I think they could grow exponentially for years as legacy auto ice sales shrink
Almost every new ev that comes out these days is immediately swamped with orders, indicating a huge reservoir of pent up demand.

Vexar

I agree with you. I am also irritated with the status quo attitudes of the US market. They like their $27k F150 trucks that burn $500 a month in gas and worrying about the price of gas. It makes them malleable and confused by stunts with the Strategic Oil Reserve, overseas wars in OPEC countries, and domestic pipelines. I, for one, enjoy asking my ICE-driving friends to excuse my ignorance about the price of gas.

My frustration, which is misunderstood here too often, is that I don’t know how these reluctant buyers are going to change their minds. They feel safer because they have 4WD and a higher view. More steel between them and the next guy, right? Take on the 900K F150 sales figures. Is Rivian/F-Type/Bollinger/Workhorse the answer?

Andy

Prime example of my comment above. Do you really thing the majority of truck owners ONLY have a truck because it’s got 4WD and a higher view? The majority do not.

So you’re left with the option that those people buying $27k trucks and driving >twice the average distance (>30k miles) a year need to wait until there’s a full size truck with decent range for around $50k. So far we have one possible smaller option that may satisfy some people, except it’s two years away and costs twice that.

Things like the Workhorse will help, but it’ll require specific usage scenarios and not be the solution for most truck owners. I’m sure there are many fleet owners crunching the numbers and deciding that it may save them money though.

The biggest issue is still technology and cost. Until that is surmounted we are left with either short range vehicles at high prices, or longer range vehicles at extremely high prices. Some will be able to make them pay, but most won’t.

TomArt

The Rivian offerings are not going after the $27k truck buyers – those are work trucks. They (and Tesla) are starting after the suburban cowboys, for which there are TONS of buyers! The number of shiny, high-trim, 4-door, short-bed, full-size pickups around DC is insane! And I hear it is very similar in most suburban areas and in small-medium-sized cities.

The work trucks have too low of a profit margin for BEVs. It’ll take a little while to get there.

Andy

I don’t disagree. But that’s a small part of the the pickup market as a whole (at a guess <10%).

And even those shiny full size pickups are going to be in the $40-60k range (i.e. price they sold at, not MSRP). If they're doing enough range to get $10-30k in fuel savings then they may well be wanting to upgrade to the mid/large battrery vehicle (so add another $20-40k to the purchase cost).

Sure some premium full size owners will switch over, but it's not going to be a significant proportion of the market.

I honestly think the biggest market for Rivian will not be full size pickup owners, but owners of high end Tacomas and SUV's preferred by "outdoor adventure vehicle types" (tbh, i fit into that segment, but don't have the cash for a $100k vehicle). Those aren't the 50-60 year olds driving around in Limited F150's, but the 30 year old Silicon valley types driving around in Tacomas/Xterras with surf boards and RTT's on the back.

TomArt

It has to be much more than 10% of the truck market, excluding fleet sales. I’m talking consumer sales. They are everywhere around here – in parking lots, driveways, on the road… the 4-door short-beds are shockingly commonplace.

Regardless, there is plenty of room in the market for Rivian to do very well.

antrik

FWIW, Tesla claims their growth is not constrained by capital right now.

ffbj

Well it’s about time someone used that. I don’t think most of the legacy auto industry gets it at all. Various ideas that ICE will be around for 20 years, maybe as museum pieces or in clubs, or probably in Cuba, where they kept cars from the 50’s that are still running, and look great, are just not aware that the man is at the door. .
The F-150 is a great truck and will have at least 5 more years or so, not the decade(s) many predict.
It’s a winner and pays for the other losers Ford makes. If Ford dropped all its car lines and anything else that does not make them money they will probably be ok, at least for some time. They should bail on Europe like GM did and anyplace else where their vehicles lose money. The Halcyon days of Ford are long gone and never to return. Deal with it.
The Soft Parade: (hint: it’s a funeral march):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YWPhmduSDQ

David Murray

Look, if you had asked me in 2011 when the first EVs were hitting the streets, I would have said the combustion engine had 10 years left. Yet, here we are almost 2019 and I can still drive for an hour and maybe see 1 EV on the road. So, I think it’s safe to say that the ICE will still be around in 20 years. All I can hope is that it will be on its way out.

Brian

What state do you live in? The cars will be driven much longer than the time they will be purchased new.

Sammy

Not everyone who reads and posts on this site is in the USA. There is a whole world outside the lower 48 you know.
I’m in the UK and Tesla’s are pretty rare even 40 miles from London. I3’s and Leafs dominate the EV’s. TBH, I see more i8’s than Tesla’s locally (Guildford/Godalming)
Outlanders are pretty common. Well, I would say that as I drive one until my Niro arrives next spring.
Very few people are thinking about EV’s. Being an old curmudgeon, I’m considered a bit strange as I drive a PHEV, and have Solar.
Different places mean different people, attitudes, habits and lifestyles.

IanL

Here in Leicester, I usually see about 7-10 EVs a week;Leafs and Zoes mainly, occasional i3s and even more occasionally, a Tesla.
Outlander PHEVs are EVERYWHERE though.
In fact, a difficult game to play is spot the non-PHEV Outlander. Seriously, try it.

antrik

Ever heard of exponential growth?

Andy

The only way exponential growth is going to happen is if the established manufacturers like Ford jump into EV’s.

Rivians 50k vehicles (in 2025) and Teslas 1 Million vehicles just aren’t going to cut it.

There are 40 million vehicles a year sold in Nort America and Europe alone. 1 Million in 2025 isn’t going to wipe out ICE.

Will

What makes you think Tesla, Rivian, or Workhorse are going to stop growing? The 1 million number for Tesla will likely be hit in 2020 BEFORE Model Y or truck production starts.

Vexar

LOL: Cuba.

ffbj

Yeah, an homage to human ingenuity.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGkptgTOkBE

Bruce Sanders

Wow. This man should know:

On February 25, 2008, The Sharper Image announced it had received notification that it would be delisted from the NASDAQ exchange. The company filed for protection with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware. Sharper Image said it had $251.5 million of assets and $199 million of debts as of January 31, 2008, according to the filing.[10] All retail stores were closed by the end of 2008. -Wikipedia.com

MoMac

“We probably don’t need to remind our readers that the California company is the first new auto manufacturer in the U.S. since 1925 saw the creation of Chrysler and is now outselling any number of models from traditional nameplates.”

I think you worded that wrong.
Should be “first new auto manufacturer in the U.S. since 1925 THAT IS STILL IN BUSINESS.”

There have be plenty of US auto manufacturers that started after 1925.
Most notably, Pontiac, Mercury, Tucker, American Motors, Delorean and Hummer started after 1925, but of course went defunct.

Sean Wagner

Saturn. What would a modern Saturn EV be like, apart from sounding good?

Blaine

A Chevy Bolt. Mostly built by LG.

Mike

It might be cheaper to repair. I’ve got a 2004 with the plastic body panels that don’t dent. I’m surprised that didn’t catch on in the industry.

Will

They want the replacement parts income.

Windbourne

Saturn and Hummer were working on Hybrids when Obama ordered GM to shut down several brands (he did not tell them which ones; it was up to CEO). I was actually pretty excited about the Hummer. It was getting around 30 MPG.

Taylor Marks

People saying Ford isn’t dead yet seem to be unaware of what the death of Chrysler and GM was like. Those companies had similarly huge production volume. Then the recession hit and people stopped buying trucks. These companies couldn’t cut production though – they had a unionized workforce and contracts in place that they had to make so many vehicles. So they kept making them and they kept not selling, thus taking losses.

Not to mention the pension plans from decades worth of retired workers.

Those companies imploded under their own weight. Chrysler was bought by Fiat and GM was bailed out by the US government.

Ford was pushed to the ledge and miraculously survived.

When the next recession hits, there’s a decent chance that Ford simply falls off the ledge on their own. If not, Tesla will be there to give them a gentle nudge into bankruptcy.

Ct200h

Recession combined with a housing construction downturn and I think high fuel prices
Like a triple whammy for work trucks . Remember the lots full of turned in decked out F250and 350 trucks .
Contractors and builders who got caught in the housing downturn.
That same set of circumstances might reoccur but it’s not real likely
For example fuel prices in the us are low now .

Get Real

One war in the Middle East involving an OPEC country is all it will take.

Cypress

New housing construction seems to already be on a downturn or heading there soon. But would be rather easier this time around for the truck and SUV makers to put hybrids and plugin hybrids drivetrains for their vehicles in the next up-tick in gas prices, as the tech has evolved over the last 10yrs and they have the know-how now.

God/Bacardi

He couldn’t be more WRONG…He says: “Apple iPod. It was a revolutionary product that changed the industry, and ended the reign of Sony Walkman” So, an Apple PRODUCT killed a Sony PRODUCT, not that the Apple BRAND took out the Sony BRAND who are both alive and well today…Like all other automakers except Tesla, Ford has never gone BK but can anytime they want…Bottom line, its inevitable there will be a F150 EV…

Will

When Ford starts tooling up the plant, I will believe they are trying.

Tom

I know this is hard to even notice these days and becomes subconscious, but can we pleeaaase not have headlines of ‘This CEO….’ I won’t even use the descriptor word of that kind of headline. Somewhere on the internet has to be a safe space away from those.

TomArt

Ford is well aware of their issues and is going to hybridize almost their entire lineup to make up for, and surpass, the effect of ending their sedans. They’ll be fine for a while. These 400-mile pickup trucks cannot possibly be under $90k, even Tesla’s. Hybrid Escapes, Edges, Explorers, Rangers, Broncos and F-150s will reach more people due to being half the price of a comparable BEV. The window will probably only be 5 years or so,, but it is there, and Ford is positioning themselves to step firmly into it. Then, they’ll crash and burn. 🙂

scott

I think people will pay $90k for a truck with a 400 mile range, probably more. People pay a lot for ICE trucks.

QCO

Some people will pay $90k for a truck, but many, many more will buy the $30k value model. No chance for a $30k BEV pickup that fits that pocketbook for some time, so Ford is actively working on hybrid versions.

antrik

Ford can’t survive on selling only $30,000 value models, though…

scott

Where can you get a 1/2 ton pickup for $30,000?

Andy

From Ford. Remember that you can take around $5-10k off the list price with negotiation. You can get an XLT Extended/Crew cab with a 2.7 Ecoboost with a mid level tech package for around $30k, and fleets almost certainly pay less than that.

The XLT is the by far the best selling trim in the Ford truck world.

Cypress

Listening to this radio interview with Ford’s CEO, My take away is that they are going to do what they need to keep their truck and SUV business profitable for long enough to transition into a transportation technology company and basically stop being an automaker.

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/ford/

QCO

Absolutely. Every manufacturer is working flat out on electrification. In Ford’s case that means primary focus on hybrid/PHEV solutions because that is the only practical solution for their current customer profile (large vehicle mix and customer pocketbook).

Kevin C

Cypress, thanks for that link!

Windbourne

I suspect that we will be finding ourselves bailing out the car companies again.
If so, I beg all others here to push to BREAK THEM APART. We do not need several large companies that will be ran by idiots.
We need a bunch of smaller ones that will compete and some more will die, but others will grow.
And if we do bail them out, require that none of the bail-out money leave the nation.
W/O funded GM’s push into China.

Apexerman

I definitely think Rivian was yet another shot across the bow of the major automakers. This is something Ford should have produced now… not in a few years. Just as GM fast-tracked the Bolt into production, Ford could’ve done the same with a truck. Call it something different than an F150 or Ranger, but the company was in a unique position to leverage its strength in the truck market. Why not innovate for the future without sacrificing your core product? Aluminum bodies are impressive; electric propulsion even more so. Looking back, it seems like a missed opportunity.

AV or EV

Rivian is not launching until late 2020 and the SUV in 2022, that is not now. They are an intriguing EV startup but the volume will not be there for years. They only show 20K units a year. It took Tesla all this time to get to average production. These are only prototypes not plant or mass manufactured. Ford has stated many times even in the recession that they have flexible plants that can change as needed. have faith

scott

Tesla should partner with GM or Ford to produce electric trucks. It would speed things up.

Cypress

Tesla should just buy Rivian. But keep it is a separate company in order to gain another 200,000 EV tax credits.

Robert Weekley

It sounds like a great Cross Pollination Idea! Combine Tech, and Shadow Model 3 into a Rivian Sedan! Etc!

Alex

Ford is going to be killed (if ever) by their own incompetence. Tesla it’s not going to steal just sales from Ford.
While I agree with a lot of things, saying iPod killed Walkman is like saying – put some early digital camera model here – killed film. Technology evolves, some stuff just stops making sense. Cassette players in 2010 were already an aberration for a long time.
Smartphones killed ipod, and something else will keep on killing old stuff.
If Ford (or any other) thinks EVs are not going to be basically in entire road vehicles in a short future will face a fast disappearing.

Ed

No one seems to recognize Tesla as a luxury car brand. Tesla starts at $46000, which is more expensive than BMW.

rey

Future Rusty Old Derelict

Dave86

The last 2 CEOs that Ford has hired indicate that Ford does not feel comfortable with leaders who are technically orientated. That does not bode well for Ford’s future.

GW

Hackett doesn’t even have the vocabulary of EV’s, Listen to his interview on Bloomberg’s Masters in Business. From this interview, it is very clear he does not have what it takes to lead Ford to an electric future.

magama52

IMO, the Detroit 3 can’t afford to announce of making an EV pick up today because any percentage of future pick up buyers might decide to wait for these new EV p/u which means a lower amount of near future units will be sold in the mean time. It also sends a message to admitting that an EV pick up is the future not the ICE P/U of today. I think they will make it but keep it as secret as possible. They know the writing ‘s on the wall. They cannot be that stupid!