When President Biden got behind the wheel of the Ford Motor (NYSE: F)
F-150 Lightning pickup truck last month, it drew attention to the auto maker’s extensive foray into electric vehicles.
In case you’ve only been following the ups-and-downs of EV maker Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), along with CEO Elon Musk, you probably missed the EV ambitions of Ford.
The Ford F series of pickup trucks was the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2020, and, in a perhaps more astonishing piece of date, it’s been the top-selling pickup truck going all the way back to 1977.
Ford says the F-150 Lightning has a range of 230 miles of range with a standard battery pack; that increases to 300 miles with the extended-range battery. However, tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee reported that Ford determined those ranges using a truck carrying a 1,000-pound load. In other words, the actual range could be greater.
Ford plans to release the F-150 in the spring of 2022. One of its aims is to take market share away from Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck, which has a futuristic, video-game style look that may not appeal to more traditional pickup drivers.
Crushing It In Norway
But there’s more to Ford than the new line of electric F-150s. News broke Tuesday that Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E was the best-selling car in (wait for it) Norway last month, outselling electric models from Tesla, Toyota (NYSE: TM) and Volkswagen (OTC: WVAPY).
Tiny Norway is an EV-happy country, due to tax incentives for buying one of these vehicles instead of a combustion-engine car or truck. For that reason, the Scandanavian nation has become something of a test market for EV makers.
However, what’s significant about the Norwegian sales figures is that the Mustang Mach-E muscled its way to the top of the sales charts in its first month on the market.
Last month, in a presentation to investors, Ford said it expects 40% of its global sales to consist of battery-powered vehicles by 2030. The company noted that it would invest an additional $8 billion into its EV production in the next four years, bringing total EV spending to nearly $20 billion.
At its investors day on May 26, the automaker emphasized plans for Ford +, with a focus on EVs, as well as connected services such as Ford Pass charging and teaming up with other companies as charging partners.
Growing Commercial Sales
Another aspect of Ford’s future plans involves boosting sales to commercial customers. The company plans to grow commercial and government revenue to $45 billion by 2025, up from $27 billion in 2019. Those revenues will include hardware and other services that Ford can provide.
That plan also has an EV component, in the form of electric commercial vans.
Of course, some of the challenges facing Ford is facing all auto companies: Namely, shortages of semiconductors and other commodity inputs. Also, despite Ford’s strong brand recognition, it’s not as difficult today as it was in the past for new automakers to raise capital and become competitors. That’s to say Ford may not enjoy the type of competitive advantage sales of its F-150 may suggest.
However, investors are clearly optimistic about what they are hearing from the company. Following the investor’s day, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price targets for Ford.
Shares rose 8.51% on May 26, the day Ford presented to investors. Since then, the stock is up 6.6%, closing Tuesday at $14.82. That was an advance of $0.29, or 2%, in the session.
With the price action on May 26, the stock cleared a buy point above $13.62 in more than triple average turnover. It added to those gains in the following session, gapping up 7.05%, or $0.98, to $14.88.
Ford shares have been on a roll lately, advancing 68.49% year-to-date and 28.34% in the past month.
Ford Motor is a part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks some of the largest publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs.
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