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Matching production to customer demand

Last month, Ford announced that it would reduce production of its electric pickup truck, and explained that the decision aligned with the objective of “matching F-150 Lightning production to customer demand.” The reduction takes effect April 1.

This development led Bob Nardelli, the former CEO of Chrysler, to voice criticism towards the Biden administration's advocacy for electric vehicles.

“I think this whole EV is just another debacle in a long list of issues for this administration,” he said in an interview with FOX Business.

He added, “At one point last year [Ford] had over 100 days of inventory. So Jim Farley had no choice but to cut production. He had all that working capital tied up. The dealers were upset because they weren't moving products.”

To be sure, Ford managed to sell 24,165 F-150 Lightning trucks in 2023, which marked a 55% increase from 2022.

However, the majority of Ford's pickup truck customers still preferred models equipped with an internal combustion engine, as evidenced by the company's total sales of 750,789 F-Series vehicles for 2023.

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From range anxiety to charging anxiety

Nardelli also highlighted the challenges associated with the transition to EVs, specifically the issue of charging infrastructure.

“You look at the recent debacle we've seen with the weather where people can no longer get their cars charged. Their batteries go dead overnight because they're trying to automatically keep them warm so they can accept the charge,” he said.

“So the infrastructure is just not there. We've moved from range anxiety to charging anxiety.”

Nevertheless, there are efforts underway to expand the charging infrastructure.

Tesla, for instance, has established a global network of more than 50,000 Superchargers, which the company claims can add up to 200 miles of range in a mere 15 minutes.

Ford customers are set to benefit from these developments, too. Last year, Ford announced that, starting in spring 2024, its EV customers will gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada.

This initiative complements the already existing network of more than 10,000 DC fast-chargers included in the BlueOval Charge Network.

Moreover, the government is contributing to addressing this issue. Specifically, the Biden administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — with an investment of $7.5 billion in EV charging infrastructure — which aims to establish a national network of 500,000 EV chargers.

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About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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