Ford’s CEO has quite the spicy hot take when it comes to Tesla’s Cybertruck.
In an interview with Jim Cramer for CNBC, Ford CEO Jim Farley sat down to talk about the company’s recent partnership with Tesla to adopt its NACS charging standard as well as what Farley thought about the Cybertruck coming for the truck market, something that Ford has dominated for decades now.
Ford was one of the first automakers to agree to move from CCS to Tesla’s NACS charging standard for its future electric vehicles. The company is expected to start shipping the first vehicles with the new charging connector as soon as 2025. Farley said it was a pretty easy decision for the company, saying that it’s just as much of a win for Ford’s customers as it is for Tesla.
“I have no problem being opportunistic when it comes to advantaging my customers,” Farley said. “Our team didn’t really hesitate because it’s good for customers.” He added that even though his company’s charging network was extensive before the Tesla deal, the additional stations will be a boon for Ford drivers.
While the companies are working together on charging, they remain fierce competitors when it comes to the vehicles themselves. Ford has long dominated the truck market and, with the upcoming release of the Cybertruck, Tesla is hoping to bring some fierce competition to the EV truck market. On that front, however, Farley doesn’t seem to think it has much of a chance.
The CEO dismissed the Cybertruck as a true competitor to Ford’s F-150 Lightning and its other upcoming EV trucks, saying that Tesla’s truck was more targeted for Silicon Valley, not “real people who do real work.”
“The reality is, America loves an underdog — and we are the market leader for EV trucks and vans, and we know those customers better than anyone,” Farley said. ’“And if he wants to design a Cybertruck for Silicon Valley people, fine…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.”
I’m with Farley on this one
Honestly, I can’t help but agree with Farley there. The Cybertruck is a pretty wild-looking vehicle, and while it surely has a fan base, there will be a ton of people who are just not into the aesthetic. For those who want a traditional work truck but want to jump into the EV market, the F-150 Lightning is just waiting for them.
Even Tesla doesn’t think the Cybertruck will be the showstopper. At its last shareholder meeting, the company projected that the Cybertruck wouldn’t outsell its other vehicles like the Model 3 and the Model Y. For Ford, whose top-selling vehicles are its trucks, that’s almost assurance that it will retain plenty of the market.
That said, Tesla still has a huge advantage when it comes to its software, self-driving experience, and charging network — even if it is going to let Ford have access to 12,000 chargers next year. As those factors become more and more important for customers, there will surely be some that consider a switch to the Cybertruck if Ford were to fall far enough behind there.
It’s going to be an interesting future for the EV truck market. Between Ford, Tesla, Rivian, and everyone else clamoring to release some exciting trucks, it’ll surely get crowded. In the United States, however, it’ll be tough for anyone — even Tesla — to dethrone Ford. It’ll be fine, though — I don’t think it needs to. The Model Y is now the world’s most popular car.