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Ford Unveils Big Electric Vehicle Surprise in November

Ford's electric vehicle sales jumped in November, but retail sales take a big dive.

Jim Farley has made no secret of his desire to win.

The Ford  (F) - Get Free Report CEO has made it clear that he wants his company to be the top gun in the electric vehicle sector.

In April, he threw down the gauntlet to Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report, the world's largest EV company, and "all comers to become the top EV maker in the world." 

"That's something that no one would have believed just two years ago from us," Farley said;

The company announced on Nov. 30 that it had built the 150,000th Mustang Mach-E since production began almost two years ago despite supply chain challenges and a spike in raw material prices.

The accomplishment even impressed Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report CEO Elon Musk who tweeted to his congratulations to Farley and company.

"Thanks, @elonmusk," Farley responded. "Lots of work ahead." 

And Ford said on Dec. 1 that it planned to invest another $153 million in its U.K. manufacturing plant to boost EV production.

Ford sold a total of 6,255 vehicles in November, soaring nearly 103% compared with a year ago, and "making Ford America’s second best-selling brand and manufacturer of electric vehicles behind Tesla."

F-150 Lightning sales totaled 2,062 and since its first sale at the end of May, F-150 Lightning sales totaled 13,258 trucks.

"Ford’s sales of electric vehicles expanded at approximately twice the rate of the overall electric vehicle segment in November as Ford prepares to increase production next year to meet U.S. demand," Ford said in a statement.

Ford beat out Hyundai-Kia to earn the No. 2 EV position, but it wasn't all good news, as the company posted a 7.8% decline in total U.S. sales for the month. Retail sales fell 15.8%.

Ford Mustang Mach E Lead

'Tesla's Position is Changing'

Truck sales were down 1.2% and SUV sales dropped 15% from a year ago.

And there is still a lot of work to do in the EV sector. Tesla reported global deliveries of more than 908,000 EVs through the third quarter.

But Tesla, which delivered the first its long-promised electric semi trucks on Dec. 1, can't afford to rest on its laurels, according to the S&P Global Mobility Study.

The study said much of Tesla's share loss is to EVs available in a more accessible Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) range - below $50,000, where Tesla does not yet truly compete.

"Tesla's position is changing as new, more affordable options arrive, offering equal or better technology and production build," the report said. "Given that consumer choice and consumer interest in EVs are growing, Tesla's ability to retain a dominant market share will be challenged going forward."

The study predicted that the number of battery-electric nameplates will grow from 48 at present to 159 by the end of 2025, "at a pace faster than Tesla will be able to add factories."

Tesla currently holds a 65% share of the EV market, with Ford in second place with 7% market share, Kia next at 5% and Chevrolet and Hyundai tied for fourth with 4% each, according to S&P Global Mobility data. The remaining 15% share is split between all other EV makers.

Tesla Developing Lower-Cost EV

During a recent earnings call, Musk again confirmed that the company is working on a vehicle priced lower than the Model 3, "though market launch timing is unclear."

"Tesla's model range is expected to grow to include Cybertruck in 2023 and eventually a Roadster, but largely the Tesla model lineup in 2025 will be the same models it offers today," the report said.

"Before you feel too badly for Tesla, however, remember that the brand will continue to see unit sales grow, even as share declines," said Stephanie Brinley, associate director, AutoIntelligence for S&P Global Mobility. 

"The EV market in 2022 is a Tesla market, and it will continue to be, so long as its competitors are bound by production capacity," Brinley said.