Ford and GM are perhaps the companies that have contributed most to the American automobile industry. Ford and GM dominated the automobile industry for several decades, blessing Americans with a number of unforgettable models, some that have withstood the test of time and can still be found roaming around.
This dominance was mainly due to revolutionary work processes and innovativeness, which set the two companies apart from the competition for a long time. But just like with everything else, sometimes there emerges a player that does so well that everybody else pales in comparison.
Ford and GM slowly lost their market share and are presently among the top ten automotive market leaders. The two companies have a combined market cap of over $160 billion at the closure of 2021, which pales compared to Tesla, the market leader, which has a cap of over $1trillion.
Tesla’s success has been mainly because of its focus on producing electric vehicles. The company’s products took the world by storm as they were oriented to today’s human ideals; zero carbon emissions and environmental friendliness.
Tesla looked towards the future while Ford and GM remained stuck in the present, a stand they held on to for a while until recently. The two behemoths have recognized the value, potential and profitability of electric vehicles and are looking to benefit from and dominate the EV market at the back of their extensive resources and experience.
This article will look at the two companies’ moves in the EV market and current products with a look into the future with reference to Tesla.
Ford Motor Company
Ford consistently produced the best-selling cars for over 40 years and wants to replicate the same in the EV sector. The company has made a $22 billion investment in electric vehicles and announced the goal of having about 40% of its cars electrified by 2030.
Ford has even gone a step further and developed a few models, including the Mustang Mach-E race car, the E-transit cargo van, the F-150 Lighting all-electric pickup truck and others. These models have seen tremendous receptions, with sales exceeding expectations.
Tesla dominated the EV market with a share of over 72%, but the entrance and success of new competitors like Ford has seen that share drop to around 55%.
Ford’s substantial investment will see the company convert several factories previously used to produce electric cars to electric vehicle manufacture. The company looks to make over 2 million electric cars annually by 2025 and have half them account for its sales volume by 2030.
Ford is currently doing very well with their fuelled vehicles, and the plethora of hybrid cars they have produced could partially explain their multi-pronged approach in vehicle manufacture.
The company still generates significant revenue from fuelled cars and has them in its plans as it looks to spin off the electric vehicle department.
The company holds a 40% market share in the U.S gasoline-powered commercial vehicles market and around 15% in the European market.
This intention to spin off the production of electric cars shows the company’s commitment to producing fuelled vehicles for the foreseeable future.
Ford’s innovativeness has seen the company enthusiastically invest in hybrid cars. The company has several commercial and passenger cars geared to meet different consumer needs.
Current car offerings include the Fiesta EcoBoost Mild Hybrid, the Focus EcoBoost Mild Hybrid, the New Puma Mild Hybrid, the Kuga Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid.
Van offerings include the Fiesta Van Mild Hybrid, the New Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid, the New Ford Tourneo Custom Plug-in Hybrid, and the Ford Transit Mild Hybrid.
The company plans to produce a fully electric E-Transit van. Another exciting development is the F-100 Emulator; a fully-electric truck meant to mimic many of the features that come with the company’s heritage vehicles.
General Motors showed its desire to dominate the electric vehicle market when it announced plans to invest around $6.6 billion to build a battery cell plant and increase the production of its electric pickup trucks.
The new planned expenditure is part of the company’s plan to boost its production volume to 1 million cars by 2025 and pledged investment in EV by the same time. Further, GM expects to become the number one US-based EV seller by 2025. These are ambitious goals, given they are to be accomplished in three years.
The company sold 25,000 units of its Chevrolet brand in 2021, compared to Ford’s 27,140 Mustang Mach-E units and Tesla’s 936,172 units. GM announced a $2.6 billion collaboration project with LG energy Solution, a venture that will see the construction of a new battery plant in Lansing, Michigan.
Other considerable investments are targeted at upgrading existing factories to produce electric vehicles.
GM is really committed to an all-electric future, with plans to be fully electric by 2035. That’s right. The company plans to stop producing fuel-burning cars. Also, GM’s future does not include hybrids, a very bold move by today’s standards.
Even if they are not in its plans, GM presently has the most comprehensive lineup of hybrid cars. The company’s hybrids include the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, the 2011 Yukon Hybrid, the 2012 Chevrolet Bolt, the Cadillac ELR, the 2011 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid, and the 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.
Several factors are in GM’s favor. For one, the Ultium battery technology the company has developed in collaboration with LG Chem has performed remarkably well and received praise across the industry.
The company also states that the batteries are cheap to produce, and their design allows for different stacking configurations that makes them applicable to a range of vehicle designs. GM is also releasing EVs in categories they have experienced prior success, like sport utility vehicles and full-size trucks.
Lastly, the company is well-known for being future-oriented and environmentally-friendly, meaning many people will be inclined to purchase its products. Ford Motor Company also has some factors that favor its ascent to the top of the sector. The company’s strategy may have come at the perfect time and is poised to propel the company to significant success in the EV market:
- The company is committing a substantial amount of resources to EV production.
- It has a wide variety and array of offers, and finally, its F-150 Lightning rides on two big trends.
- The company has poured considerable investments in electric vehicles and has partnered with reputable brands, moves that bring together substantial human and capital resources that make success likely.
- The company also caters to various consumers with the in-depth designs and customizations it plans to release.
The company’s F-150 is both fully-electric and a pick-up design, so it rides the two biggest trends today, increasing its chances further. These developments point to a very competitive future that might see Tesla toppled as the leading EV maker. Not so fast.
Tesla has a market cap of over $1 trillion and more than 18 years of experience making electric vehicles. Therefore, it has access to much more financial and intellectual resources than the two companies combined. With that, Ford and GM’s overall experiences in automobile manufacturing might see either topple the EV giant. The future sure has a lot in store.