Ford CEO Jim Farley has dismissed the Tesla Cybertruck, describing it as a “cool high-end product parked in front of a hotel” rather than a truck for real people. Farley made these comments during a June 20 interview with CNBC, stating that only “Silicon Valley people” would be interested in the Cybertruck. Farley also downplayed the significance of Ford’s recent adoption of Tesla’s NACS connector. He argued that Ford’s charging network was already extensive before the adoption of NACS and that the decision was merely designed to make life more convenient for customers.


Tesla is expected to release the Cybertruck in September and accelerate production in 2024. The Cybertruck will compete against Ford’s all-electric F-150 Lightning.


Farley’s comments are likely a reaction to the Ford-Tesla NACS announcement, which many saw as an admission of Tesla’s dominance of the EV charging sector. Ford needs to ensure that it can counter Tesla’s advantage in EV charging by maintaining its own advantage in EV trucks. Ford is the market leader for EV trucks and vans.



Clean Energy Revolution’s Take


Although Farley is putting on a brave face, the Cybertruck is a far bigger threat to the Ford F-150 Lightning than he would like to admit.


Farley believes that the polarizing design of the Cybertruck will repel consumer interest. However, other experts disagree. In May, multimillionaire Kevin O’Leary (an investor in companies that provide technology for Tesla) reported massive consumer interest in the Cybertruck. According to O’Leary, part of the reason for this interest is the Cybertruck’s unusual design.


The Cybertruck has garnered 1.5 million reservations. Since the Cybertruck doesn’t require paint, its profit margins are likely to be much higher than the Ford F-150 Lightning. Painting is one of the most costly and time-intensive stages in the manufacturing process. Additionally, Tesla’s experience in ramping up EV programs could allow them to quickly surpass Ford in terms of production volume.


Although multiple delays in rollout have caused many to be skeptical that the Cybertruck will ever be produced, the sighting of a Cybertruck prototype in California last week signals that the vehicle is finally about to be launched.


If Jim Farley continues dismissing the Cybertruck, Ford is in danger of losing its status as the leader in the EV truck market, even with its recent wise decision to adopt NACS.