General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co are stepping up their century-old rivalry, this time around which will sell more electric vehicles by 2025.
But with Tesla firmly established as the world leader in electric vehicles and the Volkswagen Group mounting a challenge of more than $ 100 billion, GM and Ford are battling for third place at best.
As Detroit’s biggest automakers struggle to escape Tesla’s shadow, the Motown game is like two soccer teams fighting each other using very different playbooks.
GM on Wednesday announced plans to form a joint venture with South Korean company POSCO to build a battery cathode materials plant in North America by 2024. will only fully activate when costs come down and demand drops. will increase in the second half of the 2020s.
“Our goal is to become the market leader in electric vehicles,” said Doug Parks, executive vice president of GM.
Ford will detail its markedly different EV strategy on Friday. It plans to quickly launch several larger-volume models such as the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning, using modified combustion vehicles. Ford would follow in the middle of the decade with a broader portfolio of electric SUVs and trucks, designed from the ground up to run on batteries.
Ford CEO Jim Farley is pressuring his subordinates to increase their production capacity for electric vehicles, in addition to announced plans including expanding the electric capacity of the F-150 in Dearborn, Mich. .
Despite their activity, the two Detroit automakers are expected to lag far behind electric vehicle market leaders Tesla and VW through 2028, according to data provided by AutoForecast Solutions, whose production estimates are widely used in the industry.
The data also shows the Detroit giants face a surprise contender for third place in the global electric vehicle race: Stellantis, the European company formed last year by the merger of French automaker PSA and automaker. Italian-American Fiat Chrysler.
AFS expects Tesla’s global production to reach nearly 1.5 million by 2025, with further growth depending on where and how the company expands its production footprint.
The VW Group is forecast to reach 1.45 million electric vehicles in 2025 and climb to 1.9 million by 2028, according to AFS data.
Ford’s global production of electric vehicles is expected to reach 695,000 in 2025 and 1.14 million in 2028.
GM’s electric vehicle figures look much slimmer: 494,000 in 2025 and 624,000 in 2028. These figures do not include the production of the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture in China, which produces electric vehicles under the Baojun brands. and Wuling and in which GM is a minority shareholder. .
According to AFS, Stellantis aims to build 948,000 electric vehicles in 2025 and 1.2 million in 2028, which would place the company in third place, ahead of Ford.
Ford’s strategy differs from GM’s in other ways. While the two companies plan to build electric vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China, Ford will also source supplies from Germany, Turkey and Spain. GM will get electric vehicles from nine factories in 2028, Ford from 12, according to AFS data.
A common element: the two companies will strongly electrify their premium American brands. GM’s Cadillac will offer Lyriq, Symboliq, Celestiq and Escalade EV, as well as a compact SUV, by 2025. Ford’s Lincoln will offer electric versions of the Corsair, Aviator and Navigator, as well as an electric pickup .
A Lincoln electric pickup?
Ted Cannis, Ford Pro business unit chief, said the company saw such early demand for the new F-150 Lightning from fleet and retail customers, “I don’t know how we can supply “enough vehicles.