GM Pounds Ford

Last August, the shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) were handily outperforming those of General Motors Inc. (NYSE: GM). That ended. Today, there is a large divergence in GM’s favor. Ford’s stock is down 32%, while GM’s has fallen 23%. Neither can brag it has done well in the past year, but the top car company in America has bested the number two.

While Ford and GM have both stumbled in the electric vehicle (EV) business, GM can claim it has done “less bad.” To some extent, this is because Ford has bragged about its place in the business, and as its EV vehicles have struggled, its shortcomings have been more obvious.

Barely a week goes by that Ford does not claim it will conquer the EV market and do so just around the corner. Then it has a recall because of battery problems or a price increase that consumers did not expect. Investors have not forgiven unrealized goals.

Most recently, Ford made broad claims about its EV plan. 24/7 Wall St. reported about investor reaction: “Two comments reflected a broad sentiment. One came from Wells Fargo analyst Colin Langan: ‘It’s unclear how Ford expects to get to its 8% 2026 target margin for Model e’ based on sales forecasts. And Barclays’ Dan Levy said, ‘We believe investors are likely to remain skeptical on the path to appropriate margins, especially amid inflationary headwinds and price declines.'”

Trouble Ford CEO Jim Farley told Yahoo! Finance that the technology in its new pickup eventually will replace what the company has put into its F-150 Lightning. He says it will blow drivers and investors away. The new truck, code name T3, will be at the cutting edge of self-driving cars. Farley cannot even build the Lightning without bumbling assembly and correctly pricing its components. (These are the 13 biggest electric vehicle business failures in American history.)

Farley also has decided to skip his company’s statements about quality issues. Ford is, by its admission, two or three years away from fixing this. GM’s CEO Mary Barra has avoided comments quite as broad and reaching.

Both Ford and GM are viewed as trailing in the EV sector. Both have faced too high expenses as they migrate from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs. Each has laid off thousands of workers. Neither has shown products that will allow them to best EV leader Tesla.

Once again, the fact that Ford cannot produce results and talk about them later has undermined its credibility. (See why Ford’s F-150 trouble has worsened.)

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