It may be a looming strike. It may be a concern about a successful EV future. Ford’s stock is down by 24% in the last year. By comparison, the S&P 500 is 9% higher.
Ford’s performance does not match those of its primary rivals. GM’s stock is off 16% over the same period. Toyota’s is 7% higher.
While the threat of a labor strike is equally applicable to both GM and Ford, it doesn’t singularly account for Ford’s underwhelming market performance. Ford’s slower-than-anticipated progress and persistent quality issues also contribute to its challenges.
Ford said it would reach a 600,000 EV production rate in 2023. It revised that to 2024. Ford’s management says it has a related problem. Even when production does hit stride, Ford faces an uncertain future regarding prices. Rival Tesla has aggressively cut costs. Ford has cut some prices as well, perhaps to match Tesla. Ford has already invested billions of dollars into EV development. What if the margins it has forecast are not possible?
The EV industry is also plagued by doubt among consumers. Many potential customers worry about the number of charging stations; the distance EVs can go without a charge, and the amount of time it takes to charge compared to how long it takes to fill a gas-powered car. (These are the 15 cars that hold their value the longest.)
Only 19% of respondents express a high likelihood of purchasing an electric vehicle for their next car, according to a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. The future trajectory of this percentage remains uncertain.
Ford still had the quality problem management discussed nearly two years ago. Ford management says all car companies have similar quality problems. However, Ford’s long-term challenge is reinforced every time a new recall hits the news.
Ford had a promising run-up in its stock in June and July. It has given up all of that advance recently.
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