Cars and Drivers

Should Ford Be Afraid of New BYD Pickup?

TennesseePhotographer / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

24/7 Insights

  • Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) depends on sales of the bestselling F-Series pickups.
  • Chinese EV maker BYD is set to launch a plug-in hybrid pickup in North America.

There may be a collision coming. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 217,511 of its F-Series pickups in the first four months of 2024. That mostly includes the F-150, which has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for four decades. It was also 34% of the Ford total. Around the world, BYD, the largest EV company in the world, has decided to release its first pickup product. The Shark plug-in hybrid, built by the Chinese company, will launch the vehicle in Mexico.

The Shark is not as big as the F-150, but it is a sign that BYD understands the heart of the U.S. market, and others. Pickups are widely popular. Mexico may be a way into the United States. It needs to be clarified whether, under NAFTA, these vehicles will carry the full weight of new 100% tariffs on vehicles from Chinese manufacturers. CCB International analyst Qu Ke told The Wall Street Journal, “The Mexico market would be a good starting point for BYD to potentially expand into North American markets.”

Chinese EVs Are Coming

Source: Robert Way / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
Chinese EVs in North America.

Ford has reason to be concerned about BYD and other Chinese car companies, particularly if the tariffs are eventually lowered or ended. Few people know whether the policy will change if there is a new administration in Washington next year.

In January, Elon Musk said that Chinese car companies would “demolish” global competition without trade barriers. It is worth remembering that trade friction between the United States and Japan in the 1980s caused the Japanese to cap their car exports to America. That only helped American companies until this was no longer the case. Today, Toyota outsells Ford in the United States in most months.

BYD wants American car customers, and it will eventually get many of them. It is a question of whether the company makes models that compete directly with top-selling vehicles like the F-150, and they will.

The 5 Worst Ford F-150 Years to Avoid and 5 Years to Own

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