Ford CEO dismisses Tesla Cybertruck: 'I make trucks for real people who do real work' | Electrek

July 5, 2023

Ford CEO Jim Farley dismissed Tesla Cybertruck as “a cool high-end product parked in front of a hotel” rather than “a truck for real people.”

Will he eat his words?

During an interview with CNBC, Farley appeared to want to distance Ford from Tesla a bit after his company agreed to adopt Tesla’s NACS connector.

He described the move as an “opportunistic” one to increase access to charging for Ford customers, but he claimed that Ford’s charging network was already extensive before that.

The CEO was asked about the imminent launch of the Tesla Cybertruck and he seemed unimpressed.

Farley said about the Cybertruck:

“The reality is, America loves an underdog — and we are the market leader for EV trucks and vans, and we know those customers better than anyone. And if [Elon Musk] wants to design a Cybertruck for Silicon Valley people, fine. It’s like a cool high-end product parked in front of a hotel. But I don’t make trucks like that. I make trucks for real people who do real work, and that’s a different kind of truck.”

Those are harsh words for Tesla’s first offering in the important and highly profitable pickup market in the US.

Tesla is expected to launch the Cybertruck toward the end of September and ramp up production in 2024.

It will compete against Ford’s best-selling F-150, including the all-electric F-150 Lightning.

Electrek’s Take

To me, it feels like Farley feels the need to “big dog” Tesla a bit after the NACS deal, which some saw as Ford submitting to Tesla.

For example, he highlighted that Ford already had “an extensive charging network” before the deal, but he didn’t highlight the fact that, for long-distance travel, Ford’s network relied on third-party networks, which are known to be less extensive and reliable than Tesla’s.

Furthermore, the adoption of Tesla’s NACS is about more than access to the Supercharger network for Ford because it wouldn’t need to make NACS the standard connector on its vehicles for that. It could just use the adapter.

Top comment by Jay

I reserved CT because of the $40K price tag. Will buy the all wheel drive if it comes at $50k max. Else, I will cancel the reservation. I know of a couple of friends who made the reservation as well, but if the price goes significantly above the original advertised price, likely will cancel.

I wonder how many of the 1.5M reservations fall in this category?

It’s also about a smaller and more efficient design.

Now as for the Cybertruck, I think competitors like Ford need to be careful about not getting confused by the polarizing design. It gathered 1.5 million reservations not because of its design but because of the specs and pricing that Tesla first released.

To be fair, those specs and pricing need to be updated for the production version, but if it’s anything close to what was first announced, it will be a success. On top of it, even though Ford beat Tesla to market with an electric pickup truck, Tesla could beat Ford in volume with its experience ramping up EV programs.

I think companies like Ford, which heavily financially relies on its pickup trucks, need to take the Cybertruck seriously.

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Ford CEO dismisses Tesla Cybertruck: 'I make trucks for real people who do real work' | Electrek