General Motors (GM) has overtaken Ford as the number-two best-selling electric vehicle (EV) brand for the year’s first quarter, catching up to Tesla.
- GM sold 20,670 EVs during the first quarter of 2023, up 17.6% compared to last year.
- Ford was up 41% compared to the same period the previous year but sold 10,866 EVs in the U.S.—just more than half of what GM did.
- Tesla remains the top-selling EV brand in the U.S., delivering around 181,000 cars during the first quarter of the year, putting it well ahead of the others, according to Tridens Technology data.
Why it’s news
Demand for EVs is surging around the world—as more models become available and as price parity with gas-powered cars gets closer. For years, Tesla has held commanding market share above 70%, which will inevitably fall as more manufacturers get into the market with more models.
Since January 2022, for example, Tesla’s share of the EV market fell from 72% to 54%—and it will likely slide below 50% in the next month or two, S&P Global Mobility analyst Tom Libby tells Axios.
EV newcomers GM and Ford are pushing electric production, aiming to take market share from the EV giant.
GM recently outsold Ford by selling 20,670 EVs during the first quarter of 2023, outselling the company by nearly two-to-one. The company’s top performer was the Chevrolet Bolt, selling around 19,700 vehicles, making it the third top-selling EV in the country.
Ford was the third-highest EV automaker in the U.S. for the first quarter, delivering around 10,886 electric vehicles—a 41% increase from the previous year. The company says it could have had a higher sale rate, but it had to pause production of its high-performing Mustang Mach-E while it retooled a factory in Mexico to increase production, according to AP News.
Production of the Mach-E was paused for several weeks of the quarter, along with the F-150 Lightning truck, which was paused due to a battery issue—cutting into vehicle sales.
Regardless of the issues, Ford’s EV lineup increased 41% in sales, taking the company to the third best-selling spot in the U.S., and the company says it is pushing electric vehicle production, aiming to take market share from both GM and Tesla to become the leading EV seller in America.
The company is heavily pushing ahead with EV production with a $5.6 billion manufacturing plant that can produce half a million trucks annually.
The factory, BlueOval City, in Stanton, Tennessee, is expected to open in 2025 and make 500,000 electric trucks yearly—40% more than the company’s original goal.
The plant will make a quarter of the 2 million EVs Ford plans to build each year by the end of 2026.
The recent announcement comes as the company attempts to build its EV presence to compete with forerunner Tesla by investing $50 billion into developing and manufacturing EVs by 2026.
Ford has set a goal of an 8% margin on EV earnings before interest and taxes by 2026, with the new production, the company believes it can close the earnings gap with Tesla, which is operating at nearly 17%.
“We can do better than 8%, especially on a pickup truck,” says Farley. “The reality is that Tesla has not had a lot of competition until Ford and other brands, so their pricing is going to go down. Year over year, Tesla’s prices have come down $7,000.”
Other Ford News
Ford did not only see growth in its electric vehicles but also saw a 10% increase overall in its quarterly U.S. sales. The increase was primarily led by its electric F-Series pickups, new Bronco SUVs, and EVs.
The automaker sold 475,906 vehicles during the first three months of the year, up 10.1% from the previous year.
The company’s truck sales rose by nearly 20%, car sales were up by 5.1%, and EV sales increased by 41%. While EV sales increased 41%, the total number of EV sales amounted to less than 10,900 vehicles or about 2.3% of its quarterly sales.
Of the nearly 500,000 sales, 4,291 were Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning truck. Ford delivered 13,258 electric F-150s in 2022 with plans to build the all-electric pickup trucks at a rate of 150,000 vehicles a year by 2023, and the company recently reported that it is still on track to meet its production goals.
The company reported sales of 170,377 F-Series pickups in the first quarter this year, up about 21% compared with a year earlier. Other notable increases include its Bronco SUV, up nearly 38%, Explorer SUV, up 36%, and the Expedition, which nearly doubled its sales, according to CNBC.