Ford posts profit but warns that chip shortage will cut production in half in second quarter

Ford CEO Jim Farley
Ford again sounded the alarm about the chip shortage’s impact on its business.

  • Ford on Wednesday reported a strong quarterly profit for the first quarter of 2021.
  • The carmaker said it will build 50% fewer vehicles in the second quarter due to a chip shortage.
  • Ford said the supply-chain issue could cost it $2.5 billion in 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford on Wednesday reported a strong quarterly profit, but warned that the global semiconductor chip shortage will slash production in the second quarter by 50% before bottoming out and then improving through the year.

The automaker said the global semiconductor shortage would cost it about $2.5 billion in 2021. The company said its annual production will drop by roughly 1.1 million units due to the shortage.

Shares were down 3.3% in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

Ford said its net income of $3.3 billion was the best since 2011, and adjusted pre-tax profit was a record $4.8 billion. Ford lost $2.0 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

Read more: Ford’s global business chief explains how it’s spending $6 billion to create US jobs in an EV-focused future

The company said the chip shortage will slash full-year earnings before interest and taxes to $5.5 billion-$6.5 billion.

In February, Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said the company was on course to earn $8 billion to $9 billion in adjusted EBIT, including a $900 million noncash gain on its investment in Rivian, the electric vehicle startup.

Revenue in the quarter increase to $36.2 billion, from $34.3 billion a year earlier.

Ford was able to offset some of the impact of lost production in this year’s quarter by boosting average transaction price per vehicle sold to nearly $48,000, compared to just over $44,000 a year ago, according to research firm Edmunds.com.

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Fisker and Lordstown Motors slide as Goldman Sachs downgrades the stocks on electric-vehicle industry competition

Fisker Ocean
The Fisker Ocean.

  • Fisker and Lordstown Motors fell Thursday after Goldman Sachs cut its stock ratings for both companies.
  • The firm lowered Fisker to a sell rating from neutral, and Lordstown was reduced to neutral from buy.
  • Goldman expects General Motors, Ford, Apple and others to escalate competition in the electric-vehicle industry.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of Fisker and Lordstown Motors dropped Thursday after Goldman Sachs downgraded the ratings of both electric-vehicle makers. The firm cited increasing competition and concerns about product timing.

Fisker was cut to sell from a neutral rating, and its 12-month price target was lowered to $10 from $15. Lordstown was cut to a neutral rating from buy, and while its target was cut to $10 from $21.

Fisker dropped as much as 12%, while Lordstown lost 5% at intraday lows.

Goldman said the downgrades come as multiple companies including General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen plan to accelerate their transition toward EVs as they seek to completely exist the internal combustion engine market.

Meanwhile, the firm noted that several big tech companies such as Apple, Xiaomi and Baidu are considering a larger role in the auto market with a branded product, or through a collaboration with an original-equipment manufacturer.

“Established EV OEMs such as Tesla are also scaling quickly,” said Goldman Sachs equity research analysts led by Mark Delaney. “Several of these companies are committing billions of R&D dollars to both powertrain technology and software.”

For Fisker specifically, Goldman said while it appreciates the steps it’s taking to try to differentiate its upcoming products “we are incrementally concerned about what we believe is the company’s late time to market … as competition increases.” Fisker is preparing to enter the EV industry in the fourth quarter of 2022 with its Ocean SUV.

The bank pointed out that Fisker has announced a plan for a “unique follow-on vehicle” with Apple supplier Foxconn that could enter the market around the fourth quarter of 2023. However, “by the time this vehicle may be ramping, the competitive landscape could be even more challenging (including the potential for new big tech entrants via partnerships).”

On Lordstown, Goldman said it’s “now more cautious on the ramp for the Endurance truck,” after the vehicle ran out of battery after about 40 miles during an off-road race in Baja California, last week. That “suggests to us that there could be more development work to do on the powertrain than we had expected,” said Goldman.

“This factor, coupled with the global auto supply chain challenges that are making it difficult to obtain parts, could increase the probability that the company’s market entry will be delayed and/or could occur at a more measured pace than we had expected,” said the bank, adding that Lordstown is aiming to start vehicle production in September.

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Toyota has unveiled the first of 15 new electric vehicles it plans to sell by 2025

Toyota_bZ4X_Concept_004
  • Toyota unveiled its new electric SUV at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show.
  • The car is similar to a RAV4 in design, but rides lower and has a yoke steering wheel.
  • The new EV is one of 15 the company plans to make by 2025.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Toyota debuted its new all-electric SUV concept car on Monday at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show.

The Toyota bZ4X is the first electric car under the company’s new Beyond Zero (bZ) lineup of cars with zero carbon emissions. It is the first of 15 fully electric cars the company plans to make by 2025 and one of seven under the bZ badge, according to a statement from CTO Masahiko Maeda.

The car is a compact SUV that looks similar to Toyota’s RAV4, but rides lower to the ground and features a longer wheelbase.

It’s the first car to be built on Toyota’s new electric e-TNGA BEV platform that the company created jointly with Subaru. Subaru is expected to unveil its own electric car on the platform shortly.

Toyota_bZ4X_Concept_006

The new car has several distinctive features, including a system that can use solar power to alleviate the impact of cold weather on the vehicle’s range, as well as yoke instead of a typical steering wheel. The car’s interior also has a large touchscreen.

The car company plans to manufacture the car in Japan and China. It should be available globally by the middle of 2022, according to the company.

Interior concept design of bZ4X

Toyota has not announced how far the car will be able to travel on a full charge, but it will likely be competitive with other EVs on the market, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E which has a range of over 300 miles.

Toyota also did not attach a price estimate to the car, but CarandDriver.com reported the vehicle may sell for about $40,000 – a similar price to Toyota’s RAV4 hybrid.

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Ford reveals BlueCruise, its hands-free driving tech to rival Tesla Autopilot and GM’s Super Cruise

Ford BlueCruise.
Ford plans to add more advanced features and additional miles of roads to BlueCruise in the future.

  • Ford revealed details about its upcoming hands-free driving system to rival Tesla Autopilot on Wednesday.
  • BlueCruise will enable hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of North American highways.
  • It will be available for certain F-150 trucks and Mustang Mach-E crossovers later in 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford has teased hands-free driving capability for a while, and on Wednesday revealed the first details about its system, including the name: BlueCruise.

The software will enable drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel and let the car do most of the work on more than 100,000 miles of North American highways, Ford said. Certain 2021 F-150 trucks and Mustang Mach-E crossovers can gain access to BlueCruise later in 2021 through an over-the-air software update.

Ford BlueCruise.
Ford BlueCruise.

BlueCruise builds on Ford’s existing driver-assistance suite, using radar sensors and cameras to keep a car in its lane, maintain a safe distance from other cars, and read speed limit signs. Drivers can switch on the system when they enter so-called “Hands-Free Blue Zones,” and the system lets drivers know when they’re on a qualifying road through blue lighting on the instrument cluster.

Read more: How to break into the self-driving industry after college, according to 10 rising stars in the field

Like Tesla’s Autopilot and General Motors’ Super Cruise, BlueCruise is an SAE Level 2 driver-assistance system that isn’t fully autonomous and requires full driver attention. A driver-facing camera mounted above the steering wheel monitors a driver’s head position and eyes to ensure they’re paying attention to the road, similar to Super Cruise. Tesla, on the other hand, requires drivers to place a hand on the steering wheel rather than monitoring their gaze.

Ford BlueCruise.
Ford BlueCruise.

Tesla, despite facing mounting scrutiny over Autopilot’s branding and its role in several recent car crashes, is one of the top companies to beat when it comes to driver-assist technology, and Ford acknowledges that. Ford on Wednesday said BlueCruise is “similar to Tesla Autopilot but with the advantage of offering a true hands-free driving experience.”

In a Wednesday tweet announcing BlueCruise, Ford CEO Jim Farley took a dig at Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” software, a successor to Autopilot that the firm is beta testing using thousands of its own customers on public roads.

“BlueCruise! We tested it in the real world, so our customers don’t have to,” Farley said.

Ford said its engineers have completed more than 500,000 miles of testing using BlueCruise, including 110,000 miles during a road trip that took 10 vehicles across 37 US states and five Canadian provinces.

Ford BlueCruise.
Ford BlueCruise.

BlueCruise comes standard on the Mustang Mach-E CA Route 1, Premium, and First Edition models. It’s available as an option on the Select trim for buyers who spend $2,600 on a “Comfort and Technology” package along with $600 on a three-year subscription to the system.

For most F-150s, BlueCruise will cost $995 for the underlying tech package, along with the $600 software fee.

At some point down the line, Ford plans to add more advanced capabilities like automated lane changes. It also aims to regularly update the system with thousands of additional miles of compatible roads.

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Ford’s new Mustang Mach-E reportedly faces software glitch that’s left some owners unable to drive

2021 Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD
2021 Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD

  • Some owners of Ford’s brand new electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, have reported battery issues.
  • Its smaller battery can reportedly stop charging when the car is plugged in, leaving it unusable.
  • Ford recently filed a service bulletin with a US safety agency disclosing the issue
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Some owners of Ford’s new Mach-E electric vehicle are reporting issues with charging their SUVs that leave them unable to drive.

As the Verge first reported, there appears to be a problem with some early Mustang Mach-E vehicles that cause the car to “brick” – that is, it’s unable to start.

Owners report that the issue occured when they tried to start their cars after leaving their cars plugged in to charge. According to the Verge, the car’s rechargeable lithium battery will sometimes stop feeding power to its smaller 12-volt battery when the car is plugged in. The result, the Verge reports, is the 12-volt battery has no power and dies, leaving the car unable to start.

Read more: Ford’s global business chief explains how it’s spending $6 billion to create US jobs in an EV-focused future

This issue is reflected in a service bulletin Ford filed with the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on March 25. In the bulletin, Ford disclosed that some early Mach-E vehicles “may exhibit the 12-volt battery becoming discharged while the vehicle is plugged in during the high voltage charging process.”

Ford did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The “low voltage” issue affects some cars built on or before February 3, 2021, according to Ford. The car maker did not provide a number of affected cars, but told the Verge that a “small number” of Mach-E cars have the issue.

Currently, owners can only get the issue fixed by bringing their Mach-E into a local Ford dealer equipped to deal with electric vehicles, according to the report. Ford told the Verge that Mach-E owners will be able to fix the battery issue with a wireless software update “later this year.”

Ford only put the Mustang Mach-E on the market in late 2020. Ford reported it sold more than 6,500 Mach-Es in its first three months of production.

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Tesla may be losing its electric-vehicle crown as Ford’s Mustang Mach-E sales heat up

Mustang Mach E GT Performance Edition 03
Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition.

  • Tesla’s share of the US electric-car market fell from 81% to 69% in February.
  • The Mustang Mach-E was nearly the sole reason for Tesla’s market-share losses.
  • Ford’s new electric car has been widely successful, winning awards and Wall Street’s approval.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E appears to be cutting into Tesla’s comfortable lead in the electric-vehicle market right out of the gate.

The Mustang Mach-E was the third highest selling electric car model in the US in its first full months of sales, according to a report from Morgan Stanley on Thursday. The car trailed behind Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y in February.

While Ford has only sold 6,614 units of the new SUVs to date, Tesla’s share of the US electric-car market fell to 69% in February, down from 81% in the prior year, an earlier Morgan Stanley report dated March 3 found. What’s more, the Mustang accounted for nearly all of Tesla’s market-share losses, the bank said.

Ford’s first-quarter vehicle sales were up over 23% year-over-year, the automaker said Thursday, with electrified vehicle sales rising 74%, thanks mainly to the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid sales.

Tesla’s first quarter numbers are expected to be released as soon as Thursday afternoon.

Despite the new competition – of which Ford is far from the only source – Morgan Stanley’s analysis found that Tesla’s US sales are still on the rise, with more car buyers continuing to look into purchasing an electric vehicle. EV sales in the US climbed 34% in February from the previous year, while traditional internal-combustion-engine-car sales dropped 5.4%.

One-fifth of the Mustang Mach-E’s sold in February were in California, Ford said, a key market for the industry. In 2019, the state accounted for nearly half of Tesla’s Model 3 sales.

So far, the Mach-E appears to be a success. The car was awarded SUV of the year by the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Award in January, and early testers – including other Wall Street analysts – also gave it positive marks. JPMorgan said the vehicle could challenge Tesla inasmuch as Ford has more history and brand recognition.

“We do not aim to argue that one vehicle is necessarily superior to the other (many consumers will continue to prefer the Model Y’s greater availability of semi-autonomous driving features and Tesla brand, while others will be attracted to the Mach-E’s styling and availability of a $7,500 federal tax credit),” they said.

In March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk seemed to compliment Ford’s role in the electric-car market.

“Tesla & Ford are the only American carmakers not to have gone bankrupt out of 1000’s of car startups,” he tweeted in response to a reporter’s post about the high-risk nature of the automobile industry. “Prototypes are easy, production is hard & being cash flow positive is excruciating.”

Some experts doubt Tesla can stay on top forever

Early Tesla investor and former board member Steve Westly told CNBC that competition was encroaching on the electric-car company from all sides.

“Tesla is not going to be king of the hill in electric forever,” he told CNBC last month.

Other car companies have also begun to crowd the market, from electric-car startups like Lucid Motors, Fisker, and Rivian to more established car companies like General Motors and Volkswagen.

In February, a J.D. Power survey of new car buyers found that many people looking to buy electric cars were considering companies outside of Tesla.

“One could argue this indicates that, while Tesla’s appeal is clearly formidable, it’s not absolute and could be displaced by a worthy alternative,” said Stewart Stropp, senior director of automotive retail at J.D. Power, in the survey.

Despite doubts as to the future of Tesla’s role in the EV market, Tesla’s shares have risen more than 650% in the past year in a vote of confidence from investors. The company’s revenue increased in 2020 from $24.6 billion to $31.5 billion, but it missed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter projections by 20%.

The company is working to compete in the market. The carmaker plans to design a $25,000 car and has expanded its manufacturing plants into China, building a Shanghai Gigafactory.

China is likely to remain a key market for Tesla and the industry at large. In 2020, Tesla doubled its revenue there.

“China is the linchpin of growth for EV market,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, told clients in March. “We believe China could see eye-popping demand into 2021 and 2022 across the board, with Tesla’s flagship Giga 3 footprint a major competitive advantage.”

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How the Mustang evolved over 56 years, from sports car to electric car

  • The Ford Mustang continues to be America’s most recognizable sports car, and one of its most long-running.
  • But it’s about to undergo its biggest transformation yet with the upcoming all-electric Mustang Mach-E.
  • We break down all the changes and innovations the Ford Mustang has undergone in its 56 years that have made it so iconic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Aj Caldwell: This here is Ford’s latest Shelby Mustang. At 760 horsepower, it’s the fastest, most powerful Mustang the company has ever produced. However, that monster of a machine evolved from a sports car that took 17 seconds to go 60 miles an hour. So, how did the first Mustang go from this to that?

To understand that evolution, we have to go back to the beginning. In the ’60s, Ford was looking to create a car for baby boomers that was different from the large sedans and family cars their parents were driving.

Commercial: The Mustang’s combination of hot styling, hot performance, and cool price will make it a big thing with the youth market.

Aj: So, in 1964, the company released its first Mustang. It was small but sleek and stylish. And although it wasn’t the most powerful car on the market, it had a lot of power for its size. Just how much muscle are we talking? Well, Ford’s top-of-the-line model packed a 4.7 V-8 capable of 271 horsepower. It went from 0 to 60 in 7 1/2 seconds. And while it wasn’t the fastest car on the market, Ford quickly discovered that those weren’t its limits.

Ford immediately saw the Mustang’s potential as a bona fide race car. So they brought in racing engineer Carroll Shelby. Carroll Shelby: Only Mustang makes it happen. These aren’t just words. It’s a fact. Aj: Shelby gave them not one, but two street-legal race cars with the GT350 and the GT500. The GT500 was given the same high-powered V-8 engine found in the Le Mans-winning GT40. This Mustang on steroids got adjustable shocks, upgraded wheels, a larger anti-roll bar, and, best of all, a starring role next to Nicolas Cage in “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

By the end of the 1960s, the Shelby Mustang, now being built in Ford’s factory, was given the company’s famous Cobra Jet engine. The Cobra Jet was based on the GT500’s previous engine, but upgraded with enormous valve heads, a bigger carburetor, and a special performance air cleaner. Allegedly, the Cobra Jet could produce over 400 horsepower, but Ford reported it at 335 so it could qualify for easier-to-win classes at drag races.

Ford’s Mustang was a colossal hit. They sold 22,000 cars on the first day and a million cars in two years. But its success sparked competition from Chevy with its Camaro and Pontiac with the Firebird. Ford needed bigger and bigger engines to compete. So the Mustang itself grew. But when tougher fuel-emission laws forced automakers to make lower power output, the company was left with a Mustang that was now bloated and boring. Sales tanked, and Ford had to rethink their prized pony car.

By the 1970s, big cars were out. Americans fell in love with European sports cars and Japanese compacts. Ford realized the problem and responded with the Mustang II. It was 500 pounds lighter and 20 inches shorter, but it also tossed that reputation for speed right out the window. Its tiny standard engine offered as little as 88 horsepower, and its one optional engine was a V-6 that barely made 100! The top-level Mustang took 12 seconds to hit 60 mph.

But Americans weren’t looking for horsepower, and oil prices had hit in ’73, and gas prices skyrocketed. The economy was tanking, and consumers needed to save money. Coincidentally, the new Mustang showed up just in time. It was the perfect solution because it was affordable and fuel efficient. Ford sold almost 400,000 units in just the first year.

But as the gas crisis ended, Americans were back to wanting big, fast cars. Ford answered with a 5-liter V-8 for the Mustang, but it was a far cry from the performance Mustangs were producing a few years earlier. At 134 horses, it barely got a top speed of 100 mph. It was time for the Mustang to go back to its roots.

Ford answered it up with one of its most iconic cars to date: the Fox Body Mustang. Ford had been using the Fox platform for everything from compact cars to station wagons. It had a unibody structure, flexible chassis, and wide engine bay. When they added the Mustang to that list of vehicles, it was an instant hit. Even today, its versatility has made the Fox Body Mustang extremely popular with car tuners.

Ford’s new pony car was both longer and wider, but it cut weight in its suspension. It weighed 200 pounds less than the Mustang II, improving gas mileage and reducing drag. But the muscle-car era had ended. The country was in an economic depression, and heavy fuel-emission laws were in place. Another oil crisis in ’79 forced Ford to shrink its top-level V-8 engine to a smaller one that powered the Mustang 0 to 60 in a less-than-exciting 10.8 seconds.

Ford tried to keep speed junkies and the EPA happy by introducing the Mustang’s first-ever turbocharged engine. It was a tiny little four-cylinder engine that Ford called the Lima and hoped could be a performance-level engine, but it constantly overheated, and Ford engineers just couldn’t figure out the kinks with turbocharging.

But Ford’s introduction of fuel injection changed everything. Up until then, engines relied on carburetors to mix fuel and air for combustion. But on a four-cylinder engine, some of the cylinders were further away than others, and you couldn’t guarantee the proper fuel-to-air mixture. With fuel injection, heavy air pressure is used to deliver fuel from the gas tank directly into the engine cylinders at precise bursts. There’s no longer a need for a carburetor. With the mix happening right inside the engine’s cylinders, the engine becomes more reliable, powerful, fuel efficient, and even has less poisonous emissions. This breakthrough allowed Ford to bring back the Lima, now even more powerful. The full-size V-8 was back too, and it was the Fox Body’s most sought-after engine.

Ford added a more aerodynamic design in ’87, and the Mustang’s popularity exploded again. The Ford Mustang’s base price cracked $10,000 for the first time in history. Sales plummeted, and people were over the Fox Body design. Surveys showed that consumers wanted something more reminiscent of the original Mustang.

For the Mustang’s 30th anniversary, Ford introduced the fourth generation. It had a new jelly-bean-type shape but featured nods to the original Mustang, especially in the cabin. In ’93, Ford assembled some of its best engineers and gave them one mission: Win over the world’s biggest speed freaks. They were called the special vehicle team, and they blessed the world with the Cobra SVT. With the Cobra model, we get the Mustang’s first-ever independent rear suspension. This means each wheel on the rear axle was able to move independent of one another, allowing them to stay planted even in the tightest turns. While the Fox Body still had the advantage in a drag race, the new Mustang was much better on the track.

For 2003, Ford added to the Cobra SVT’s upgraded engine the same supercharger found on the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck. It went from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Ford’s precious pony car was once again a street-legal race car. The Mustang’s No. 1 rival, the Chevy Camaro, couldn’t keep up. Sales plummeted, and Chevy axed the sports car. Mustang was now in a class all its own.

The fifth generation finally saw the Mustang get a platform of its own. For the first time in 30 years, the Mustang finally resembled the iconic design of its original. By 2011, Ford would add to it a brand-new V-8 known as the Coyote. This engine was rated at around 412 horsepower and priced at $30,000. With the Coyote under the hood, the Mustang had a faster Nürburgring time than BMW’s $60,000 M3. In 2007, Ford and Carroll Shelby would revive their partnership and produce the first GT500 in almost 40 years. By 2013, they were cranking out the most powerful American V-8 you can find on the road.

But that independent rear axle that was so well received was ditched to cut costs. But consumers didn’t care; sales skyrocketed. But two things were coming that were gonna ruin the party. The 2008 recession and the return of the Camaro. Chevy took note of the public’s reaction to the new Mustang, and it decided to revive its pony car. With one two-hour-and-23-minute commercial called “Transformers,” Chevy took back the market. The last five years of the fifth-generation Mustang were the worst five years of the Mustang’s sale history. The Camaro was America’s favorite pony car.

So, in 2015, Ford gave us what we know as the present-day Mustang. It’s an accumulation of all of the Mustang’s successes in the past. It has that beloved squared-off design from its very first model, and it finally balances fuel efficiency with performance. The short-lived, but popular independent rear suspension has finally made its way to standard equipment. Combined with the wider body for a low center of gravity, it makes for the best-handling Mustang in years. And an even faster version of the Coyote V-8, dubbed the Predator, has been put in the GT500, making 760 horsepower with a 0 to 60 of 3.5 seconds, making it the fastest street-legal car Ford has ever made.

Ford’s next Mustang isn’t quite the car you’d expect. The Mustang Mach-E is an electric crossover, but it is a return to Mustang’s original ethos. In a world where young people are more environmentally conscious, the Mach-E could be the company’s latest attempt at capturing the next generation of drivers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in October 2020.

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A Ford executive took aim at Tesla, calling its self-driving software ‘vaporware,’ as competition between Tesla and the Mustang Mach-E heats up

Mustang Mach E GT Performance Edition 03
Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition.

  • A Ford executive took to Twitter to compare Tesla’s Model Y with Ford’s electric car.
  • The Mustang Mach-E will soon have similar self-driving features as Tesla offers for $10,000.
  • The new electric SUV is already starting to cut into Tesla’s sales.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Ford executive took to Twitter on Sunday to call Tesla out on its “full self-driving” software, which is currently in beta.

Mike Levine, the automaker’s North America product communications manager, called Tesla’s software vaporware.

“Return those $10K full-self driving deposits,” he wrote on Twitter. “Mach-E customers drive away with a car. Tesla customers drive off with vaporware.”

Levine referenced a recent report from the Associated Press, comparing the Mach-E to Tesla’s Model Y.

The executive was responding to a tweet about dealers tacking on additional fees to the Mustang Mach-E.

“Any Mach-E customer who sees a dealer adding a markup can reach out to me,” Levin wrote. “I’ll help them find another dealer. Good luck reaching out to Tesla to get your FSD.”

Recent data shows that just months after its full release, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E has already begun to cut into Tesla’s sales. In February, Tesla’s share of the US electric-car market fell to 69% from 81% the previous year due to interest in the Mach-E, according to a report from Morgan Stanley.

Ford is also looking to get into autonomous cars. In March, the automaker announced that its new Active Driver Assist program would be available for the Mustang Mach-E later this year for a $600 activation fee.

The software enables hands-free driving and would have level 2 autonomy, similar to Tesla’s current self-driving capabilities.

This is not the first time Tesla’s self-driving software has been criticized

After Tesla’s beta software was released, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said: “No vehicle available for purchase today is capable of driving itself.”

Soon after the software became available, there were several videos on Youtube showing the car missing medians and traffic lights.

Tesla launched the software beta in October and has since offered it as a $10,000 add-on. Tesla plans to release a more advanced version as a subscription offering this summer.

As a luxury car brand, Tesla’s self-driving software is designed to allow cars to park themselves, change lanes, and identify stop signs as well as potential obstructions. The program still requires a licensed operator. Similarly, Tesla’s autopilot system assists drivers by braking and steering for them when enabled.

At least three drivers have died while using Tesla’s Autopilot. The software has also been associated with several accidents. Just last week, a Tesla car that authorities said was using the autopilot feature crashed into a police car in Michigan. It was the second accident believed to be related to the software in Michigan this month.

Tesla’s self-driving plans are a large focus because it could help it compete with Ford’s Mach-E, as the two are set to go head-to-head.

Ford’s electric SUV release has been largely successful. The car was awarded SUV of the year by the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Award in January, and early testers – including other Wall Street analysts – also gave it positive marks. JPMorgan said the vehicle could challenge Tesla inasmuch as Ford has more history and brand recognition.

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Stellantis to delay production of its Ram 1500 Classic pickup trucks due to global chip shortage

GettyImages 1231592561
  • Production at Stellantis assembly plants in Michigan and Mexico will be impacted, the statement said.
  • The pandemic caused a disruption in the supply chain of semiconductor chips used in cars and electronics.
  • The computer chips make up around 40% of a new car’s cost, according to a report by Deloitte.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Stellantis will delay the production of its Ram 1500 Classic pickup trucks due to the global chip shortage.

The company is currently building the trucks but delaying the completing production for a “number of weeks” at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico, a company spokesperson said in a statement to Insider.

The truck will be completed when the chips become available, the statement added.

“We continue working closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry,” the statement said.

Earlier in March, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said that problems caused by the chip shortage may not be fully resolved by the second half of 2021, Reuters reported.

Stellantis is the world’s fourth-largest automaker created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group.

The pandemic caused a disruption in the supply chain of semiconductor chips used in the manufacturing of cars and electronics. The chips are used in vehicles’ navigation systems, Bluetooth, and collision-detection systems and make up around 40% of a new vehicle’s cost, according to a report by Deloitte.

Due to the global computer chip shortage, a production slowdown in the auto industry surfaced earlier this year as some car companies changed their manufacturing plans while others searched for new suppliers.

On Thursday, Ford said in a statement that it will build F-150 trucks and Edge SUVs in North America without specific parts including some electronic modules that contain semiconductors.

The impact extends to other carmakers such as Volvo that decided to adjust its production plans temporarily for some periods in March while General Motors said it will lengthen its production cuts at three North American plants.

Automakers could lose as much as $61 billion in revenue due to the chip shortage, Bloomberg reported citing estimates from Alix Partners.

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Ford paves the way as the first automaker to allow 86,000 employees to work from home permanently

Ford logo
Ford’s new policy will be introduced in July.

  • Ford has become the first auto company to announce employees can work from home in the long-term.
  • The company will explore flexible arrangements from July, depending on individual responsibilities.
  • A survey showed 95% of employees wanted a hybrid form of working and felt more productive at home.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford has become the first automobile company to shift towards remote working on a permanent basis, according to CNBC, with around 86,000 employees being allowed to work at least partially from home.

The policy is aimed at office workers rather than factory workers, who number around 100,000 and have largely returned to work.

Hybrid work plans and remote working will depend on individual and managerial responsibilities.

“The nature of the work we do really is going to be a guiding element,” chief people and employee experiences officer Kiersten Robinson told CNBC. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last 12 months, it is that a lot of our assumptions around work and what employees need has shifted.”

Ford’s new policy will be introduced in July when most employees are expected to make at least a partial return to the office after more than a year.

“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent – you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, David Dubensky, told The Washington Post.

“Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful,” Dubensky added. “It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”

Remote work coronavirus
95% of Ford employees wanted a hybrid form of working.

According to a survey conducted at Ford in June 2020, 95% of employees wanted a hybrid form of working and a number of them felt more productive at home.

The move from Ford comes after major companies including Google, Spotify, and Salesforce all announced that they were offering their employees the option to work from home permanently.

A survey conducted in January by the National Association for Business Economics suggested just one in 10 companies expected employees to return to the office after the pandemic.

“These companies are all looking at each other,” associate professor at Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Angela Hall, told The Detroit News. “And especially someone like Ford, who is a large, respected employer – people are going to model that behavior.”

The Washington Post also reported that General Motors and Toyota were looking at flexible options for a return to the office, although they are both yet to announce new policies.

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