Ford’s electrification plan has been disappointing to EV enthusiasts. They focused on hybrid vehicles and the company’s first all-electric vehicle built from the ground up to be electric is not expected to arrive until 2020.
But now an analyst sees an opportunity for Ford to go ‘all-in’ on EVs following the ousting of CEO Mark Fields and appointment of Jim Hackett.
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Hackett replaced the EV leadership at Ford by bringing back a former Ford exec from Uber to lead electric and self-driving vehicles.
It’s still early in the new leadership, but Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas just issued a new note to clients in which he conveyed a lot of optimism about electric vehicle prospects at Ford:
“We expect Ford to go ‘all-in’ on EVs. With an emphasis on pure EVs. Hybrids? Not so much. Prior management was vague with how its $4.5b investment in ‘electrification’ would be allocated. We are hopeful for a significantly upgraded level of transparency, given the pace of change in EV adoption and expenditure worldwide.”
The $4.5 billion investment that Jonas is referring to resulted in a plan to bring hybrid powertrains to a few of Ford’s existing models, but it was definitely lagging when it came to all-electric vehicles.
Only a new all-electric CUV was confirmed for 2020 and the automaker left the door open for more EVs to be announced.
While Jonas is bullish on EVs, he is not certain that investors will get behind such a strategy at Ford:
“We expect Ford’s next strategy to be more open to partnerships, new structures and entities, and a far greater emphasis on all-electric powertrains. However, we are not convinced investors are prepared for the required sacrifice to near term profit.”
Ford currently trades at just over $10 per share and Jonas assigned a price target of $9 per share. Tesla recently surpassed Ford’s market capitalisation as investors appear to have much greater confidence in the company’s future despite currently only producing every year a fraction of Ford’s total monthly vehicle production.
The Michigan-based automotive giant’s main profit center remains its F-Series trucks and interestingly, Ford recently opened the door to an all-electric F-150 pickup, but they seem to still need a push.