Shares of legacy automaker Ford continued to surge on Tuesday amid high demand for its upcoming electric pickup, extending a solid run after rising 140% last year and beating out the likes of Elon Musk’s Tesla.
Ford’s stock rose 11.7% after the company said Tuesday that it plans to nearly double the annual production capacity of its upcoming electric F-150 Lightning pickup to 150,000 vehicles per year by mid-2023.
This is already the second time the company has doubled production goals for the F-150, which will be released in the spring (up from an initial output of around 40,000 vehicles).
The stock’s recent run up is a testament to massive investor interest in electric vehicles: Ford cited higher than expected consumer demand for its F-150 and plans to begin taking actual orders for the pickup on Thursday.
The legacy automaker reiterated Tuesday that it is “committed to leading the electric vehicle revolution” and will invest more than $30 billion into the industry through 2025 as it looks to take on pioneers like Tesla.
“Over the next two years, Ford aims to emerge as the clear No. 2 electric vehicle maker in North America and then challenge the No. 1 spot,” according to the company’s press release.
Ford was the auto industry’s top stock last year, jumping roughly 140% and beating out larger rival General Motors and electric vehicle maker Tesla, which gained 41% and 50%, respectively.
Auto industry veteran Jim Farley took over as CEO of Ford in October 2020 after former chief Jim Hackett was ousted by the board. Since then, Ford’s stock has risen over 200% as Farley rebuilt trust with investors and drastically improved the company’s earnings. His ongoing Ford+ restructuring plan, a big part of which focuses more resources into electric vehicles, has so far been cheered by investors and analysts.
2021 was “truly a breakthrough year for Ford” and the “most important year strategically for the company since the financial crisis,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas.
Ford’s market capitalization of around $97 billion is still far behind that of established competitors like Toyota ($320 billion) and electric vehicle pioneer Tesla ($1.1 trillion). After shares of Ford surged on Tuesday, the company’s valuation passed that of legacy auto rival General Motors ($95 billion) and electric vehicle startup Rivian ($91 billion).
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