Ford CEO Jim Farley has highlighted what he believes is a strategic weakness of his business’s chief rival, Tesla.
Despite Tesla’s incredibly unique design language, which has brought about a renaissance in car design, some believe its style is now getting a little long in the tooth. The Tesla Model 3 is most commonly the recipient of this criticism, released six years ago essentially without significant change. Now, Ford CEO Jim Farley has highlighted this potential weakness in comments given to Business Insider.
More specifically, Farley believes that Tesla may soon be forced to grapple with the issue of product freshness. “I think what he’s going to learn is product freshness means a lot,” the CEO told Insider. “The product gets commoditized, and then you lose your pricing premium. That’s a really dangerous thing.”
Farley related this lesson to Ford’s similar experience at the dawn of the automotive industry as we know it. After years on the market in the early 1900s, Ford was often criticized at the time for not updating its Model A, while its new competitor, Chevrolet, was already working to introduce newer iterations of its competing vehicles.
The Ford CEO’s comments stem from a longer interview in which he also highlighted the risks of a price war that, he alleges, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is risking with his constant price adjustments.
During his interview, Farley importantly also recognized the challenges ahead of Ford, perhaps most notably including the massive production ramp that the company is undergoing. By planning to hit an annual production capacity of 600,000 EVs by the end of this year, Ford will not only gain a massive headstart compared to traditional rivals, but the Blue Oval will also be one step closer to achieving EV profitability.
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