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Ford CFO Says Company Became ‘Complacent’ On Hybrids

As the book closes on 2023, it has became clear that Ford, like many of its competitors, has struggled with its broad pivot toward fully electric vehicles. As Ford Authority previously reported, while sales of fully electric Ford vehicles increased 15 percent in the third quarter, the company expected demand to be higher. As a result, it decided to pull back on a number of its EV investments, paring down the scope of its battery plants in Kentucky and Michigan. Until electric vehicles are more fully embraced by the public, the automaker is betting that hybrids will be more attractive options for car buyers in the near future. And according to Ford CFO John Lawler, the company should have been talking up its hybrid lineup more than it has in the recent past.

Ford Maverick Hybrid Brazil - Exterior 002 - Front Three Quarters

When speaking at the Barclays 2023 Global Automotive & Mobility Tech Conference last month, Lawler talked about how hybrids may have gotten lost in the shuffle of the company’s future plans. “I think for us, we’ve been in the hybrid business for a long time. The number one selling hybrid pickup trucks in the US are F-150 and Maverick, and maybe we became a little bit complacent in how we spoke about hybrids, because to us it was just part of our DNA and our business for Blue. Hybrids were always a big part of the mix. Now, as adoption of EVs slow, sure. Hybrids are a bridge to that and it has a much better CO2 footprint, I think. About 25% less CO2. So that’s going to be a critical part of how we meet our regulatory requirements as the adoption rates for EVs slows. And so we’re really pleased,” said Lawler.

Those comments largely mirror what has transpired over the last several years, with the company outlining a broad $50 billion investment in electric vehicles in early 2022 and subsequently disclosing broad EV production run rates that were later modified as demand slowed down. This year, Ford CEO Jim Farley has touted hybrids and said he expects sales of  hybrid vehicles to grow. To that end, the company has lowered the barrier of entry for the 2024 Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid and thinks it will become the best selling hybrid of any model within five years. Globally, the Ford Ranger will add a plug-in hybrid variant to the mix next year. It will also introduce hybrid variants of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator down the road as well.

We’ll have more on Ford’s product plans soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford news updates.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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Comments

  1. Ford Owner

    Ford should have added hybrids across all their products years ago. They have a hybrid Mustang patent but has not produced any.

    Reply
  2. John mccarthy

    Why does my 2022 escape brakes make so much noise when backing up after sitting overnight?

    Reply
  3. Larry Thomas

    I agree that too many automakers were sucked into EVs and ignored the benefits and more importantly convenience of driving hybrid. I could go nearly 500 on 12 gallons on my hybrid Lexus.

    Reply
  4. Mike K

    They can’t make enough Maverick hybrid’s and they are dropping the Escape hybrid. Does that sound good?

    Reply
  5. David Dickinson II

    How a company like Ford that is filled with engineers couldn’t easily figure out that the big bang EV revolution wasn’t physically possible just goes to show you how easily duped human beings are. Yeah, hybrids make a lot more sense and are the logical bridge for the multi-decade transition from ICE to EV.

    Reply
    1. Joe b

      To much smoke and not enough mirrors cough cough

      Reply
    2. Bruce Davidson

      David, I agree with you 100%

      Reply
  6. Michael Sperber

    Farley wants to be remembered as an Elon clone, unfortunately he took a great company down the wrong path and will be remembered as the most wanted to be replaced ceo of recent memory

    Reply
  7. Al

    Let’s just talk about building hybrids, but not actually make many. I have a Maverick hybrid ordered but I get no info on its order status. Ford needs to get back to the 60’s – you know like when the Mustang came out and you managed to gear up and produce many more than anticipated to meet demand.

    Reply
  8. Robert Straughan

    I that I have a maverick XLT that I bought about a month ago, it is so cool, I love it! It’s a hybrid, pretty zippy, very comfortable, drives great.

    Reply
  9. Ted

    Trucks have become too expensive. Can’t afford to drive them anymore.

    Reply
    1. Pikey87

      My maverick hybrid gets over 40mpg and costed under 23k.

      Reply
  10. Jimbob

    The f150 hybrid fuel gains are marginally better than regular f150. Not worth the extra cost and complexity. I wonder what the MPG would be having a ECVT instead of the regular trans with hybrid assist.

    Reply
    1. blksn8k

      The issue would be designing an ECVT capable of handling the loads and towing the weights full-size trucks buyers require and the extra cost that would come with it.

      Reply

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