Though EV sales set a new record and continued to grow at a rapid rate in 2023, demand for those types of vehicles also trailed a bit behind exceptions to close out the year as well. As such, Ford has since scaled back its planned output at two of its under-construction EV battery plants – BlueOvalSK Battery Park in Kentucky and BlueOval Battery Park Michigan – the former a part of a joint-venture with South Korea’s SK On, the other utilizing licensed technology from China’s CATL, which has raised some concerns among lawmakers. Regardless, SK recently stated that its long-term outlook remains positive, though CATL now says that its earnings will be weaker than expected in 2023, according to Reuters.
CATL – the world’s largest EV battery maker – is now forecasting a net profit growth of between 38.3 and 48.1 percent in 2023, as well as a net profit of between 42.5 and 45.5 billion yuan ($5.92-$6.34 billion USD), according to a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. However, that’s quite the drop from 2022, when CATL posted a net profit gain of 92.89 percent.
The same goes for that company’s market share in China, which also dropped from 48.2 percent in 2022 to 43.11 percent in 2023 amid stiff competition. At the same time, one of CATL’s rivals – BYD, which is the second-largest EV battery maker – watched its share increase year-over-year from 29.98 percent to 35.7 percent. BYD – which overtook Tesla as China’s top-selling EV automaker in 2023 – is forecasting that its net profit last year will rise by as much as 86.5 percent – a big drop from 2022’s 446 percent.
Meanwhile, Ford plans to only utilize one of two under-construction EV battery plants in Kentucky following this slowdown in demand, while also hiring fewer workers at that site. Additionally, the automaker cut its planned output in Michigan as a result of this shift, too.