Ford Authority

Ford Exec Says Chinese EVs Are Major Threat To Automaker

With Ford pivoting its EV strategy to focus on smaller, less expensive models, the automaker has already been working on developing precisely that over the past couple of years via a skunkworks project spearheaded by a former Tesla executive. Aside from market demand, Ford is making this move ahead of an expected “invasion” by cheaper Chinese EVs, which FoMoCo CEO Jim Farley and chairman Bill Ford – along with Tesla CEO Elon Musk – have previously acknowledged as major threats to each automaker’s business. Those worries appear to be warranted after recent news that the largest producer of Chinese EVs – BYD – is eyeing locations for a future plant in Mexico, from where it could import vehicles into the U.S. Now, another Ford exec has expressed concern over this development, according to The Detroit News.

BYD Han - Interior 001

“That’s coming here eventually,” Marin Gjaja, COO of Ford Model e, said during a recent panel discussion. “So, we better get fit now and better get going on EVs, or we don’t have a future. I don’t know exactly the timing, but I think they’re going to end up here, just as the Japanese ended up here. The Koreans ended up here. The Germans ended up here. It’s a big market.”

These concerns stem from the Chinese market itself, which domestic manufacturers currently dominate, while automakers based outside of that country currently hold just a five percent market share – down from 60 percent not terribly long ago. This can largely be attributed to not only a greater selection of EVs, but also, the fact that Chinese automakers can take advantage of subsidized material prices and cheaper battery chemistries to offer vehicles like the BYD Seagull EV for a mere 78,800 yuan, or around $11,000 USD.

BYD Han - Exterior 002 - Rear Three Quarters

“It’s not that they haven’t tried to introduce EVs,” Gjaja said of other automakers operating in the Chinese market. “They’re just that far behind. That’s the scale of the disruption. The size of the market in China is so big that those players are going to be in a position to go potentially dominate the world, unless we as Ford and other OEMs can respond. Think about all of the capital: the human capital, physical capital, financial capital that’s built into these ecosystems to build vehicles – that is all being massively disrupted, because this technology is progressing so fast.”

We’ll have more on Ford’s Chinese competition soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. bartone

    Ford needs to just worry about there own product and how to fix all the problems with the ones they have already sold.
    10 speed transmission’s that are defective.
    Cam phasers that dont last.
    Cooling systems that leak from everywhere. ect.

    1. ar

      They have the dubious distinction of the most recalls of any auto mfr. for 2023 and seem poised for another year in the lead.


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