Ford Authority

Ford CEO Farley Says BYD Seagull Bigger Threat Than Mandates

At the moment, several automotive lobby groups and automakers are busy fighting proposed 2035 ICE vehicle sales bans across more than a dozen states, though Ford isn’t among that group. Rather, The Blue Oval is more concerned with inexpensive Chinese EVs entering the U.S., which it views as a major threat to its business, while the U.S. government sees those same vehicles as a potential threat to national security – and as a result, is exploring tariffs and other measures to keep them out. During Ford’s recent Q3 2023 earnings call with investors, CEO Jim Farley was asked whether or not building hybrids and PHEVs could help with proposed mandates, but he made it quite clear that he’s more focused on China – which he views as a bigger threat, specifically calling out the BYD Seagull as an example.

BYD Seagull - Exterior 002 - Side

“That’s the reality. The reality is that regulators around the world, including the U.S., have put their foot firmly on the scale and there is no amount of hybrid mix or PHEV mix in the world that is going to get you to be compliant,” Farley said. “And even if the federal government eases off with administration change, many of the states, large states that have lots of revenue in them are probably not going to do that. So the reality – but there’s a bigger thing, there’s a bigger thing here than the government. It’s called China. It’s called the BYD Seagull. It’s called a market that likely will sell 110 million EVs this year in China.”

In China – where government subsidies and regulatory changes have spurred tremendous competition among EV automakers – the BYD Seagull was just treated to its latest price cut, which means that the small all-electric model now starts out at a mere 69,800 yuan ($9,700). Regardless of this and several other price drops, BYD remains profitable as a whole, however.

BYD Seagull - Exterior 003 - Rear

This potential threat is precisely why Ford recently shifted gears – focusing on smaller, cheaper EVs – and has been secretly developing a low-cost EV and platform in a project led by former Tesla exec Alan Clarke. At the same time, Ford is also planning on potentially delaying the launch of select other EVs as it shifts its focus, too.

We’ll have more on this soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 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. Richard

    Ford has made a lot of strategic mistakes, but at least they can pivot quickly.

  2. Keith

    He’s right. They are a bigger threat. They can actually manufacture a car without endless quality issues

  3. Big burning gas steve

    Hey Jim! Maybe you should join the fight against ice bans!!!!


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