Ford Authority

Low-Cost Ford EV Platform Push Came Out Of Farley China Trip

We’ve known for some time that Ford views cheap Chinese EVs as a major threat to its business – both in that country and the U.S., if those models do in fact make it to those shores eventually. That’s precisely why the automaker recently shifted its focus toward smaller, cheaper all-electric models, and has been working on a low-cost Ford EV platform for around two years now. However, as Ford CFO John Lawler revealed during the 2024 Bank of America Automotive Summit, this shift actually stems from a trip that he and CEO Jim Farley took to China recently.

“Jim and I went to China last year. And it had been the first time we went since COVID, right? And as you know, I spent six years in China; I ran our China business,” Lawler said. “And one of the key observations that we both had is previously, our partners were reliant on us, our platforms, building vehicles off our platforms, learning from us. When we got out there and we saw the products that they have and their EVs, it flipped. And we said, ‘this is going to be a huge competitive disadvantage.’ So we doubled down on our aggressiveness towards the low-cost platform because we know that is ultimately going to be our key competitor.”

As Ford Authority previously reported, the low-cost Ford EV platform is designed to compete directly with cheap Chinese models, whether that be in that country or in other places around the world. The first vehicle riding on the new platform will be a crossover that’s slated to arrive in 2026 with a $25k price tag, though a pickup and ride-share model may wind up launching afterward as well.

BYD Seagull - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

Last month, Farley also specifically pointed to the BYD Seagull as an example of what worries him concerning Chinese EVs, which is notable given the fact that this particular model recently received a price cut that took it below the $10k mark. In fact, Farley went so far as to call models like the Seagull as a more serious threat to the automaker’s business than government mandates.

We’ll have more on the future low-cost Ford EV platform 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. David Dickinson II

    Same old story. A foreign company does business in China, and the Chinese watch and learn (and steal) everything they do. A few years later they come out a with a much cheaper competitive product. And our corporate executives keep falling for it on the false opportunity to tap the enormous Chinese market. You aren’t tapping the Chinese market, they are tapping you!

    1. TIMOTHY

      You are correct David, When will American industry learn. The corporate executives of American companies responsible for this should be held accountable. Multinational companies are only interested in near term profits potentially putting national labor forces at risk as well as the consumer.

  2. Ronald

    What I recall after Mr. Farley & Mr. Lawler left China was they would build 3 row SUV’s. That policy has changed at Ford. I still expect they will not try to compete with the Seagull. Instead build a Mini -Van for commercial use to add to Ford Pro business.

  3. Ronald Keith

    The small EV will be like the 24k Maverick you’ll not find one on any dealer lot for less than 32k then the dealer will ad at least a 5k markup.


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