It is always important to remain cautious whenever automakers start talking about their grandiose master plans about how many new electric models they are planning to produce in the future. While you would hope that the time and effort involved in producing in electric cars would mean that the automakers will be producing a substantial amount of them, that is not always true. Case in point, a new report from Reuters obtained EV production forecasts of GM and Ford which show that they are looking to produce only 320,000 electric cars between the two of them, less than Tesla produced on its own in 2019.
Reuters obtained the information from AutoForcast Solution and falls in line with other industry information they have seen. Reuters writes:
According to data from AutoForecast Solutions seen by Reuters, North American production of SUV models by GM and Ford will outpace production of traditional cars by more than eight to one in 2026, and 93% of those SUVs are expected to be gas-fueled.
Sam Fiorani, vice president, global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast stated:
“GM and Ford understand that buyers want more SUVs and trucks, but they’re also trying to play to Wall Street, which thinks the future is all about electric vehicles. The Detroit automakers would love to get a little of that Tesla magic and money.”
We have been hearing a lot of statements from both GM and Ford over the past few years about how they are going ‘all in’ on electric cars and that they would strive to be leaders in the EV space, but as of now, that does not seem to be the case. While the 320,000 figure is nearly a 10-time increase in the planned EV production of 35,000 in 2020, it’s still a paltry amount. GM and Ford are not small companies, they are some of the largest and storied companies in the world with factories all around the world and thousands of employees.
With them forecasted to produce 5.2 million SUVs and pickups in 2026, they clearly have the capability to produce more electric cars but have simply chosen not to.
Imagine GM, who just had an EV day last month and touted that they are throwing $20 billion into their EV program, and they will make fewer electric cars than their biggest competitor did seven years ago.
Both companies have been using consumer demand as the reasoning for their rather anemic numbers.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product development and purchasing officer stated:
“We’re trying to time this with the natural demand of consumers (so) we’re not forced to do artificial things and we don’t violate the laws of economics,”
While GM’s executive vice president of global product development Doug Parks stated:
“We want to meet customer demand with the best possible (carbon) footprint on the planet to help improve the CO2 (carbon dioxide) situation,”
Mr. Parks apparently believes that having a 14% increase in SUVs and Pickups produced in 2026 will be the best possible carbon footprint.
Overall this should serve as a cautionary tale. Even for companies like Volkswagen who have claimed that there will be millions of their electric models in the middle of this decade. We won’t get a solid grasp on their EV production numbers and commitment until they are at least three electric models deep.
These numbers are North American EV production, so maybe in countries with stricter emissions standards, the number of electric cars GM and Ford will produce will be more respectable. And who knows, maybe in the next six years the United States will set tougher emission limits here too and GM and Ford will have to bolster these numbers.
What do you guys think of these EV production numbers? Let us know down in the comments below.