Automakers are also struggling with the transition to electric cars and trucks. Many companies are spending billions of dollars to design battery-powered models and build plants for their production. They are rushing to capture Tesla, which now sells most electric vehicles.
But most established automakers are unlikely to find a place in US electric vehicle sales this year because they are not in a position to produce thousands of such cars for at least another year or two.
And Tesla, founded in 2003, is still standing. After reporting a nearly 90 percent jump in global sales last year, with a shame of just Rs 1 million, the company plans to start mass production this year at two new factories near Austin, Texas and Berlin. It was less affected by the chip shortage because it was able to switch to the types of chips that are more readily available.
The electric-car maker does not sell by country, but Cox Automotive estimates that it has sold more than 330,000 or so Mercedes-Benz and BMW vehicles in the United States.
Ford is probably the only major automaker to pose a serious competitive threat to Tesla this year. This spring, Ford plans to begin selling the electric version of its F-150 pickup truck, the best-selling vehicle in the United States. The company has taken more than 200,000 reservations for that truck, the F-150 Lightning, and hopes to produce more than 50,000 this year. It is increasing production at a plant near Detroit to produce 80,000 in 2023 and 150,000 in 2024.
“The F-150 is the most important franchise in our company,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford’s US and international markets group. “The F-150 Lightning demonstrates just how serious our commitment to the EV market is.”
Ford has been selling the popular electric sport-utility vehicle, the Mustang Mach E, for almost a year now. It said Tuesday it aims to increase MacE’s production to 200,000 vehicles annually by 2023.