Ford Wants to Be More Like Tesla, Plans to Overhaul Its Manufacturing Process

Ford Wants to Be More Like Tesla, Plans to Overhaul Its Manufacturing Process

One of the world’s biggest automakers, Ford, has just said there’s plenty to learn from Tesla’s success in the EV market.

As reported by Car Sales, Lisa Drake, Ford’s vice president of the new Model E electric car division, told a Detroit motor show this week that there are things that Ford could learn from the electric vehicle giant.

“Scale matters in the EV game,” Drake said at the motor show.

“If we’ve learned anything from Tesla, and we’ve learned a lot from Tesla, [it’s] that producing low-complexity units and fully maximising an assembly facility, and then cranking those products out one after the other with really lean labour – that’s what you need to do to compete in this hyper-competitive space.”

This comes as part of a plan to reconfigure Ford manufacturing facilities to run at full capacity, including many more robots and fewer workers, according to Drake.

One of the interesting things about Tesla is how small its fleet is in terms of available models. Right now, the EV giant currently offers four models: the S, the 3, the X and the Y (yes, it’s meant to spell out S3XY), with plans to release the Cybertruck in the U.S. and a revision of the Roadster.

Even with those six models, Tesla’s global fleet range is minuscule when compared to the massive amount of vehicles on offer from Ford, both in amount and range of models. This keeps complexity and manufacturing issues between Tesla models low, as there’s not much variation as manufacturing workers move from one car to the next.

Ford, on the other hand, offers a lot of different cars that are often shaped and specced uniquely to the model.

Globally, Ford is planning to sell 600,000 EVs next year, including 270,000 Mach-E mustangs, 150,000 F-150 Lightning trucks and 30,000 SUVs (the model is still to be revealed). That makes up about one twelfth of Ford’s annual fleet production globally, which is about 6 million cars.

When will Ford EVs come to Australia?

Last year, it was reported that five Ford EVs (including PHEVs) would make their way to Australia by 2024. The E-Transit van and the Escape PHEV SUV have been confirmed for Australia as a part of this, but no battery electric cars just yet.

In March, Ford announced that it’ll launch seven electric vehicles by 2025, including a sports EV and a Puma EV. Considering Ford plans to phase out fossil fuels by 2040, it’s basically an inevitability that we’ll get electric Fords soon.

The Ford F-150 Lightning in Australia

The Ford F-150 Lightning hasn’t been confirmed for Australia just yet, however it hasn’t been ruled out by the car giant. Additionally, earlier this year Ford filed trademarks for the Lightning name within the country.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E in Australia

Although Car Expert has reported that the Mach-E will be making its way down under, it’s yet to be officially confirmed. This is Ford’s closest Tesla rival, taking on the Model Y (which launched earlier this year in Australia) in terms of specs, size and price.

While you’re here, why not check out our list of every new EV in Australia, or every electric vehicle coming to Australia.

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