Ford (f) – Get Report CEO Jim Farley of Ford Motor Co. is clear: The automaker’s bigger rival is called Tesla (TSLA) – Receive reports from Tesla Inc.
That means the traditional automaker aims to become the leader in electric vehicles, which are currently dominated by Tesla, maker of the Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs. That ambition has sometimes included copying the formulas Tesla is working on, such as B. Over-the-air software updates that add new features and improve existing ones over Wi-Fi.
Tesla says over-the-air software updates introduce new features and updates to your car, and that software updates are ongoing.
Ford, which underwent a radical and deep restructuring this year by separating the operations of gasoline cars from electric vehicles, relied on this originality of Tesla, capable of updating vehicles with technological innovations and fixing bugs. or a defect or security issue as soon as possible.
Purchase option at the end of the lease
The automaker just copied another change from Tesla. In fact, Ford ended the option given to Ford Electric Vehicles customers to buy the car at the end of the lease.
The new change affects binding contracts or leases in 38 states. It will be deployed nationwide by the end of the year. This affects all regulations introduced from June 15th.
Ford customers who had leases before June 15 are not affected. That means they still have the option to buy the car at the end of the lease.
The decision applies to three Ford electric vehicles currently on the market: the F-150 Lightning pick-up/truck, the electric version of the best-selling F-150, the Ford Mustang Mach-E sedan and the e-Transit van.
According to Ford, this big change is because the company wants to better manage the recycling of batteries and other materials, as well as the need to make electric vehicle prices affordable.
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“Ford wants to make electric vehicles more sustainable, reduce battery costs and ultimately help make electric vehicles accessible and affordable for more Americans,” said Margaret, a spokeswoman for Ford Credit, Ford’s finance arm. Melott said in an emailed statement .
“Ford’s battery strategy includes recycling and localization of battery production, and Ford Credit’s plan for EV leasing will allow customers to replace their vehicles with the latest models while the vehicle stays longer in the Ford network, so that Ford enables battery recycling and a better use of materials.”
As part of its $30 billion investment in electrification by 2025, Ford plans to establish a global battery center, Ford Ion Park, in Romulus, Michigan, with the goal of “providing customers with larger volume battery cells, better range and lower volume.” supply power consumption”. running costs”.
Will this boost Ford’s profits?
But Ford’s decision not to give its electric vehicle customers the option to buy vehicles at the end of their lease comes at a time when the prices of vehicles, and electric cars in particular, have risen sharply.
In fact, the electric vehicle market is benefiting from several factors: The explosion in the price of a gallon of petrol at the pump, triggered by the Russian war in Ukraine, has fueled demand overall. The disruptions in supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have also encouraged consumers to give EVs a second chance. This spike in demand, reflected in a full order book, has prompted automakers to raise their prices.
By withdrawing the buyout option, Ford indirectly encourages its customers to buy a new car, which is advantageous for the automaker since the new car price is very high.
“Starting June 15, 2022, on new F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit Van EV leases, customers can return the vehicle at the end of the lease and upgrade to a new vehicle, or you can choose to rent the vehicle return at the end of the lease,” Melot said.
Last April, Tesla made a similar decision. Elon Musk’s group said it would no longer be possible to buy a leased car when the lease expires on April 15.
“Not all Tesla vehicles delivered on or after April 15, 2022 are eligible for purchase. Third-party dealers and third parties are not authorized to purchase vehicles on lease,” the company said.