from the money-money-money dept.
There's no doubt that Ford is embracing electrification. It was first to market with an electric pickup truck for the US market, and a darn good one at that. It has a solid midsize electric crossover that's becoming more and more common on the road, even if it does still upset the occasional Mustangophile. And there's an electric Transit van for the trades. But its electric vehicle division will lose $3 billion this year as it continues to build new factories and buy raw materials.
The news came in a peek into Ford's financials released this morning. As we reported last year, Ford has split its passenger vehicle operations into two divisions. Electric vehicles fall under Ford Model e, with internal combustion engine-powered Fords (including hybrids and plug-in hybrids) falling under Ford Blue. The move was in large part to placate investors and analysts, no doubt starry-eyed during a time when any EV-related stock was booming.
Tesla Exceeded Revenue Estimates in Q4 2021 by More than $1 Billion (20220127)
Tesla Burns More Cash, Fails to Meet Production Targets (20171102)
Ford Investing $4.5 Billion to Bring Electrification to 40% of Its Vehicles by 2020 (20151214)
Ford announced that it would be investing some $4.5 billion over the next five years toward its goal of building better "electrified vehicle solutions" and bringing electrification to 40% of its vehicle lineup by 2020. Seeing as transportation is a key climate issue, it's only fitting to learn about Ford's sharpened focus on EVs as a solution. According to the company, it will be adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020, which could offer more options for the potential EV customers who aren't currently able to drive electric, either because of price or driving range or size.
The most significant news in the near future of Ford's electric vehicle lineup is the rollout of the new Focus Electric next year, which will feature a 100-mile range and a DC fast-charging system that is claimed to give the vehicle an 80% charge in 30 minutes, a full two hours faster than the current model. No announcement was made about the price of the new Focus Electric, but based on last year's model prices, it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000. That's not exactly an entry-level car purchase, but it's a lot more affordable than a Tesla at the moment, and if a pure EV fits your driving habits, it could slash your fuel bills for years and be a cleaner transport option than a fuel-efficient gas car.
Auto production is hard:
Having racked up its first quarter of burning through more than $1 billion of cash in the three months ending in June, Tesla topped that with $1.4 billion of negative free cash flow in the third quarter. In the past two quarters, therefore, Tesla has burned through more cash than the previous six combined. More importantly, it has burned through roughly four out of every five of the $3.2 billion dollars it has raised since late March through selling new equity and convertible debt and its debut in the high-yield bond market.
Consequently, debt has soared. Even just using debt with recourse to the company, on a net basis it has almost tripled since the start of the year to $3.36 billion.This would matter less if the primary objective of sucking in most of that external funding -- mass production of the Model 3 -- was fast approaching. Instead, it has receded further.
When Musk first talked about production targets for the Model 3 in 2016, they implied Tesla would be producing roughly 3,800 to 7,600 a week in the second half of 2017. By July of this year, Musk was guiding toward production hitting about 5,000 a week by the end of December. I estimated at the time that this implied a second-half average of maybe 1,400 a week.
Now, Musk estimates production might hit 5,000 a week by the end of the first quarter of 2018. As for this year, it might be in "the thousands" by the time New Year's Eve rolls around. He refused to say what the current run rate was. But I would estimate Tesla will be lucky to produce 10,000 Model 3 vehicles in total this year, or an average of 400 a week for the second half -- roughly 5 to 10 percent of the original guidance. As for the earlier target of 10,000 a week in 2018 ...
Previously: Tesla Adds Lots of Certified Pre-Owned Model S Vehicles for Under $40,000 with New Warranty
Time to Bash Tesla Model 3
Tesla Reportedly Teaming Up With AMD for Custom AI Chip
Tesla Fires Hundreds of Employees
According to Tesla's shareholder deck for Q4, which was released on Wednesday, not only was the company profitable, but it exceeded analyst estimates for revenue by over a billion dollars. Not bad when you're over a billion bucks ahead of the game, right?
[...] In the production department, things were similarly rosy. The company reported that it increased overall production of all its vehicles combined by 70% versus Q4 of 2020. Of course, that's not super surprising given what 2020 was like. Interestingly, Model S and Model X production was down 19% year over year, while the Model 3 and Model Y were up by 79%, which shows the brand's continued commitment to its more affordable models.
[...] Tesla also continued to expand its Supercharger network to a total of 3,476 stations with 31,498 plugs. That's a bump of 36% in stations over 2020, which is pretty respectable, especially considering supply chain issues and their effect on everything construction-related.