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‘US can’t compete with China on EVs yet,’ says Ford chairman

‘US can’t compete with China on EVs yet,’ says Ford chairman

Posted June. 20, 2023 08:04,   

Updated June. 20, 2023 08:04


“The U.S. cannot beat China in the EV market yet,” was the main message by Executive Chairman Bill Ford (photo) of Ford, the no. 2 auto company in the U.S. “China developed the EV industry very quickly and on a large scale," he said on CNN’s 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' on Sunday (local time). "And now they’re exporting them.”

Ford, the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, said that the U.S. needs thorough preparation for Chinese EV cars expansion to the U.S. market by joining forces with Chinese battery company CATL to cut down prices.

China continues to be the number one auto producer in the world for 14 years. It is the world’s second-largest exporter of cars after Japan. By leveraging its wide domestic supply chain ranging from battery minerals to finished car manufacturing, China has managed even to cut prices, the main barrier to EV cars and a key source of success.

Ford announced plans in February this year to invest 3.5 billion U.S. dollars to build a battery plant through technology cooperation with CATL in Michigan. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio criticized the move to avoid the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which does not pay subsidies to Chinese-manufactured batteries.

“Working with China will be a good chance for Ford engineers to learn the technology,” Ford emphasized. "The plant in Michigan is a wholly owned Ford facility. They'll be our employees, and all we’re doing is licensing the technology."

"Ford sees the Chinese as the main competitor, not GM or Toyota," Ford CEO Jim Farley said. "Ford needs distinctive branding or lower costs to beat the Chinese."

Hyoun-Soo Kim kimhs@donga.com