By Keith Naughton
Ford Motor Co. is slashing prices on the electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup by as much as 17%, as it moves to fend off new competition coming from Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co.
The cuts reverse price hikes Ford implemented over the last year that had raised the starting sticker price on its debut battery-powered truck by 50%.
The F-150 Lightning Pro, the cheapest version of the electric truck, now starts at $49,995. That’s down about $10,000 but still above an original starting price of $39,974 when it went on sale in April 2022.
Ford is acting in part to get ahead of competition coming from GM, which began building an electric version of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup earlier this year, and Tesla, which revealed over the weekend that it has built its first Cybertruck.
“The EV market is rapidly changing and we need to adapt to remain competitive,” said Martin Gunsberg, a Ford spokesman.
Shares of the company pared an early drop of as much as 5.3% to trade down 3.8% to $14.41 as of 10:05 a.m. in New York.
Ford also has added incentives on the F-150 Lightning for the first time, offering $1,000 off if shoppers configure their truck online and providing cut-rate financing of 1.9% for 36 months to buyers who qualify.
The automaker has more room to cut prices because of lower battery costs and scale economies, it said Monday in a statement.
Ford repeatedly raised the price of the electric F-150 last year, blaming rising material costs and supply shortages. But in January, Ford cut prices of its electric Mustang Mach-E SUV after Tesla dropped the prices on its models.
The automaker also said it has temporarily closed its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan to expand the plant’s production of F-150 Lightning models to 150,000 vehicles a year starting this fall. Production ceased in late June and will come back online this fall, Gunsberg said.
F-150 Lightning ended June with 88 days supply, according to Cox Automotive. That’s above the industry standard of 60 days supply, but was below the overall inventory level for all F-Series trucks, which stood at more than 100 days at the end of June, according to Cox.
(Updates with company spokesman comments from fifth paragraph; Adds opening shares.)
--With assistance from Craig Trudell and Chester Dawson.