Ford F-150 Lightning

MotorTrend has named Ford F-150 Lightning as the truck of the year 2023. The model’s ICE (internal combustion engine) version is America’s best-selling pickup for over three decades and even the electric avatar has received good reviews.

Incidentally, last year, the award went to Rivian’s R1T. Rivian went public in 2021 only and currently sells only the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The company expects to sell 25,000 vehicles in 2022. Rivian stock plunged yesterday after the company paused the partnership with Mercedes Benz to jointly produce electric vans for Europe.

Coming back to F-150, MotorTrend awarded it the truck of the year and accompanying Golden Caliper award. MotorTrend was all praise for Ford F-150. It said, “Some vehicles change the automotive world by being radically different inside and out. Others change it by being different where it counts and familiar where it helps.”

Notably, Ford started delivering the F-150 Lightning earlier this year only. The ICE version of the model is believed to account for the bulk of the company’s profits. By launching the all-electric model of its best-selling model, Ford positioned its portfolio for an all-electric future.

In its release, MotorTrend said, “The Ford F-150 Lightning successfully bridges the gulf between the powertrain of the future and the pickup of today in a way no other EV truck on the market has accomplished.”

Ford F-150 Gets Truck of the Year Award

Meanwhile, for Ford, the MotorTrend award is a literal feather in the cap. The company has made massive investments towards electric vehicles and expects sales to rise multi-fold in the coming years.

It expects its annual EV production run rate to reach 600,000 by the end of 2023 and 2 million by 2026. The company had previously restructured the business between the electric and ICE business.

Starting next year, Ford would start reporting the results for Ford Blue, which is the traditional ICE business, Ford Model e, which is the electric vehicle business, and Ford Pro, which is the commercial vehicle business, separately. This would give markets better insights into the performance of Ford’s EV business.

The success of the F-150 would be crucial for Ford. The model would compete with all-electric trucks from other automakers including General Motors, Rivian, Lordstown Motors, and Tesla.

Tesla to Start Delivering Cybertruck in 2023

However, markets would be watching the battle between F-150 and Tesla Cybertruck. Tesla delayed the model and now expects to deliver the maiden electric pickup in 2023. Recently, the Elon Musk-run company started deliveries of its Semi truck. However, the stock did not receive much boost from the event and has instead continued to plunge.

Tesla stock has slumped amid reports that the company is looking to cut production in China. Meanwhile, amid the slump in Tesla stock, some of the erstwhile bears also find the stock attractive and recommend buying the dip in Tesla stock.

Ford Wrote Off Its Autonomous Driving Investment

Coming back to Ford, it wrote off its investment in autonomous driving startup Argo AI. Ford’s CFO John Lawler said that the company believes that it does not needs to create fully autonomous technology on its own. Notably, companies like Tesla are betting on autonomous cars. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk previously said that the company would hit the milestone of full autonomy by the end of this year.

Amid spiralling losses in the autonomous driving business, even Alpahbet is facing shareholder ire to trim losses at Waymo. Alphabet stock has crashed this year but most analysts see it as a long-term buy. TCI Investment which holds around $6 billion worth of Alphabet shares also called upon the company to increase share buybacks.

Alphabet does not pay a dividend but spends generously on buybacks. Ford on the other hand has an attractive dividend yield of 4.5%. There is a list of undervalued dividend stocks.

All said, while F-150 has received good reviews so far, including the prestigious award from MotorTrend, the model still needs to prove its mettle against Tesla Cybertruck as it would be the first real battle for the best-selling pickup.

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