It’s tax day. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s tax day.  Here’s what you need to know.

It’s tax day. Here’s what you need to know.

Credit…Sylvia Jarrus for The New York Times

Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor, recently took a ride in what could become one of the most important vehicles in the company’s 113-year history: an electric F-150 pickup.

Sitting at the wheel of a prototype at the company’s test track in Dearborn, Mich., Mr. Farley it on the floor. From a standing stop, the 4,000-pound truck overturned. “Four seconds,” he shouted as it reached 60 miles per hour. “It’s incredible for a vehicle of this size.”

“I can not wait,” said Mr. Farley as he stepped out and shook his head. “I can not wait until customers get this truck.”

These are exciting and thrilling times for the automotive industry. Driven by Tesla’s dizzying success, sales of electric cars appear to be on an unstoppable rise. The shift from making petrol-powered cars and trucks to electric vehicles that do not emit exhaust pollution will have far-reaching effects on the environment, climate change, public policy and the economy.

Automakers are spending tens of billions of dollars rebuilding factories and rushing to retrain workers for what may be the industry’s biggest transformation since Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing with the moving assembly line in 1913. They also struggle to simply catch up with the wavelength that is Tesla.

The question for Ford is whether a car guy from the Detroit area can take on Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, whose business is expanding rapidly and is valued by investors at about 16 times as much as Ford. Mr. Farley took over in December 2020.

Production of the company’s electric truck, the F-150 Lightning, is scheduled to begin next Monday. Competing models from General Motors, Stellantis and Toyota – Ford’s main rivals in pickups – are at least a year away. Rivian, a newer manufacturer that Ford has invested in, has started selling an electric truck, but is struggling to increase production.

“If the Lightning launch goes well, we have a huge opportunity,” said Mr. Ford. And he knows that a stumble would hurt. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE →

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