Ford to delay all-electric SUV to focus on hybrid vehicles

Ford CEO Jim Farley at a battery lab for the automaker in suburban Detroit, announcing a new $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in the state to produce lithium iron phosphate batteries, Feb. 13, 2023.

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT – Ford Motor is delaying production of a new all-electric three row SUV, as it shifts to offer hybrid options across its entire North American lineup by 2030.

The Detroit automaker on Thursday said it will continue to invest in EVs, but it is postponing production of the large SUV at a plant in Canada from 2025 to 2027 to allow for the market to mature more.

The shift in EV plans is the latest for Ford and the entire automotive industry as adoption has been slower than many expected and production costs remain high.

Ford last year said it would delay or cancel $12 billion in planned spending on new EVs due to the shifting market conditions as well as challenges to profitably building and selling the vehicles.

“As the No. 2 EV brand in the U.S. for the past two years, we are committed to scaling a profitable EV business, using capital wisely and bringing to market the right gas, hybrid and fully electric vehicles at the right time,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “Our breakthrough, next-generation EVs will be new from the ground up and fully software enabled, with ever-improving digital experiences and a multitude of potential services.”

In the first quarter of 2024, Ford’s electric vehicle sales increased by 86% from subdued levels a year earlier. Hybrid sales for the automaker rose 42% year over year, while sales of Ford’s traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines were up 2.6%.

This is breaking news. Please check back for additional updates.

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