Ford CEO Jim Farley has slammed the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck, saying it’s for “Silicon Valley people” and not for “real people who do work”.
“The reality is, America loves an underdog – and we are the market leader for EV trucks and vans, and we know those customers better than anyone,” said Mr Farley.
“And if [Elon Musk] want to design a Cybertruck for Silicon Valley people, fine.
“It’s like a cool high-end product parked in front of a hotel. But I don’t make trucks like that.
“I make trucks for real people who do real work, and that’s a different kind of truck.”
The wild-looking Tesla Cybertruck was first revealed in concept form in 2019 and has been repeatedly delayed since. The latest word from Tesla is that it’s on track to enter production later this year, with mass production beginning during 2024.
Mr Musk recently told investors that a “hand over” for the first deliveries is planned for the third quarter of 2023.
It’s expected the brand will confirm final pricing and specifications closer to that date.
Tesla has reportedly experienced difficulties during development of its first electric pickup.
A report that dates back to January 2022 exposed flaws in an “alpha” Cybertruck prototype including handling issues, high noise levels, as well as suspension and braking concerns.
A Cybertruck prototype was also recently spied disembarking a plane in New Zealand, likely on its way to complete winter testing at the Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground on the South Island, used by many carmakers.
Ford is currently one of the few brands to offer an electric pickup. North American demand for the F-150 Lightning has been so strong that the company announced plans last year to double its production output in an attempt to get cars to customers sooner.
The Blue Oval has invested more than US$1 billion (A$1.47 billion) in Michigan for the F-150 Lightning alone, with 1700 jobs created across five plants.
Ford recently announced its “epic sequel to the F-150 Lightning” codenamed Project T3 that’s “going to be like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached”.
It will be produced at Ford’s new Blue Oval City mega-campus in Tennessee, still under construction, from 2025.
Mr Farley’s comments on the Tesla Cybertruck come a few weeks after the Tesla announced it will open its Supercharger network in North America to Ford vehicles, with Ford adopting the Tesla-developed North American Charging Standard (NACS) charge port from 2025.