July 17 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co ( FN ) deepened a price war in the electric-vehicle sector on Monday by slashing prices of its F-150 Lightning trucks, including a 17% reduction for the base model. Its stake in the EV market is dominated by Tesla ( TSLA.O ).
Ford shares were down about 5% in morning trading. Rival General Motors ( GM.N ) fell about 3%, while EV maker Rivian ( RIVN.O ) fell 3.8%.
The Detroit automaker, which raised Lightning prices earlier this year, said it was able to lower prices through improvements in volume and battery raw material costs.
The move comes amid a price war launched by Tesla a few months ago that has seen the legacy automaker’s EVs pile up at dealers as sales slow. In the June-to-June quarter, Ford’s EV sales fell 2.8%.
“Shortly after the introduction of the F-150 Lightning, rapidly rising material costs, supply constraints and other factors raised the price of an EV truck for Ford and our customers,” said Marin Gajaja, chief customer officer for Ford Model e.
“We continue to work in the background to improve access and affordability.”
Ford said it has temporarily closed its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan and completed final plant upgrades as it aims to triple the facility’s annual throughput to 150,000 Lightning trucks by early this fall.
Battery raw material prices are one of the factors driving up EV prices. But prices for cobalt and lithium, important for EV batteries, have fallen. Analysts expect commodity prices to fall further in the second half of the year.
Ford has strengthened its sourcing options and announced new supply contracts for battery-grade lithium earlier this year.
The company has announced that it has reduced the prices of all variants of the Lightning model. The base Pro variant now has a suggested retail price of $49,995 compared to its previous price of $59,974, while the top-of-the-line Platinum model is around 6.2% lower at $91,995.
Reporting by Nathan Gomes and Shivansh Tiwari in Bangalore; Editing by Pooja Desai
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