Ford CEO: Forget Tesla and FSD, Our Pro Fleet is the Future

In a bold statement to Wall Street, Ford CEO Jim Farley emphasized the potential of Ford’s “Pro” fleet business as the future of the automotive industry, urging investors to shift their focus away from Tesla and its Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology.

Speaking at a Wolfe Research conference, Farley highlighted the significant growth of Ford Pro, which saw its pretax earnings double last year to $7.2 billion, drawing a parallel to the success story of Deere & Co. over the past seven years, reports CNBC.

“Stop looking at FSD and Tesla. Look at Ford Pro. It’s got half a million subscribers with 50% gross margin,” Farley stated, underscoring the unit’s robust performance and its role in redefining the automotive landscape. Ford Pro includes the automaker’s fleet and commercial operations, along with telematics, logistics, and other connective services tailored for business customers, ranging from local service providers to large corporations.

Farley revealed ambitious expectations for Ford Pro, projecting its pretax earnings to climb to between $8 billion and $9 billion this year. This forecast starkly contrasts with the anticipated losses in Ford’s Model e EV business, estimated at $5 billion to $5.5 billion, and positions Ford Pro as a cornerstone of the company’s financial health.

The CEO also shed light on the revenue potential from telematics and subscription services within Ford Pro, estimating an increase to $2,000 per vehicle annually. This move is part of a broader strategy to diversify revenue streams and enhance the value proposition for business customers.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas echoed Farley’s sentiments, likening Ford Pro to a “Ferrari” within the company, a highly profitable segment that he believes is currently undervalued by the market. Jonas, known for his bullish stance on Tesla, suggested that Ford Pro’s profitability is overshadowed by the company’s investments in electric vehicles, which he referred to as an “EV science project.”

Despite skepticism from some investors regarding Ford’s position as a competitor to Tesla, Farley remains optimistic about the company’s direction, particularly in the fleet segment. He noted that demand for electric vehicles among fleet customers is surpassing expectations, a trend that supports the strategic focus on Ford Pro within the “Ford+” restructuring and growth plan.

Under the leadership of Ted Cannis, Ford Pro is poised to play a pivotal role in Ford’s future, with Farley expressing confidence in the unit’s continued success and its ability to attract attention from investors and industry observers alike.

What better way to generate headlines and attention to Ford Pro, than by saying to forget Tesla and the latter’s FSD? Farley wouldn’t be saying anything else of course. Ford and other automakers have all adopted Tesla’s North American Charging Standard.