Morning Roundup: October 27, 2023
by Nicholas Alan Clayton on 2023-10-27 at 7:40am

At the SPAC of Dawn

Good morning! Watch this space moving forward as a roundup of evening filings as well as news nuggets to nibble on beside your morning coffee.

Another day has brought another SPAC EV deal (more on that to come), which is a sound these days as customary as church bells on Sunday. SPACs have taken 25 EV companies public since 2020, plus eight EV battery makers and eight EV charging companies. Six more EV SPAC deals were already pending completion.

So, in that environment, Ford’s (NYSE:F) third quarter earnings report yesterday dropped like a bomb in SPACworld.

In it, Ford announced $12 billion pullback in its planned spending on EV production, citing soft consumer demand. Its EV unit, Ford Model e notched -$1.3 billion in losses in the quarter – about double its shortfall a year before.

It’s clearly an ill omen for any company looking to get into the EV space if one of the major established manufacturers starts saying the market isn’t really there. But, there are particularities here that don’t all apply to most EV de-SPACs.

For one, Ford’s two all-electric consumer models are essentially electrified versions of its internal combustion best-sellers in the Mustang Mach-E SUV and the F-150 Lightning pickup truck.

This class of vehicles has its densest popularity in the suburbs and rural areas of the country where the consumer drive for clean energy options may not be as robust and where other infrastructure support like charging stations are not always as available. Not only would consumers have to get on board with that change, but they’re paying a significant premium to do so.

The electric Ford F-150 stats at $49,995, a full +44% increase over the starting MSRP of its internal combustion counterpart at $34,585. The Mustang Mach-E, meanwhile, is priced at $42,995 with no frills, which is an even steeper +53% over its internal combustion counterpart, the Escape, at $28,000.

Accordingly, Ford notes in its report that “many North America customers interested in buying EVs are unwilling to pay premiums for them over gas or hybrid vehicles”. That can certainly be true without being a referendum on EVs in general. It appears to be more of statement on the strategy of offering consumers two near-identical trucks – one with a gas tank and one with a battery for twice as much.


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