Ford Motor Co.’s market value topped $100 billion for the first time as investors bet on the 118-year-old automaker’s prospects in the dawning electric age.
Ford shares rose as much as 5% to $25.69, extending a 20-year high, on Thursday in New York. The automaker’s new market cap exceeds rival General Motors Co. and electric truck startup Rivian Automotive Inc. It’s still a far cry from Tesla Inc., which investors have valued at more than $1 trillion.
The automaker hit the milestone as it’s doubling planned production of the electric F-150 Lightning pickup that’s going on sale this spring. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company also is ratcheting up production of the battery-powered Mustang Mach-E at a factory in Mexico.
“I’m proud the company is getting recognized for our commitment to electrification,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley said in an interview. “The market is saying we like this Ford move into battery-electric and we have more confidence in the delivery of the base business. We like that they’re moving now to scale while others are years away.”
The shares have been on a tear since Farley became CEO 15 months ago, after falling to a 10-year low under his predecessor. Farley accelerated Ford’s shift to electric and autonomous vehicles. He has pledged that Ford will build 600,000 EVs a year by 2024 with more to come from battery and assembly plants the company is building in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Investors “seem to like that we’ve come up with a way to execute the product in a way that it’s in high demand,” Farley said. “Although I’m extremely thankful for the recognition of the team’s hard work, in my mind, we’re just getting started.”
–By Keith Naughton (Bloomberg)