Detroit – general motors withdrew before Ford Motor to become the nation’s second-best selling all-electric vehicle during the first quarter, behind only the industry leader Tesla.
General Motors announced Monday that it sold 20,670 electric vehicles during the first three months of the year. Ford that was not. Last year, on Tuesday, it reported EV sales of 10,866 over the same time frame.
Motor Intelligence reported that Ford’s EV sales during the first quarter fell to fifth place in the United States Hyundai Motor Which include Kia, and Volkswagen It also pulled ahead of Ford, according to the auto industry data company.
The decline in Ford’s ratings and sales was largely due to lower production at two of its North American plants that produce electric vehicles. Sales of the Mustang Mach-E fell 19.7% in the quarter as it retooled a plant in Mexico to double its production capacity to 210,000 electric vehicles annually. Ford also lost about five weeks of production for its F-150 Lightning pickup truck due to a battery fire, which led to factory downtime and a minor recall.
General Motors still lags significantly behind Tesla in electric vehicle sales. Motor Intelligence estimates that Tesla, which does not report sales by region, sold 161,630 EVs in the United States during the first quarter.
General Motors and Ford have both said they plan to overtake Tesla in electric vehicle sales in the coming years. However, Elon Musk’s company is targeting a significant expansion of its electric vehicle production. Tesla previously said that it expects to produce 20 million electric cars annually by 2030.
The majority of GM electric vehicle sales were Chevrolet Bolt models that start at less than $30,000. The cars feature battery technology that is older than that of the newer, more expensive Ultium-based EVs, like the GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq.
General Motors confirmed Monday that it expects to manufacture 50,000 electric vehicles in the first half of 2023 and “twice that” in the second half of the year, with production of the Lyriq ramping up and shipments of the electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup beginning later this spring.
Ford is expanding production of its electric vehicles, too, including plans, which it reaffirmed Tuesday, to expand production of the F-150 Lightning at a Michigan plant to an annual run rate of 150,000 this year.
Ford said it plans to achieve annual production capacity of two million electric vehicles globally by 2026. General Motors said it would reach the same threshold a year earlier.
CNBC channel Phil LeBeau Contribute to this report.