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Producers’ Pick | Ford CEO Jim Farley on Innovating Electric Vehicles

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2022 12:00 am

Producers’ Pick | Ford CEO Jim Farley on Innovating Electric Vehicles

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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July 4, 2022 12:00 am

CEO of Ford Motor Co. and board member of Harley Davidson.

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The first time I saw it, I got goosebumps.

It was perfect for me. I felt like we could go anywhere together. There's nothing like finding your match on With over 50,000 cars added daily and a powerful advanced search, you're sure to discover the one.

It's magical. Find your perfect match on today. So much talk about electric cars and how we have to transition, even though right now they're more expensive, they're hard to get.

Rare Earth is certainly a challenge in order to make the batteries and in order to actually make the cars. Hi everyone, welcome back. Brian Kilmeade here. I had a chance on what made America great to do five more specials about things about our past that may separate us. And I did the history of the automobile.

And one thing was great as I talked about not about the history, but the future. And I was able to do it with Jim Farley. He is the Ford CEO, and yes, related to Chris Farley, he talked about the Ford Lightning, the new pickup, creating these electric vehicles and dealing with the government. Here's my interview with Jim Farley, CEO.

So Jim Farley, where are we right now? We are in the REV-C center where we're building our new F-150 Lightning, zero to 60 in four seconds, America's best selling vehicle for 40 years. We're electrifying it. This is a brand new site in the middle of the Rouge plant we built in 1928.

It's been operating continuously. In the middle of that, we tore down a bunch of buildings and built our most sustainable zero emission plant. What made you want to launch this three years ago?

Well, we had a very small group of very maverick people in the company. It's America's best selling vehicle. And we thought, what is more iconic than electrifying the F-150?

And what is more American than the biggest employer in our industry? This was the perfect vehicle to electrify. If you could have done this this quick and produced a product that is between $40,000 and $80,000, what took so long? Well, we had to redesign the frame, fit all the batteries, do all the testing, design the frunk, do all the testing to power your home for three days. It was a lot of engineering. Did you know that this could be done? Did they convince you that it could be done?

The first range estimate we got for this truck was 100 miles. We're now at 320. I mean, even our own engineering team was like, I don't know.

I don't know. But we pushed through. We had a really maverick team who kept pushing. And things like ProPower on board, we only decided on a year ago to power a job site or your house with the truck. So we made a lot of quick decisions.

When you start doing this and you start seeing the improvement, the other question for the outsiders is, is the country ready for it? Because a lot of truck drivers like the feeling of that V8 engine put on the gas. And the reputation with electric cars, no such thing as really electric trucks, was it's not going to have the power. Yeah. So, you know, I'm one of those people and we know them. We sell a million of these a year. The reality is the fastest 0 to 60 we have is probably six seconds.

This thing's four. So if you want to have a fun ride, just put your foot into this vehicle. It's one of the fastest vehicles we make.

Why are you convinced, aside from the reservations that came in, why are you convinced that the American people would be open to this? We're in years past that they weren't. Well, the truck customers, we know better than anyone. They were the first to adopt new technology in fishing and hunting.

They have titanium reels. I mean, the most technology used in a vehicle is done by truck customers. They have multiple laptops in their vehicle, doing work in their vehicle. They love technology. So we were very confident that if we could bring a product that was no regrets, it was faster, it had 300 miles range, it had 10,000 pounds towing, that they would love the technology.

And self-driving? Yes. That's also new. Big deal.

Big deal for us, actually. And we can over-the-air update that. In fact, we can send software over the air to launch Blue Cruise. Now people, hands off the wheel for a lot of your commuting time, you can do other things. But in the front, it's like a trunk. Yes. So that story is important because obviously when you have a pickup truck, you've got to get some protection, right? It is. And not only Tony Soprano, but lots of people would love that power frunk.

It's fantastic. It's huge, 400 pounds. And we find a lot of our work customers work out of the front of their truck. You'll see measuring tape there, plugs, because people even at night, we've lit it all. So you can be at a workspace or you're home doing home improvement and use the front of your truck as a workspace and have lots of tools there.

Expensive tools. Did the government push you to do this? No way.

No way. This is Ford. They do want you to get greener. They're always putting regulations on you. And still, this is the response from the government has been? President Biden came here and drove it himself the day before we launched it. I mean, they're excited about what we're doing here. This is hardworking Americans.

My grandfather worked in this plant. So it's fantastic. It's such an American story, what we're doing here. Good paying American jobs. The future of our industry.

Digital products over the air with software. New jobs. The batteries are built in Georgia. And this thing is a great truck. Look, it's a better truck than a lot of the trucks we make.

What could you not like about this? So the manufacturer did have 500 jobs already with this. I understand that. We know it's been 40 and 80,000.

It goes over 320 miles per charge. The other thing that people worry about is the rare earth needed for the batteries. You've got cobalt.

You have lithium. You have different types of things that we don't necessarily have in our backyard. It's true. But we have to change that.

How do you get it? And does that figure in when you decide to do this? Sure. You have to start somewhere. The first most important thing at Ford is to have really good principles of how those materials get to this country. The second thing is we have to localize. We have a lot of lithium in North America.

The Salton Sea in California. A ton of lithium. But we have to extract it and process it here and not send it to Asia. And also nickel. Yes, cobalt and rare earth are really important, but the real raw materials, the volume of raw materials we need to develop in this country are nickel and lithium. We have to start and we're doing that. You'll see a lot of new news from Ford about commitments of mining locally. And that will require the government to give us faster permitting and allow us to do this kind of work in the U.S. Did you relay that to the president?

You betcha. Because it's one of the biggest constraints about this journey. It's very, very difficult and time consuming to get mining permits and processing permits.

We have to change that in our country. Where is it? Where is this stuff? Well, lithium, the biggest reserve in lithium in the United States is in the Salton Sea in California.

It's incredible. It's just waiting there for us to get. Nickel is more complicated. That requires really very capital intensive mining operations. They're in Canada, by the way. And we should be able to do it in our country.

We have the abundance of raw material, but we have to get busy. The first time I saw it, I got goosebumps. It was perfect for me. I felt like we could go anywhere together. There's nothing like finding your match on With over 50,000 cars added daily and a powerful advanced search, you're sure to discover the one. It's magical.

Find your perfect match on today. There's also in the Congo and in the Philippines. Yes. I know the Chinese are in a massive race to get it. As a Ford company, an American car company, how involved are you and your team in trying to seal some of that up for your cars?

Very involved. Actually, I'm so glad you brought this up because most people don't understand how important this is. We've lost our supply chain for solar and so many other important things in our country and we have to get this back. The first step is to work with our JV technology battery partners because they're the ones who have the purchasing power today. Then, once we make sure that they buy the mining and processing material through the right way, no corruption with the local government, you know, the right principles, then we start to build that raw material capacity here in the United States. So we're learning, but then we have to move it to the U.S. And by the way, our partners want to move it here. Right. They want to bring manufacturing.

Yes. I mean, look, for the example of the World Cup. Hey, you got the World Cup, that's great.

Well, it turns out Qatar hires slave labor in order to build their stadiums. Is that the legacy of the world's most popular game? How concerned are you as the CEO of Ford that when you get your product, that you didn't get it off the backs of people that had no choice? You betcha. That's super important.

Why? We're the largest employer in America in our segment. We aren't the best-selling vehicle in North America or in the U.S., but we bet on the U.S. We bet on manufacturing in this country right here in Michigan.

People like my grandfather. So we have to do this. And it's really important for our independence as a country, moving from kind of energy independence like we've had to raw material independence. You also know what it's like when the government doesn't want to help you. And you have to tell the oil and gas people about that. Well, we'll give you leases, we won't give you permits, we'll give you a pinch, we won't give you leases. Then we're going to sue you in court, we're going to hold this up.

Are you able to use the leverage of saying this is green, this is environmental friendly, I need some support here instead of some obstacles? So far we've had very good reception for these conversations. But we are starting.

This is the first inning of a nine inning game, right? So we'll see. But so far a lot of support, but it's going to come down to permits, processing, you know, those kind of concrete actions to solve this problem. Absolutely. So you got 200,000 rowing off. You hope to sell.

Do you worry about cannibalizing yourself? That the F-150, they'll start taking away from sales of gas vehicles? We were. We were because we built the gas one right across the street here.

We were, but it actually didn't turn out that way. So far, 75% of the people haven't even owned a pickup truck before who are interested in lightning. It's a very different customer. I also heard too, layman here, but you need a bunch of chips for this car. Everybody knows there's a problem with chips. How are you guys at Ford attacking this?

Well, it's a big topic. What we're doing right now is prioritizing this production. The chips that we do get, we want to make sure that the lightning, you know, there's about 3000 chips in every lightning. 3000 chips?

Yeah. People don't understand how technically advanced cars are these days. So, you know, that will protect these production. As a broader thing, we have to, again, localize, localize the chip supply.

The government is debating right now the chips act. We've worked with global foundries in upstate New York. We want to build our chips in the US. We're willing to invest at Ford. We need some help from the government to do that. And we sure hope that we make progress over the next months to do that. Do the American people need to be explained that if we are bringing production back here in your product and other products, it's going to cost a little bit more, but that's the price of security and employment?

Yeah. If you buy a Ford, you are buying, you are betting on a company that's bet on America. We make 100% of trucks in the US. No other brand in the US can say that. None of our domestic competitors can say that. 100% of our trucks are made here.

So yes, we've always bet on the US. That's Ford. My grandfather worked here. Right.

And now you're running the company. About this vehicle, take the test drive. I could not believe the size of that screen.

That's the size of most people's televisions. I think that the UX or the user experience on the technology is great on this vehicle. We developed with Mach-E. I think it will surprise people. I personally think it's better than the Tesla. You know, how you interact. I think it's more usable.

We'll see. I think the most exciting thing is just stepping on the gas. You know, it's an 8,000 pound full-size truck that goes four seconds, zero to 60.

That just doesn't compute. It's like, and it's instant torque. I think that driving experience is really something that's going to grab people's attention. Last question on this. If you could do it so quickly in three years and bring it to market in a matter of months, why did it take so long to do it? Why was this so long in coming? For the longest time, we heard it's going to be really tough to build an electric car.

Car manufacturers can't make it make sense. You guys have it as a mission, and you're about to give it to the American people. What took so long, and then why was it produced so fast? Well, I mean, we started four years ago. I mean, this is not like Johnny-come-lately project. There was a small group of us who started working on this project four years ago.

We had to redesign the frame, find the batteries, localize the production of the batteries, do all the testing, submerge it in water. There were so many things we didn't know about, but now we know, and we're going to speed up. We're going to get to 600,000 units of production company-wide here in the next 12 months. This is what we do. We are a Ford Motor Company.

We love building complicated things in America. Coming up next, more with Jim Farley. By the way, great personality, charismatic. When we come back, the history of Ford and what it's meant to America. It's Brian Kilmeade.

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Hey, welcome back, everybody. Jim Farley is one of the CEOs. Great personality. You know how he got the job. Also, it is kind of interesting that he drives a Tesla and he drives an old 72 Bronco.

I said, why Tesla? He said, well, you know, I just like to know what the competition's doing. That says a lot about his personality. So listen, I did this story. I do this series called What Makes America Great, and I'm able to do these long interviews with these special people about the history of the automobile. So I wanted to bring some of the interview with Jim Farley to all the listeners because I couldn't put it all in the feature. This is the history of Ford, not only what it's meant to the world, but specifically what it's meant to America. This wonderful guy, this fantastic company. Here's my interview with Jim Farley. So, Jim, how important is the history here at Ford?

It's everything. I mean, what makes Ford different is our principles. We're a family company.

Bill Ford had this vision of electric vehicles many years ago. Now we have a management team that's committed to that. You know, this is our family. We bet on America and working. These principles are part of our DNA. When the COVID happened, you know, no one asked us, no one had to ask us like the government to make ventilators.

We just went out and did it. You know, that's the DNA of our company. When you go see those black and white footage of this skinny genius in Henry Ford, what do you think about it? I think about my grandfather. You know, he worked for Mr. Ford. Back then, people would call it, I worked for the Fords. Yeah, and he, you know, there was a whole generation of Depression-era people that, you know, appreciated these jobs in America. That's what I think of my grandfather bringing his lunch bucket in with my grandmother's sandwich in it. And the guy that says, I have an idea. I'll help the government out in World War I, have the government build some trenches and fill in their swamp, and then when they stop, I'll come over and I'll make this rouge and I'll have mass manufacturing of the model.

Yes. Yeah, I mean, this plant, I wish everyone in America could come to the rouge like you have. It's part of our American story. Volkswagen, Fiat, every Toyota, everyone copied this plant. We've been operating here since 1928. Now we're making zero-emission vehicles in it.

Yeah, I can see they're still working out. You can hear it in the background. So when people talk about America and the car, what has the car meant to America, hence Henry Ford, meant to America? Freedom. Freedom. It's a physical manifestation of our belief as a country.

I can get in my car and go anywhere I want, and no one's going to tell me what to do. When you walk through the museum and see these cars and how they evolve, what do you think? I think about how special our company is, how important our company is, that we can do what Henry Ford did with the Model T again. We've almost been waiting for 100 years to do the Model T again. We have this chance to grow and add all this prosperity to Americans by bringing raw materials and battery production with these new digital products.

That's what I think of as we have a chance to build a new company. World War I, they needed somebody to chase submarines. Ford built a sub to chase submarines. World War II, they needed to shut down the car manufacturing, build jeeps or whatever the government needed.

And then in the pandemic, the government needed a ventilator to do that. How much pride do you have in that? Totally. That's why many of us come to work at Ford, for that sense of pride. I worked at Toyota for 20 years. I came here for that reason. And also what the car has meant to people.

Sure. It's our whole livelihood. Do you know how many people around the world would die to even drive an F-150? This is such an exotic vehicle. It's huge. You can live in it.

Only in America. What's next? A whole fleet of new electric digital vehicles. It's just the beginning. Jet packs one day, we're all going to fly.

Is that going to happen? We'll figure out this one first. Thanks Jim. Alright, so I hope you enjoyed that interview and Jim Farley did something kind of cool.

I got his cell number. So when things get exciting again with electric cars, with the price of oil and gas, I can text him and maybe bring him back and he'll get to see that personality once again. Thanks so much for listening to The Brian Kilmeade Show. Don't forget to go to What Made America Great on FOX Nation and listen and watch the whole series. It'll make your Fourth of July weekend even more special. More red, white and blue.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 05:06:15 / 2023-02-15 05:14:47 / 9

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