Ford starts 2022 with its highest EV sales numbers to date

The company is now ranked as the top-selling US automaker and number two EV retailer.

Brendan McDermid / reuters

If the bonkers preorder numbers for both the hybrid Maverick and the EV F-150 Lightning weren't enough of an indication, Ford's Q4 earnings results are plenty proof that the company's electrification efforts are already paying dividends.

“Financial performance is obviously critical,” President and CEO Jim Farley said in a release Thursday. “We’re also proud that customers see how Ford is taking EVs mainstream, and have already ordered or reserved more than 275,000 all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUVs, F-150 Lightning pickups and E-Transit commercial vehicles – and we’re breaking constraints to deliver every one of them as fast as we can.”

"We started moving with real speed of ambition to build a modern Ford," he added during Thursday's investors call. "Our true breakthroughs are still ahead of us."

In fact, the company reports that sales of its EVs and hybrids in January "grew almost 4 times faster than the overall electrified segment" (13,169 units in total), making Ford the current number 2 retailer of electric vehicles in the country behind Tesla (and the country’s top-selling automaker overall), prompting a promise from Farley to double the company's global production capacity for EVs "to at least 600,000 by 2023." He expects EVs to "represent at least 40 percent of its product mix by 2030." What's more, China is now Ford's largest market for Lincoln-brand vehicles, Farley noted.

In all, Ford saw revenue of $37.7 billion, a net income of $12.3 billion and $2 billion in EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) in Q4 2021. The company sold 6,513 Mavericks in January alone — with 3,549 of these sold as hybrids — along with 2,370 Mach-Es, 27 percent of which were of the GT variety. Ford also saw strong interest in its new Transit line of commercial EVs with more than 300 American businesses placing orders for 10,000 vehicles.

"We plan to take full advantage of our first-mover position in the fully electric pickup truck market starting with lightning," Farley declared. "But there's much more to come. In the coming months, we'll break ground on the Blue City electric truck plant in Tennessee."

"It will be the largest, the most advanced manufacturing complex in our history," he added. "And it will produce Ford's second generation of full size electric pickups in high volumes starting in 2025. At the same time, we have three large-scale battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, which will be coming on stream with capacity to produce enough battery cells for more than 1 million vehicles a year."

And, while not wholly electrified, Ford did point out that its pickup lines — the F-150, Ranger, and Maverick — with combined sales of 62,293, outsold GM’s pickups in January. The company's mobile Ford Pass and Lincoln Way apps saw their US memberships grow to nearly 8 million uses total.

Due to the strong order and sales numbers, Ford CEO John Lawler said in Thursday's statement that the company "expects full-year 2022 adjusted EBIT to be even stronger [than 2021] – $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion, an increase of 15 to 25 percent over 2021."

"The velocity of change at Ford is increasing," Farley concluded. "We're not seeking half measures.Fear of change and risk has never served legacy automakers well in the past couple of decades. We're done with incremental change."