According to two prominent OEM executives, the demand for new vehicles from retail and commercial consumers in the U.S. is stronger than expected.
Encouraging remarks from General Motors Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson and Ford Chief Financial Officer John Lawler supported a positive report by the U.S. Commerce Department that showed retail sales in the country surprisingly increased in May as customers purchased more cars and various other commodities.
Jacobson stated at a Deutsche Bank investor conference that “if the consumer remains at this strength, we could significantly outperform what we said” regarding the OEM’s full-year performance. Additionally, Lawler said in a separate interview at the conference that “the consumer is hanging in there” and cited the continued strength and pricing power in the company’s Ford Pro commercial business.
The two CFOs’ remarks signaled a change from earlier in the year when many economists and several executives in the industry were preparing for a recession. For example, Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted a “serious recession” in January and reduced prices on several models.
Since then, supply chain bottlenecks have loosened, U.S. sales have steadied, and vehicle production has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels.
On the other hand, both CFOs said that their companies’ decisions to join Tesla’s EV charging network and adopt its NACS (North American Charging Standard) charging protocol would result in lower expenses and advantages for their EV consumers.
According to Jacobson, GM has the chance to work with Tesla to build future locations for EV charging. Lawler stated that Ford’s adoption of Tesla’s charging standard wouldn’t require any further financial investment.
Ultimately, by early 2024, owners of GM and Ford EVs will have access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America.