Automobile ETFs Race Ahead as Ford Doubles Production for Electric Pickup

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) shares surged to a two-decade high after the automaker doubled its production goal for its F-150 electric pickup on popular demand, lifting automobile-themed exchange traded funds.

On Tuesday, the First Trust Nasdaq Transportation ETF (FTXR) gained 3.0% and the First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (CARZ) increased 3.9%.

Meanwhile, Ford shares jumped 11.3%. Ford makes up 8.6% of CARZ’s underlying portfolio and 8.2% of FTXR’s.

Ford doubled its goal for manufacturing the new electric version of its F-150 pickup truck to 150,000 a year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The F-150 truck is Ford’s top-selling model and one of its most profitable vehicles.

The automaker explained that the higher production target reflects increased demand for the model, with 200,000 reservations placed for the opportunity to order one of the trucks. The company stated that the F-150 Lightning will come with a starting price of $39,974 before potential tax credits.

Ford will begin production of the electric pickup model this spring.

The electric version of the pickup truck comes at a time when consumer habits are shifting, with an increased emphasis on combating climate change. The electric F-150 is also one of several electric pickup models expected to come to market this year. The pickup truck segment is an important area as automakers try to carve out their own segment of the electric vehicles market, especially in the face of tightening environmental regulations on gasoline-fueled cars and Tesla Inc.’s rapid advance.

For instance, GM is expected to showcase an electric version of its Chevrolet Silverado, its best-selling vehicle in North America, at a virtual keynote address by chief executive Mary Barra at CES. The GM model will compete with the F-150 Lightning when it comes out in 2023.

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