🚙 Ford’s $100B pivot - The Hustle
The Hustle

🚙 Ford’s $100B pivot

Today, we have a special guest — Morgan Housel — from Collaborative Fund. You may know Morgan from his bestselling book, The Psychology of Money, or from Twitter, where he regularly shares finance wisdom. We’re pumped to have him on board to help us unpack these turbulent times.

Today’s rundown:

  • Ford: How an EV pivot is turning around one of America’s oldest companies.
  • Future fans: Sports leagues are trying everything to reach Gen Z.
  • Morgan’s musings: Morgan Housel explains this crazy housing market.
  • Around the web: A new tree, eagle cams, vinyl mixtapes, and more cool internet finds.

Let’s do it.

The big idea

Ford’s EV progress pushes the carmaker past $100B

One of corporate America’s favorite quotes is from Henry Ford, who founded Ford Motor Company in 1903.

Speaking about his product development process, Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Yesterday, Ford passed the $100B mark for the 1st time, per CNBC. Somewhat ironically, it did so by listening to what the market wants: electric vehicles (EVs).

Ford’s stock price is up 146% over the past year

And it has outpaced its main US competitors:

  • Tesla gained 22% (market cap = $1T+)
  • General Motors (GM) is up 20% (~$90B)

The global chip shortage has hampered all automakers, but Ford managed well in Q4 2021: It sold 508k vehicles, a 27% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase vs. a 3% decline for the entire industry.

More importantly for its long-term prospects…

… Ford is now America’s No. 2 EV maker

It shipped 27k+ Mustang Mach-E vehicles in 2021, passing the 24k+  Chevy Bolts and Hummer EVs that GM sold.

While both companies lag far behind Tesla — which sold ~1m EVs — Ford has one giant rabbit to pull out of its carmaking hat.

Since 1981, the bestselling car in America is the Ford F-150 pickup truck. Every single year.

Demand for Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning is huge

Due to significant consumer interest, Ford announced it will make 150k of the trucks a year by 2023 at a Michigan plant (~4x its initial output estimate).

The company’s turnaround has happened under CEO Jim Farley, who took over the top spot in October 2020.

If Ford keeps trending up, we’d love to hear this quote from Farley: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said electric F-150s… and we delivered.”


Tesla’s toy Cyberquad retails for $1.9k. But the sold-out children’s toy is now selling on 3rd-party sites for as much as $4k. #ecommerce-retail

Solar towers: Ubiquitous Energy just raised $30m to make solar windows that would turn skyscrapers into “vertical solar farms.” #clean-energy

Neurotech company SyncThink plans to use Magic Leap’s new AR headset to target certain disorders that cause dizziness. #emerging-tech

Tax time: The IRS will ask about crypto this year. MarketWatch has a guide to reporting your transactions. #fintech-crypto

After 6 months, Nigeria ends its Twitter ban, saying the platform has agreed to its conditions. The ban came after a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari was deleted. #big-tech

Future of Fandom

Pro sports leagues are doing whatever they can to engage Gen Z

While cord-cutting has been on the rise for years, Gen Z is the 1st generation to grow up as true digital natives, per Mic. As a result, they’re far less likely to watch live sports than previous generations.

This finding isn’t lost on professional sports leagues, who are finding new ways to engage with young sports fans.

Examples include:

  • The NFL partnering with livestreamer Ninja in 2018 to co-stream a game on Thursday Night Football
  • The MLB running a contest where budding TikTok influencers could win the chance to be ambassadors
  • The NBA partnering with Take-Two Interactive to launch the NBA 2k esports league

However the leagues reach Gen Z, one thing seems clear — the future of fandom will be decentralized.

It’s Time to Build

Data Source: Federal Reserve

They don’t build ’em like they used to

Inflation is now at the highest level in 40 years.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in housing, where nationwide home prices are now nearly 50% above the levels seen during the 2006 housing bubble.

If you’re in the market for a new home, you know how crazy it’s gotten. Perhaps you’ve been outbid on a home to somebody offering double the asking price.

What’s happening?

All big problems like this are complicated, caused by dozens of different variables.

But here’s a big one, and it’s simple: We just don’t build enough homes.

  • Millennials are now the largest cohort of working Americans. Many are now approaching 40 years old, and are eager to finally buy a home. When baby boomers were in a similar spot in the 1970s and 1980s, we were building, on average, about 60% more homes relative to the size of the population.
  • The housing bust of the mid-2000s shattered the homebuilding industry, and it simply never recovered. There are a quarter fewer carpenters in America today than there were 20 years ago.

Here’s a quirk of surging housing prices that’s easy to overlook:

If you already own a home, the surge is probably a wash for you, because if you sell a house that’s gone up in value you probably use the proceeds to purchase another house that’s gone up in value.

But if you’re a 1st-time homebuyer, oof. It’s brutal. Rising home prices mean you have to come up with a higher and higher down payment — if you can find a house at all.

It’s time to build.


Pro copywriting tips for high-performing ads

It’s not easy finding marketing writers who slap…

That’s why many small-to-mid sized business professionals learn to do it themselves. Trendster Bobby (Boston Beer Company’s direct response copywriter) can help.

He dropped his top 3 keys to captivating copywriting. The rundown:

  1. Be interesting or useful. Preferably both. While being specific enough to pique your target audience and weed out the flakers.
  2. Forward-thinking formatting. Copy narratives are journeys that propel readers forward. Tasteful line breaks make all the difference.
  3. Dig into client psychology. Great copywriters hit what matters most to the target audience. You just have to know where to look.

That’s just the “what”. Read the Trends article for the “how”.

Join Trends for market signals, business ideas, and the community of 17k+ professionals.

Your first week is $1 →

🏈 On this day: In 1973, the Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl VII, becoming the only NFL team in history to play a perfect season.

🔎 Useful: Sometimes, you just need a good meme. Memegine is a search engine for finding them.

🎵 That’s cool: A company called Freestyle Vinyl will put whatever tracks you like on a record, like a Spotify playlist, but old-school.

🌲 That’s interesting: Scientists discovered a new evergreen tree in Cameroon. They named it Uvariopsis dicaprio after Leonardo DiCaprio, whose activism has helped save the Ebo Forest.

👨‍💻 How to: Some people can be shy in virtual meetings. Here are some tips to encourage participation from everyone.

🦅 Aww: Check out the Wildlife Rescue of Dade County’s “Nest Cam,” where eagles Ron and Rita are taking care of their tiny chicks.


(A roundup of our best reads from the last couple weeks…)

🥸 The con artist who sold rich investors a fake country

🪴 States are making bank off weed taxes

🎧 There are more podcasts being created than ears to listen to them

🧒 How a 10-year-old became the king of toys, and YouTube

🍆 The world is using fewer condoms than expected

Shower Thoughts
  1. “You could destroy your entire life in less than 10 texts if you wanted to.”
  2. “Water never really belongs to you, it’s just your turn to use it.”
  3. “A sleepwalking bed-wetter is a threat to everyone.”
  4. “Every person cremated is one less zombie we’ll have to worry about.”
  5. “Every child is trained by their parents for a world that is one generation out of date.”
  6. “Harry Potter was way too emotionally stable for a kid raised by people who hated him.”
via Reddit

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