(Reuters) - Supply-chain disruptions are easing as retail prices for vehicles are softening, a top Ford Motor executive said on Thursday.
Speaking at a Deutsche Bank investor conference, Ford Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said the automaker is "seeing prices come down a bit, which we expected, but it's not a big reduction."
"The consumer is hanging in there," he added, noting continued strength and "pricing power" in the company's Ford Pro commercial business.
Lawler said Ford's recent decision to join Tesla's EV charging network will not require additional capital investment on Ford's part.
Owners of Ford electric vehicles will gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America, starting in early 2024.
General Motors last week followed Ford's lead in joining the Tesla charging network.
Lawler said Ford sees continued strength and growth in its combustion vehicles "for the next few years" as it ramps up investment in and production of electric vehicles.
At the same time, the company is focused on slashing engineering and manufacturing costs by 50% on its second-generation EVs, including a successor to the F-150 Lightning that is due at mid-decade.
Lawler hinted that Ford may follow Tesla's lead in employing large underbody castings on its next-generation electric vehicles in its broader efforts to trim costs.
Asked if Ford plans to use Tesla's so-called Full Self Driving feature on its future vehicles, Lawler said Tesla's partially automated system is "not more capable" than Ford's Blue Cruise driver assistance system.
Ford shares were up 0.7% at $14.30 late on Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru and Paul Lienert and Joseph White in Detroit; Editing by Matthew Lewis)