Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson offered up a heaping spoonful of love for Ford Motor Co. and its CEO Jim Farley in response to news that the automaker is jacking up production goals for the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup.
The two men took to Twitter to talk trucks on Tuesday.
Farley tweeted to his 94,800 followers, “In Sept., due to huge demand for #F150Lightning, we doubled our production plan from 40k to 80k trucks per year. The demand keeps growing, so we’re doubling it again and now plan to produce 150,000 annually. America wants an all-electric @Ford F-150 and we plan to deliver.”
And Johnson tweeted to his 15.6 million followers in response, “Delivering the goods. I have my 350 SuperDuty for the farm, but as soon as we all get thru our supply chain dynamic I’ll try the #F150Lightning Keep delivering for the people and Happy New Year buddy”
Then Farley quickly responded to Johnson, known as “The Rock” from his professional wrestling days, by tweeting, “@TheRock Appreciate the support! It’s a huge challenge, but we’re making real progress. Plus investing billions in new battery and EV production in America. And I already promised @Schwarzenegger a test ride in a #F150Lightning, so we can pick you up.”
Farley has crossed paths with famed actor Arnold “The Terminator” Schwarzenegger while working on global climate initiatives. Farley serves as cochair of a worldwide coalition working to shape public policy.
Schwarzenegger, also a former Republican governor of California, has praised Farley and his efforts publicly on an international stage.
In July, after Schwarzenegger saw global coverage of the Ford F-150 Lightning reveal in Dearborn, he recognized that introducing an all-electric version of the bestselling truck in America could accelerate change in the world.
Schwarzenegger, founder of the Austrian World Summit, headlined a climate conference designed for a mostly European audience. But he reached out to Farley as part of a team of world leaders working toward a more sustainable future. For 10 minutes, he interviewed Farley in front of a live audience while livestreamed on Facebook.
Farley was introduced as “a leader helping lead the charge in clean technologies.”
Schwarzenegger opened by telling Farley, “I’m a big fan of what you’re doing.”
The Rock has feels for UAW, too
This isn’t the first time Johnson has stepped into the spotlight involving Ford.
In November, he gave away his personal Ford F-150 Raptor to a U.S. Navy veteran after a film screening in Los Angeles, and then days later tweeted that Ford factory workers were “clock-punching champions.”
Real people, real deal
Interacting with Hollywood actors and political leaders on social media isn’t trivial and can’t be dismissed, said Marcus Collins, a marketing expert and business professor at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.
“It’s humanizing what is typically inhuman,” Collins told the Free Press, in response to the Twitter exchange.
“A company is a group of people who work for an organization that makes branded products, goods and services. When you see people inside a company interact with real people, especially celebrities, the whole thing just feels so much more human than a message that comes from a brand itself,” Collins said.
“I think the Lightning is amazing,” he said. “But for there to be interest from The Rock that the Lightning is something he wants? That adds even more value to it. That makes people think, ‘Oh man, if The Rock is interested in the Lightning, maybe it really is worth paying attention to.’ “
Social media in 2022 is real, Collins said, not fake or manufactured.
“Social media is people media,” he said.
Twitter doesn’t seem to be distracting Farley from running the company..
Ford stock continues its steady climb since he took the helm Oct. 1, 2020, when the price was $6.66 a share. It opened at $22.52 Tuesday and was up more than 11% midday to $24.21 — with a market valuation surging to $96.71 billion. By comparison, General Motors saw a market valuation of $94.95 billion midday Tuesday, following its annual sales report.
Ford reports its year-end sales results Wednesday.
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Ford CEO offers Dwayne Johnson ride in Lightning with Schwarzenegger