During its Q2 earnings call on July 28, Ford said it has received more than 120,000 reservations for its electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning. That’s great news for EV advocates but even better news for Ford. Automakers savor what they call “conquest sales” — that is, sales to people who are not currently customers. In this case, 75% of those reservations are from people who are not currently driving a Ford product, according to CNBC.
Reservations are not sales, of course, but Ford says of the 190,000 reservations it booked for its new Bronco, 66% turned into actual sales. 120,000 reservations in just 2 months time is a very positive sign. And yes, we know Tesla may have 500,000 reservations for its Cybertruck, but can we at least for once all sing the praises of electric trucks instead of breaking into warring clans? All electric truck sales are a good thing and should be celebrated. The EV revolution has begun and is picking up speed.
During the earnings call, Ford CEO Jim Farley told investors that the company is working with EV battery cell suppliers to increase capacity for its EVs, including the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E crossover.
Pricing for the F-150 Lightning will start at less than $40,000 for fleet spec models and could top $90,000 for top end models. Private customers looking for something more than a work truck will pay about $53,000, Ford says. Those reservations can be converted into actual orders later this year with the first trucks available for delivery in the spring of 2022.
Also during the earnings call, the company said it is transitioning toward an order model rather than an inventory model. That is, it will build more vehicles to fill individual orders instead of flooding dealers with truckloads of inventory vehicles. All those vehicles sitting around in the sun cost money. Dealers have to insure them and pay interest on the bank loans they need to buy them from the factory. In some states, they pay property taxes on the vehicles on their lot as well. Ford thinks the “build to order” model will reduce costs, especially for dealers, and lead to higher transaction prices with fewer discounts. Tesla, of course, builds virtually all its cars to fill customer orders.
There have been multiple reports of dealer abuse lately, especially by Ford dealers when it comes to selling the Mustang Mach-E. Company executives told Market Watch after the earnings call that they will have to “work carefully together,” since the dealers are the connection between Ford and customers. Such a precisely worded statement suggests just how powerful the dealers are in today’s auto industry, which was a factor in my decision recently to purchase a Tesla Model Y instead of a Mustang Mach-E. I wanted no part of the hassle associated with buying from a dealer.
The F-150 Lighting is more than just a pickup truck with a battery. It can power your home, campsite, or work space. That’s revolutionary. It will take a while for the general public to recognize how truly remarkable vehicle to home technology is but once people find out about this, they are going to want it for themselves. Tesla currently leads the EV revolution in most aspects but has been silent about V2H systems so far.
While Tesla is the leader, it can still be influenced by what the competition is doing. Elon Musk has recently tweeted that the Cybertruck will have 4 wheel steering available, an obvious response to the new Hummer being shown crab walking its way into a tight parking space. It is only a matter of time before Tesla jumps on the V2H bandwagon itself.