Ford has doubled its production target for the F-150 Lightning because of strong early demand for the full-sized electric pickup truck, several people and suppliers have told Reuters. It will invest another $850 million to meet the new production goal of 80,000 sales in 2024. One source said Ford officials “were pleasantly surprised by the demand for the Lightning.”
Industry observers have questioned whether individual buyers will give up their gas-powered pickups for electric models, but commercial customers are pushing for electric trucks and vans to reduce their carbon footprints. At the present time, Ford plans to manufacture about 15,000 electric pickup trucks in 2022 and 55,000 in 2023.
A second generation F-150 Lighting is expected to hit the showrooms in late 2025, with an annual sales goal of 160,000 trucks thereafter. It will use an all new electric truck platform dubbed TE1, whereas the first generation will be built on a modified version of the existing F-150 chassis.
“We are excited with customer demand for the F-150 Lightning and already have 120,000 customer reservations, and we will continue to look for ways to break constraints and meet customer demand,” Ford said in a statement. The company declined to comment further. The company has announced plans to build two battery factories with SK Innovation in North America.
The increased Lightning production target has some suppliers worried about the extra investment they will need to make. Some of them are unsure the demand for electric pickups will meet Ford’s expectations. “It really puts suppliers in a dicey situation if the volume doesn’t come true,” said one supplier executive who asked not to be identified.
Ford Dealer Shenanigans Continue
Those sales goals may be severely impacted by the ridiculous behavior of several Ford dealers who are demanding customers pay “market adjustment” fees of up to $7,500, special paint sealants (see the movie Fargo for more on that subject), and $1,000 for wheel locks that can be purchased online for $35.
Some CleanTechnica readers insist the problems are rare and that anyone can walk into a Ford dealer and buy a Mustang Mach-E at sticker with no dealer add-ons. To which we say, “Good luck with that.” If you can pull that off, let us know and we will direct a ton of customers to that dealer’s front door. Here is the latest horror story courtesy of Twitter.