Ford has doubled the production target for the F-150 Lightning to over 80,000 vehicles annually in 2024. This is in no small part due to the demand for the all-electric pickup truck, which has received about 120,000 customer reservations since its unveiling earlier this year.
To accomplish this target, Ford is looking to spend an additional $850 million to meet its updated production target, according to individuals and suppliers familiar with the automaker’s plans. Prior to its revised target, Ford was looking to produce over 40,000 F-150 Lightnings in 2024. “They were pleasantly surprised by the demand for the Lightning,” one of the sources noted in a statement to Reuters.
The apparent demand for the Ford F-150 Lightning bodes well for the electric vehicle revolution as a whole. Industry observers, after all, have questioned if pickup truck buyers would be willing to give up their internal combustion-powered trucks in favor of electric vehicles. This has resulted in reservation numbers for vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck — which is estimated to have breached the 1 million mark — to be generally dismissed.
Yet Ford noted that the demand for the Lightning, particularly its commercial variant, has been quite encouraging. This is quite unsurprising since the Lightning’s commercial variant is priced aggressively, and its low operating costs would likely result in notable savings for businesses that opt to buy them. This would likely be especially true for the Lightning’s maintenance, which would be lower than conventional F-150s.
“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.
With its updated production plans, Ford now intends to build 15,000 F-150 Lightnings in 2022. This number is expected to increase to 55,000 annually in 2023, before ramping to over 80,000 in 2024. While these numbers are still quite conservative compared to the production goals of some EV makers like Tesla, some of Ford’s suppliers have begun to express their reservations nonetheless.
Suppliers, after all, would need some extra investment to keep up with Ford’s updated plans, but some remain unsure if the demand for electric pickup trucks will meet the automaker’s expectations. “It really puts suppliers in a dicey situation if the volume doesn’t come true,” an executive from one of Ford’s suppliers said.
Ford reportedly intends to launch a second-generation F-150 Lightning in late 2025. But this time, the vehicle would be built on the company’s TE1 truck architecture. In comparison, the first-generation Lightning is built on a platform that is heavily based on the conventional F-150.
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