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Ford doubles production of F-150 Lightning to 150k annually

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In order to keep up with an extraordinarily high demand, Ford Motor Company announced it would increase the overall production its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck from 80,000 to 150,000 units. This essentially doubles the manufacturing immediately as Ford moves to the final phase of pre-production with pickups rolling off the line for real-world durability and high-mileage testing ahead of customer deliveries this spring.

On Thursday, January 6, the first wave of F-150 Lightning pickup reservation holders will start converting their reservations to orders. Additional reservation holders will be invited in phases to place orders over the next few months.

“With nearly 200,000 reservations, our teams are working hard and creatively to break production constraints in order to get more F-150 Lightning trucks into the hands of our customers,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of The Americans & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company. “The reality is clear: People are ready for an all-electric F-150, and Ford is pulling out all the stops to scale our operations and increase production capacity.”

When will the F-150 Lightning be available?

The F-150 Lightning will be one of the most highly anticipated trucks in the 2022 model year. And according to Ford, early deliveries of the all-electric pickup truck will begin in the spring of 2022.

How well it sells and how well it’s received will determine a lot about the future of electric trucks, making it one of the most significant vehicle launches in Ford’s modern history. With the F-150 being the best-selling nameplate in the industry, it’s important to FoMoCo that the Lightning not only sell well but also not cannibalize sales of the standard F-150. Ford doesn’t seem too worried about that last part.

One of the more interesting facts provided by Ford is the F-150 Lightning is drawing interest from customers of competitor brands at a record rate — more than 75% of reservation holders are new to the Ford brand. 

How can Ford increase production of the F-150 Lightning?

Doubling the production in year one is ambitious but probably the right plan. Ford is wise to try and avoid the situation it ran into with the high-demand Bronco, where there was so much interest and not enough production capacity.

So, just how is Ford able to do this?

A small task force of employees from manufacturing, purchasing, strategy, product development and capacity planning are quickly finding ways to adapt and expand production. Plus, Ford is working with key suppliers as well as its own manufacturing facilities to find ways to increase capacity of electric vehicle parts — including battery cells, battery trays and electric drive systems.

Ford is investing $30 billion in electric vehicles through 2025. This is not inclusive to the Lightning, and it will include many other vehicles on the Ford product line. According to the automotive manufacturer, over the next two years, Ford aims to emerge as the clear No. 2 electric vehicle maker in North America and then challenge the No. 1 spot (currently held by Tesla).  Within 24 months, Ford will have the global capacity to produce 600,000 battery electric vehicles annually.

Ford’s investment in an electric future

As production capability ramps up for the Lightning, so is the output for the Mustang Mach-E. In fact, Ford says it will be tripling the production for the Mustang Mach-E and expects to reach 200,000+ units per year by 2023.

Ford is also building the largest auto production facility in its 118-year history in Tennessee, where it will build next-generation F-series electric pickups (in the future). Plus, Together with SK Innovation, Ford is building three new BlueOval SK battery plants – one in Tennessee and two in Kentucky – to produce advanced lithium-ion batteries to power next-generation Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

This $11.4 billion investment will create nearly 11,000 new jobs at BlueOval City and BlueOvalSK Battery Park in Tennessee and Kentucky, and it will allow Ford to increase its overall electrification plans.

Bottom line on F-150 Lightning production

Ford seems to be learning from past mistakes (ahem, Bronco), and that’s a good thing. Since its big competitor Tesla has stumbled out of the block with the Cybertruck, Ford is smart to strike while the iron (Lithium?) is hot. Increasing production to meet demand is incredibly smart.

What do you think? What do you want to see from the Lightning to make you interested in it? Leave your comments below.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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4 Comments

  1. count2ten January 4, 2022

    Like Tesla, get the dealers out of the way to keep frustration & prices down.

    Reply
    1. Jimmy Dinsmore January 4, 2022

      I don’t know if that’s the best plan. Dealers are still important, in my opinion.

      Reply
  2. Dennis Wilkinson January 4, 2022

    I hope they build a Supercab with the 6.5 foot box, as the shorter box is useless when you want to haul a recreational Vehicle, and not all people need a full crew cab. I’ve had Supercabs since 1977, and thats all I need.It will also help keep the price down a bit, so people can afford more options.

    Reply
    1. Jimmy Dinsmore January 5, 2022

      Did you see our story on the pricing?

      Reply

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