Ford has confirmed it is looking to nearly double production capacity of its F-150 Lightning to 150,000 units per year, following unexpectedly high demand for the all-electric pick-up.
Unveiled in May this year with an electric drivetrain delivering a targeted 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, Ford’s original production target for the F-150 Lightning was just over 40,000, though unexpectedly high demand from customers meant this was later doubled to 80,000 during the summer. Due to what Ford calls “unprecedented customer interest”, this figure has now increased once again to 150,000 units per year, with production set to begin at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, in Spring next year.
Pricing for the Lightning is set to start from $58,000 in Canada and US$39,974 in the US.
Interestingly, Ford has not mentioned whether this increase in production will require any additional investment into its Dearborn facility, the announcement simply stating that a “small task force of employees from manufacturing, purchasing, strategy, product development and capacity planning” were working to “quickly adapt and expand” the process. In contrast, Ford confirmed it would invest an additional US$250 million and add 450 “more direct jobs” to the Dearborn production line to meet its revised 80,000 units target.
Signs that Ford’s first all-electric F-150 had struck a nerve with customers first came to light in early December, when pre-orders surpassed the 200,000 mark, leading to a reservation freeze shortly thereafter. Such was the variety of interest, Ford confirmed that “more than 75 per cent” of the reservation holders were new to the Blue Oval.
“With nearly 200,000 reservations, our teams are working hard and creatively to break production constraints to get more F-150 Lightning trucks into the hands of our customers,” Ford’s Kumar Galhotra explained in an official statement. “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.”
A ‘wave-by-wave’ process will be initiated to fulfill as many of these reservations as possible, with the first wave of customers invited to confirm their orders this week. Ford has admitted though it is unlikely all 200,000+ reservations will be met before the end of 2022, the company stating that those who miss the cut “will have an opportunity to order a future model year vehicle in due course.”
Ford’s announcement also follows news that production capacity for the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV has tripled, with 200,000-plus units expected to be reached per year by 2023, three times the amount produced in 2021. Increased production for both the Lightning and the Mustang Mach-E means Ford now predicts it will have the “global capacity” to produce 600,000 battery-electric vehicles per year within the next 24 months.