Higher than expected demand for its 2022 F-150 Lightning has led to Ford announcing on Tuesday that it will increase the production target of the electric pickup truck to 150,000 units per year, or almost double the previous target.
It’s the second time Ford has decided to increase the production target, with the automaker originally predicting demand to be about 40,000 units a year when the truck was revealed last May.
Ford then doubled this to 80,000 units a year when pre-production got underway last September. Now the automaker has almost doubled production again, just as the first wave of reservation holders begin converting their reservations to orders. Ford said current reservations number almost 200,000.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro
Increasing production in the auto industry is particularly tricky at this time, due to shortages of key components and other transport bottlenecks. Ford said it is working closely with its suppliers to increase capacity of components, including battery cells, battery trays and electric drive systems.
Production of the F-150 Lightning is being handled at Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which has been churning out Ford pickups since 1948. Ford announced in 2020 that it will spend over $700 million at the plant to prepare it for the electric pickup, as well as the hybrid F-150 PowerBoost.
One major advantage the F-150 Lightning has over rival electric pickups already in production, namely the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV, is a starting price of $39,974. The R1T starts at $73,000 and the Hummer EV at $112,595, though more affordable versions of both trucks are coming.
2022 Rivian R1T
2022 GMC Hummer EV pre-production at Factory Zero plant in Detroit, Michigan
Another boon for Ford is that the F-150 Lightning isn’t exclusively enticing existing F-150 customers. According to the automaker, 75% of reservation holders are new to the brand.
Deliveries are due to start in the summer. Four grades are on offer, including a commercial-oriented work truck, as well as the regular XLT, Lariat, and Platinum grades. Lightnings will only be built with 5-foot-5-inch beds and full four-door crew cab configurations, though buyers can choose between 426- and 563-hp outputs, and batteries with estimated ranges of between 230 and 300 miles.
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E has also proven to be a hit with the market. The automaker has also increased the production target for this model, with Ford now planning to build 200,000 units per year by 2023, or triple the current target.
Source: Motor Authority