This seems pretty optimistic…
A recent report from Reuters says Ford is capping orders for the new F-150 Lightning at 200,000 units. That’s right, the Blue Oval is expecting demand to be so high that it will sell 200,000 of the all-electric pickup trucks. CEO Jim Farley said, “We had to stop taking reservations because we had so many.”
Learn about Harley-Davidson’s aggressive electrification plan here.
Just for reference, Ford says through the end of November of this year it sold 663,508 F-Series trucks in the United States. That includes not only F-150s but also Super Duty trucks. During the same time period in 2020 it sold 713,325 units. The outlook of selling 200,000 F-150 Lightnings is astounding, but I have good reason to doubt that many would be delivered to customers in a year’s time.
However, Farley told Reuters Ford was planning on building 70,000 to 80,000 of the electric-only trucks each year. Now, the automaker is looking to double that number “over the next two years.” Maybe that’ll happen, but automotive production is always a changing game as consumer demands ebb and flow.
We’ll see just how popular the new F-150 Lightning ends up being when the rubber hits the road. After all, reservations aren’t sales, a fact many have confused when looking at the Maverick and other new, novel vehicles. What’s more, demand for the Plymouth/Chrysler PT Cruiser was incredibly strong, but it didn’t last for long. Yeah, automotive magazines and others raved about that odd little hatchback which was supposed to usher in a vintage-styling era, but then they quickly turned on it.
Today, the PT Cruiser is often maligned as one of the most horrible cars made in this century thus far. Is that a fair assessment? I don’t know. I doubt the F-150 Lightning will be thus rejected, but the point is that when automakers try to claim a wave of interest in the form of preorders means a new vehicle will be an absolute market force, it’s really just more marketing spin. We’ll see how well these electric pickups work in the real world and that will likely determine if interest stays strong 2, 3, or 5 years from now.
Farley seems to be more interested in taking jabs at Tesla, the current dominant force in a market niche Ford believes will explode soon. The CEO jibed he didn’t “want to build these vehicles in tents” but instead they will be produced at the Rouge facility. Hopefully his projections aren’t wildly inaccurate or he will look incredibly foolish later.