With F-150 Lightning deliveries at least half a year away, it appears that Ford has already decided to double the production target for its all-electric pickup.
According to Reuters, that’s because of strong early demand for the F-150 Lightning ahead of its spring 2022 launch. Ford is now targeting an annual production of more than 80,000 in 2024, up from its previous target of more than 40,000; the increase is on top of the 50% boost Ford announced in November 2020.
To meet that target, Ford plans to spend an additional $850 million, several people and suppliers familiar with the plan told the news agency. The same sources claim that Ford will build about 15,000 units next year after the launch and 55,000 in 2023 as part of the transition to the new production target.
Gallery: Ford F-150 Lightning Pro
Following the launch of the second-generation F-150 Lightning, which is expected in late 2025 built on Ford's new TE1 truck architecture, the annual target will be just under 160,000.
The unnamed insiders say that behind the more optimistic targets is the strong pre-launch demand for the vehicle, especially with commercial customers. One of the sources said that Ford officials “were pleasantly surprised by the demand for the Lightning.”
Ford recently announced it had 120,000 reservations for the Lightning.
While raising the production target is good news, some suppliers are reportedly worried about the extra investment that will entail, especially if demand for electric pickups does not meet Ford’s expectations. The automaker did not comment on the report.
In May, Ford outlined plans to increase its spending on electrification by 2030 by more than a third to over $30 billion. The Blue Oval also announced plans to form a battery joint venture with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation that would open two plants in North America.