Executives believe, however, that the production challenges that have stunted Ford’s growth since 2020 could soon ease, and that its revamped product portfolio is exactly what the market wants.
“We haven’t really had any open-field running, so to speak, in probably two years,” Executive Chair Bill Ford told reporters at an event marking the start of Lightning production this week. “But the good news is our order banks are full and the demand is very high for our products. I feel very confident we can deliver what we said we’re going to.”
The automaker plans to ramp up Lightning production to a run rate of 150,000 vehicles annually by next year. It expects to become the No. 2 EV maker, behind only Tesla, in the next two years with volume of 600,000 EVs globally, and then challenge for the top spot later this decade.
Ford, already cutting into Tesla’s market share with the Mustang Mach-E, effectively has the mainstream, full-size electric pickup market to itself until the Chevrolet Silverado EV arrives in about a year, a window of opportunity that could pay dividends in a lucrative segment. The two electric pickups already on sale, the GMC Hummer EV and Riviant R1T, are more niche, luxury vehicles.
Executives say the Lightning’s price point, capabilities and new features are helping Ford bring in customers that otherwise wouldn’t consider the brand. The pickup starts at $41,769 including shipping.
“It’s going to vault them into a leadership role just from a volume standpoint,” Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds, said in an interview. “It’s not just going to be a Tesla-run market. Ford’s really setting up for the future, but it’s going to be rough getting through this period of inventory issues and then satisfying all that deferred demand.”