why it's so hard for ford to catch up with f-150 lightning orders

The F-150 Lightning production line at Ford’s factory in Dearborn, Michigan. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

  • Ford had to literally tear down the walls of its factory to cope with demand for the electric F-150.
  • Darren Palmer told Insider that Ford was surprised by the number of orders for the Lightning.
  • He said that meeting customers’ expectations was a “huge piece of work.”

Ford’s F-150 truck looks set to retain its crown as America’s best-selling vehicle for the 41st consecutive year.

After launching an electric version last year, it received nearly 200,000 orders for the Lightning opened and had to close its order book last December in a bid to catch up.

“That surprised us – I think it surprised a lot in the industry, how ready people already were for electric vehicles,” says Darren Palmer, who heads up Ford’s electric vehicle (EV) program.

why it's so hard for ford to catch up with f-150 lightning orders

Darren Palmer speaks with customers in front of a Ford F-150 Lightning. Ford

The level of demand forced Ford to take some drastic action to boost the number of Lightning trucks it can produce in Michigan.

“They’re actually building a factory almost the same size alongside the one that’s producing at the moment,” Palmer told Insider. “We had to cut the walls open again and start again.”

Despite recently committing $50 billion to its EV program over the next four years, the success of an electric F-150 was never certain.

Linda Zhang, the Lightning’s chief engineer, previously told Insider she initially had to convince her colleagues to buy the vehicle. Now it’s winning over customers who never owned an EV, as well as younger drivers who hadn’t previously bought a Ford, said Palmer and Zhang.

why it's so hard for ford to catch up with f-150 lightning orders

Linda Zhang led the team behind Ford’s first all-electric version of its F-150. Ford

Coping with the surge in demand has been a “huge piece of work,” Palmer says: “It will take most of this year and some of next year just to convert the reservations – and I trust we haven’t had it open for a year and a half.”

A wave of positive reviews for the Lightning meant even more orders are likely to follow, he adds, but first it has to convert a multitude of existing reservations. Palmer couldn’t confirm when this would happen.

In the meantime, Ford will try to increase production from the existing factory to double its annual output to 150,000 annually.

Supply chain woes

Coping with demand hasn’t been helped by supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Ford had been forced to halt the delivery of some of its vehicles due to a shortage of the automaker’s famous blue badges.

why it's so hard for ford to catch up with f-150 lightning orders

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat. Ford

A bigger issue has been the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips, although Palmer says Ford is prioritizing supplies for its EVs. Still prices for the trucks have been forced up by a wave of obstacles, increasing the F-150 Lightning Pro by $5,000 last month in the second price rise this year.

Geopolitical factors helped influence the company’s decision to move some production closer to home, coming alongside a massive supply chain restructure after $1 billion of unexpected costs last quarter.

Palmer thinks the Lightning will go down in history as the vehicle that brought EVs into the mainstream in the US. He says there’s more to come, with a renewed focus on in-car technology in the next phase of Ford’s EV program.

“The things we’re going to bring in the next three years are just mind blowing. They’re doing things that vehicles never did before,” he adds.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Related video:

Keyword: Why it's so hard for Ford to catch up with F-150 Lightning orders

CAR'S NEWS RELATED

Red Bull's 2026 Formula 1 Power Units Won't Be Built by Ford

Christian Horner during the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images) Today, Ford and Red Bull announced a new partnership, allowing the American automaker to return to Formula 1 in 2026. But the Red Bull Ford Powertrains logo that appeared during the announcement might have caused ...

View more: Red Bull's 2026 Formula 1 Power Units Won't Be Built by Ford

Why Ford picked Red Bull over F1 rivals and its own works team

Ford had discussions with existing and prospective teams about a Formula 1 partnership and considered its own works team but nothing “felt right” before its now-confirmed Red Bull deal emerged as an option. An engine collaboration between Red Bull Powertrains and Ford will bring the US manufacturer back into F1 ...

View more: Why Ford picked Red Bull over F1 rivals and its own works team

Ford-mula One: Blue Oval to partner with Red Bull in 2026

Red Bull Powertrains and Ford tag team on next-gen hybrid power Ford provides expertise in battery cell and electric motor tech Deal runs from 2026 to ‘at least’ 2030 Dearborn has confirmed what’s been rumoured for some time now: they’re planning on making waves in Formula 1 once again. ...

View more: Ford-mula One: Blue Oval to partner with Red Bull in 2026

Ford CEO says next-gen EV pickup, new electric platform is ‘deep in development’

On Ford’s earnings call Thursday, CEO Jim Farley mentioned the automaker’s next generation of electric vehicles, including a full-size pickup EV, is well underway. Ford’s new EVs will ride on an updated electric architecture built for the modern era. Despite delivering a disappointing fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 earnings report ...

View more: Ford CEO says next-gen EV pickup, new electric platform is ‘deep in development’

Future Ford EVs "Deep Into Development," Will Use Smaller Batteries

Ford CEO Jim Farley said the next-generation electric full-size pickup is "awesome" during the latest earnings call.

View more: Future Ford EVs "Deep Into Development," Will Use Smaller Batteries

Ford Mustang GT Battles Gated Audi R8, Ferrari F430 In Drag Races

The Mustang is the heaviest of the bunch.

View more: Ford Mustang GT Battles Gated Audi R8, Ferrari F430 In Drag Races

1955 Ford Thunderbird

1955 Ford Thunderbird 1955 FORD THUNDERBIRD BACKGROUND Chevrolet had just launched the Corvette in 1953, while MGs, Triumphs and Jaguars began to flood in from England into the welcome arms of an eager American market. Ford recognized this as a trend they wanted a part of. But, with some reservations. The ‘bean counters’ at Ford ...

View more: 1955 Ford Thunderbird

Video: ‘Our Time’ – Ford returns to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing

After more than 20 years, and as F1 transitions to a new and more electrified future, now is the time for Ford to make its long-awaited return to Formula 1.

View more: Video: ‘Our Time’ – Ford returns to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing

Chips and Recalls Left Ford Reeling in 2022

Ford To Return To Formula 1 In 2026 With Red Bull Racing! (w/VIDEO)

Ford returns to Formula 1; Strategic partner to Oracle Red Bull Racing for 2026 season and beyond

Ford to Return to F1 in 2026 as Red Bull Powertrain Partner

Where Red Bull’s Ford deal leaves Honda for F1 2026

Ford is in ‘deep development’ of its next-generation EV pickup truck

Ford Returns to Formula 1 in 2026 With Red Bull

Ford to power Red Bull and AlphaTauri for 2026 F1 return

Ford Returns to Formula 1 with Oracle Red Bull Racing

Ford will return to Formula 1 with Red Bull in 2026

U.S. Treasury makes more Tesla, Ford, GM EVs eligible for tax credits

Ford F-150 Reliability Ranks 7th out of 10 Full-Size Trucks

OTHER CAR NEWS

; Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự