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Is Ford Going Big Enough With the F-150 Lightning?

By John Rosevear – Oct 3, 2021 at 8:01AM

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Ford said last month that it has increased its production plans for the electric truck -- but should it do even more?

Ford Motor Company (F -1.56%) said last month that it's now aiming to produce up to 80,000 of its electric F-150 Lightning pickups per year, up from 40,000 per year in its original plan. That change came with a big additional investment in the Michigan factory that will start building the electric truck next spring. But is it enough?

In this Motley Fool Live video broadcast, recorded on Sept. 23, Industry Focus host Nick Sciple and Motley Fool senior auto specialist John Rosevear look more deeply at what Ford has said about reservations for the F-150 Lightning and whether Ford might have to go even bigger on its battery-powered pickup truck. 

A transcript follows the video.

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Nick Sciple: That is a perfect transition for me. John, as we're going to go into talk about some of these established players, we got some updates from Ford on their electric truck plans here in the past week or so, the first pre-production units of the F-150 Lightning rolling off the line. What should we be paying attention to here with the F-150 Lightning?

John Rosevear: What I wonder with the F-150 Lightning, I mean, we saw they came out last week or the week before and said we're going to spend 250 million, add more jobs to expand capacity of our new electric truck factory even further. By even further, they mean up to 80,000 a year if I recall correctly. With 150,000 reservations so far, and seemingly, the whole business excited about this particular product, I wonder if there's still undershooting a bit. I think we might see more expansions as they get out there a year from now. When those 150,000, it will depend on how well those convert, how well those reservations turn into real orders. But what Ford saw with the Mach-E was that a very high percentage, a surprising to them high percentage, did convert into actual orders. If that happens with the F-150, they're going to be having the happiest problem in the auto business where they're selling all they could make and they could sell more if they could make them, but there may be an issue of ramping supply chain and so forth here. You can't build more trucks if you can't get the batteries or whatever. So they may be walking align with their suppliers and so on. But it's certainly, it's bullish for Ford, it's bullish for electric vehicles generally. I've said for a while on this program and elsewhere that I think this is the product that could be the turning point in the US for electric vehicle adoption. Because once people see these, assuming they're as good as Ford's trucks usually are, the truck will sell itself. And I think it will really open the gates for a lot of people who wouldn't ever consider a Tesla, necessarily, but who will maybe drive one of these at work and go, whoa, this is really nice, I want one.

Nick Sciple: Certainly, the more buyer uptake that we have, the more investment we will see from these companies trying to realize that those sales and on down the line accelerating adoption. 

Nick Sciple has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Ford Motor Stock Quote
Ford Motor
F
$13.86 (-1.56%) $0.22
Tesla Stock Quote
Tesla
TSLA
$194.86 (0.08%) $0.16

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