Ford shuts down F-150 Lightning reservations as demand skyrockets

It’s not uncommon in New York or San Francisco for a new mom to put her baby’s name on a years-long waiting list for a coveted private preschool slot.

Well, now wannabe owners of the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning find themselves in a similar battle.

Put a name on the list and hope and pray that name makes it to the top. Because, right now, the list is so long that some fans of America’s bestselling pickup franchise won’t get the 2022 model year and will need to wait until 2023 or even later.

The current demand for the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning is so huge that Ford Motor Company actually stopped taking the $100 refundable reservation deposits accepted since the global reveal in May.

“We’re completely oversubscribed with our battery-electric vehicles, Lightning especially,” Ford CEO Jim Farley told Jim Cramer on the CNBC Investing Club during a livestream broadcast late last week.

“The F-150 Lightning, America’s bestselling vehicle. Everyone loves the electric version. They haven’t even driven it yet,” Farley said between meetings with his board of directors at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. “Wait until they drive it. Zero to 60, like a 911 (Porsche). It’s just an incredible product. It powers your house for four days. We had to stop reservations, we got so many.”

Ford has so many reservations for the Lightning that, if they all turned into purchases, the volume would far exceed the company’s capacity to fill orders.

“We stopped at 200,000,” Farley told CNBC, explaining the art of “capacitizing.”

Ford plans to build 70,000 to 80,000 electric pickups initially, Farley said, “We’re gonna to try to double that. … Don’t bet against Ford when we have to increase capacity. This is what we do.”

Official orders will begin getting booked in January. And delivery of the battery-operated vehicle is scheduled to begin in mid-2022.

“In 24 months, we’re going to double our capacity for these battery electric vehicles” Farley said.

“We’re well on the way to doing that. We’ve got a lot of incremental battery commitments out of our Georgia facility. We really think we can do it. And my name is on the line.”

Ford, Tesla and other automakers are working to ramp up battery access and production. Ford announced a massive investment in battery operations this year, in Michigan as well as Kentucky and Tennessee.

John McElroy, host of “Autoline After Hours” podcast and webcast, said the Lightning debunks the idea that the public lacks interest in electric vehicles.

“While some people complain that the government is trying to shove electric vehicles down their throat, Ford had to stop taking reservations,” McElroy said. “It’s crazy. Half the public thinks EVs are stupid and the other half can’t get one soon enough.”

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