This week’s biggest automotive news was without a doubt the presentation of the Ford F-150 Lightning, the much-anticipated electric version of the most popular pickup truck on the market.
For Ford, the Lightning is a very, very big deal, of course. To wit, after the presentation, the company's stock rose 2.5 percent Thursday morning to $12.42 (U.S.) on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reality remains reality, however. The automaker has announced that production of the model will be limited for its first year on the market. Fortunately, we’re not talking about a ridiculously small number, but about a relatively healthy 50,000 units. In fact, that's a lot and a little at the same time, considering that about a million F-150s are sold in the U.S. and between 100,000 and 150,000 in Canada each year.
Potential buyers of the F-150 Lightning will want to get their orders in quickly. Within 12 hours of the model's presentation, Ford had received 20,000 reservations. Ford Canada didn’t specify how many reservations have been made in Canada.
The Blue Oval automaker adopted a similar strategy with the electric Mustang Mach-E SUV, limiting its first year of production to 50,000 units.
The limit on production is not surprising, as there is a whole supply chain of new parts to be put in place. Add to that the current microchip shortage and it’s clear that it's probably much wiser for Ford not to overpromise right now.
And, in any case, Ford won't stop selling the regular version of the model. The two will be around side by side for a long time.
As a reminder, the Ford F-150 Lightning will be offered at $58,000 in commercial configuration and the XLT consumer variant will have a starting price of $68,000. We're waiting for the prices of the other two variants, Lariat and Platinum.