The automaker plans to sell 600,000 electric vehicles globally over the next two years to become the No. 2 EV maker behind only Tesla. After that, Farley says Ford plans to challenge Tesla to be the top producer of EVs.
Farley said Ford has built about 2,000 Lightnings since production began about two weeks ago. He said the first models would be going out "in the coming days" and will be for fleet customers.
Executives, customers, dealers and factory workers celebrated the start of production Tuesday at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, which opened last year and is expected to ramp up to an annual run rate of 150,000 F-150 Lightnings next year.
Executive Chairman Bill Ford said the electric pickup “is going to change our company forever” and that it’s the most important launch since the Model T.
Farley, touting the Lightning’s capabilities, said “the ride is so smooth you’d swear you were in a Lincoln” and that it “can even charge other EVs, for your friends who own Teslas.”
While Ford invited a number of customers to the event, many will be waiting quite some time for their Lightning. The automaker recently closed its order banks for 2022 model year pickups and many customers who have converted their reservations to orders do not yet have a build date.
“The good news is there’s tremendous demand for our products but it is frustrating that we can’t build them in a timely fashion,” Ford told reporters. “Our team has done a great job of breaking bottlenecks but then new ones pop up and that’s just the world we’re in, unfortunately. We don’t want to lose those customers; we don’t want them to walk away and we’re doing everything we can to accommodate them.”