“The demand is so much higher than we expected,” Farley said in an interview. “It’s a really new experience for this big company, trying to be agile. We had to approach it very differently than we’ve done capacity planning.”
Farley says Ford has the capability to add another shift of capacity at the Mexico plant that produces the Mach-E, but the situation is different with the F-150 Lightning at its new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.
“In Lightning’s case we have to find physical space for more final assembly,” he said.
Farley says the number of F-150 Lightning reservations is now “approaching 200,000 units” and that he expects “north of 80 percent” of reservation holders to convert to actual sales. The vehicle is set to go on sale next year.
Farley said the Lightning team had originally projected volumes of 20,000 vehicles per year and that Ford has been surprised by the reception to both it and the Mach-E.
“We’re kind of learning this new muscle after 118 years of ‘how do you scale’ and not have all the answers – in the middle of a chip crisis,” Farley said. “We’ll see how it plays out, but that’s what we’re targeting.”
Farley said Ford has room for further growth after in 2024 and beyond. The company is expected to launch additional EVs, including a battery-electric version of the Explorer and Aviator crossovers.
“I’m saying No. 2 in the next two years,” Farley said. “Imagine what we can do after that.”