DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday stopped taking reservations for the upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup as it prepares to open its order bank for the truck next month.
Ford CEO Jim Farley told Automotive News in November that reservations for the pickup were "approaching 200,000 units." A spokeswoman on Wednesday echoed that same figure without giving a more precise number.
The spokeswoman confirmed the end of the Lightning reservation system after a Ford customer who learned the news from a dealer shared it on an F-150 forum earlier Wednesday.
Ford has not said how many Lightnings it will build initially, although it has publicly said it plans to ramp up to an annual rate of 80,000 in 2024, the vehicle's second full year of production.
Privately, however, Ford has told suppliers it expects production volume of 80,000 vehicles per year earlier than expected -- by January 2023 – with capacity for up to 88,000, according to a memo viewed by Automotive News.
It's possible that not all reservation holders will receive a 2022 model year vehicle.
Ford plans to implement a "waved invitation approach" to convert reservations to orders at staggered dates beginning in January, the spokeswoman said. It's unclear how many waves there will be or how many customers will be part of each wave.
"The number of waves will be adjusted throughout the process based on available commodities and customer order rates from each previous wave," the spokeswoman said in a statement. "Invitations to order a 22MY will continue to be sent to reservation holders until 22MY production is fulfilled. Remaining reservationists will be invited to order in subsequent model years."
Farley told Automotive News last month that he thinks more than 80 percent of Lightning reservation holders will go through with buying the truck, topping the roughly 65 percent reservation-to-sales conversion rate seen for the Bronco SUV.
Ford says the vehicle remains on track to launch in the spring with dual electric motors expected to produce 563 hp and 775 pound-feet of torque.
Farley says 70 percent of Lightning reservation holders are new to Ford and to pickups.
"It seems like a customer [for whom] the fuel economy or the image of a pickup didn't work, but now that we've modernized it, they've found it more interesting," he said in a Nov. 18 interview.