The reservation program has been tossed as the Blue Oval's production output rises.
Ford is about to make it easier for customers to purchase a new F-150 Lightning, with the Blue Oval electing to open orders up to everyone as of May 9, thereby eliminating the need for customers to first enter its reservation program for the electric pickup. This information was shared on the Lightning Owners forum and in Ford's report on its first-quarter results.
This decision indicates that Ford has been able to ramp up production after a couple of setbacks in 2023, including a fire at a production plant that forced the manufacturer to stall production of the Lightning. Even worse, 18 Lightnings reached customers and had to be recalled for the fire risk, even though they were initially thought to be safe from the hazard.
The notification sent to dealers about orders opening up also mentions that availability of the XLT has improved, while the pricier Lariat and Platinum trims will be available to order from May 9 for the 2023 model year.
Unfortunately, the base Pro has been sold out for the 2023 MY, which is especially disappointing because F-150 Lightning prices have increased dramatically since its launch. At the time of writing, the Pro trim still appeared on the Ford configurator at just under $60,000. After that, you'll need to spend $63,474 on the XLT before a massive jump of over $12,000 for the Lariat.
The document also states that a new pricing update for the F-150 Lightning will be sent to dealers, but it's unclear whether the truck will benefit from a price drop like the Mustang Mach-E.
Last month, Ford allocated hundreds of additional employees to its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to help meet the demand for the Lightning. "With the new staffing plan, Ford will have about 1,800 employees building the F-150 Lightning on three crews," said a Ford spokesperson at the time.
We drove the F-150 Lightning in Lariat guise recently and suggested that although its popularity is understandable, we do wonder if this will still be the case when its Chevrolet and Ram rivals arrive on the scene. For now, the Rivian R1T and Hummer EV are very much high-end electric pickups priced beyond the reach of many Americans. Ford is filling a lower pricing gap in the electric truck segment, especially when one takes into account the federal tax credit it qualifies for.
Now that orders are about to open to everyone and production has ramped up, we can expect to see sales escalate for the Lightning as we near the middle of the year.
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