The year 2022 has been momentous for Ford. It has been the year that the automaker began to aggressively produce electric vehicles as it readied for an inevitable change to electrics. Indeed, the automaker has promised to go all-electric by 2030 or so.
Ford Has ICE and Electric Models
The automaker fields various internal combustion engined (ICE) vehicles as it has planned to turn much of its production into electrics. They are vehicles like the Ford Mustang, the GT, and F-series trucks, and Ford will likely continue to produce ICE-based vehicles for the foreseeable future. However, the name of the game at Ford, and other automakers, is still electric. And 2022 was the year that signaled the shift.
Indeed, the big story of the year at Ford has been the success of Ford’s electric pickup, the F-150 Lightning. Demand for the electric pickup has been so great that Ford not only opened its reservation banks late last year and then reopened them earlier this year. The result was a rush by potential buyers who paid $100 for Lightning reservations (a reservation is a placeholding device used by Ford to build its order banks).
Only a couple of days earlier this year, Ford saw its Lightning order banks open only to quickly close again. The automaker received more than 100,000 reservations for the Lightning. And right now, the automaker is on track to sell 15,000 Lightnings through the second quarter of the upcoming year as it quickly grows its electric presence. Ford’s research shows that most people who ordered their Lightning were first-time electric buyers. Many of them had the potential to be “conquest” because the potential owners owned other brands they were giving up for the Lightning.
The Lightning’s success story is a real highlight of Ford’s year. Indeed, the automaker is quickly heading toward a production run of 150,000 Lightnings. Recently, the automaker celebrated the 150,000th Lightning to roll off the assembly line. At that time, they were at the point where they were they were expanding their Lightning production as the automaker planned to get up to a potential 600,000 ceiling for next year. The automaker planned to hit 2 million Lightnings by the end of 2025.
Lightning Reservations Are Conquest Reservations
Lightning, the most successful all-electric pickup in the industry, has been a surprise to Ford as most of the reservations are coming from folks who never owned a pickup before.
In another piece of good news for Ford, MotorTrend awarded the Lightning its Pickup of the Year Award for 2022.
As for electric vehicles, Lightning is only one big story of 2022 for Ford. The Mustang Mach-E, Ford’s first all-electric crossover, has proven just as successful. Since its introduction in late 2020, Ford has had to close its order reservation system as potential buyers quickly put down their money and waited until they could turn their reservations into orders. The Mach-E has won many awards as it has become established in the automaker’s repertoire.
The Mach-E is proving so popular that it is also becoming one of the go-to vehicles of police forces across the U.S. and Canada.
And Ford’s third significant contribution to its electric future, the E-Transit van, the industry-leading commercial van, is now selling in respectable numbers.
Ford Paints Picture Of Its Future
Ford’s triumvirate of electric vehicles shows the way to the 2030s when the automaker plans to be primarily an electric vehicle manufacturer. It is an impressive trio. There are rumors that other models, like the Escape, may be electrified. Of course, other vehicles are semi-electrical such as the Escape Hybrid. Hybrids are primarily ICE vehicles that can drive 30 or 40 miles on a charge generated through regenerative braking and overall engine use. Though not exclusively EVs, hybrids represent a workable alternative to the driver who wants to retain an ICE component yet who still wants an electric.
During 2022, Ford also:
- Retained its lead as having the top-selling pickup for the 45th year. The F-150 pickup has been the country’s top-seller for nearly half a century. It is on track to easily retain this crown for the 46th year.
- Introduced a very popular new model, the Maverick, that gave the automaker an entry in the compact pickup market. The Maverick is available in two versions, a totally hybridized model that uses a continuously variable transmission and a standard version driven by a small, turbocharged engine. The Maverick is also available in both all-wheel-drive and front-drive versions. Maverick is also turning on dealer lots in days. Buyers are snapping up those Mavericks that aren’t already headed to owners who have had reservations for nearly a year. Indeed, when the order books were opened recently, they closed in under a week with more than 100,000 reservations. Ford research shows that most buyers are first-time truck buyers moving to compact pickups from other brands.
Ford Retains Its Lead in Commercial Vehicles
- Retained its crown as the leading van model. The E-series of vans has been the top-selling commercial van series for over a decade.
- Continued to have an innovative brand in the Bronco brand. Since it was introduced nearly two years ago, the retro model is available as a midsized Bronco Sport and the full-sized Bronco two- and four-door. Ford has developed a Raptor version of the Bronco aimed at the off-road racing world. Indeed, Bronco Raptors are running in races like the Baja 1000 and the King of the Hammers crucible. There are rumors that a Bronco pickup may be on the horizon, but no one can confirm it. There are also rumors that the next generation of the Bronco is about six years away. New versions of the Bronco were introduced recently.
- Introduced a new, more powerful version of the GT, the GT Mk IV. Limited to about 60 buyers, the GT is aimed at track use only. It also honors the makes first victory at Le Mans 50 years ago when For GTs finished 1-2-3 and crossed the finish line in that fashion.
- Introduced a new Mustang version, the sixth generation. Available next year, the new Mustang is said to be the last generation based on ICE technology. It will also be powered by Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8.
- Retained its six-speed manual transmission in the Bronco Sport brand.
Ford Motor Photo
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.