For more than a year, the vehicle world has been waiting for Ford's official launch of the automaker's first all-electric pickup, the F-150 Lightning.
Ford Has Talked About Launch
There has been lots of teasing from Ford about the F-150 Lightning. Starting with the first stories about the pickup and its development a year and a half ago, excitement has been building around the all-electric pickup.
Then, the automaker opened up its reservation lines to those who preferred the Lightning. Just about overnight, Ford had more than 100,000 reservations for the pickup. The difference between a reservation and an order is simple. Potential buyers could reserve one of the early production models of the Lightning with a downstroke of only $100. As the date advanced toward the official launch of the pickup, Ford began to turn the reservations into firm orders.
Of course, they expected many of the early adopters to back out of their reservations as potential buyers realized there would be some time between the reservation period and the order period. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the order desk. Reservation holders patiently waited for their chance to order an F-150 Lightning.
Ford Lightning Customers Are Conquests
Ford, by the way, found that most of the people who had placed reservations – and who later turned them into orders – were "conquest" customers. In other words, the folks who were patiently waiting for their electric pickups to be built and delivered were the owners of other brands of vehicles.
And, now the time has come. As Torque News has noted more than once in the last year, the F-150 Lightning was slated to go into production – and technically on sale – in the spring of 2022 – now. That's precisely what is happening. The date is at the end of this month – April 26, to be exact.
Ford has unique plans to mark the launch. The site where the F-150 Lightning is very historic as it is at the significant plant that marked Ford's birth as a significant U.S. automaker more than a century ago. At that time, it was called the River Rouge plant. Now it has the name the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is part of the famed River Rouge assembly plant located in Dearborn, Mich.
On April 26, Ford employees and Lightning customers will join to launch "Job 1." This job is the launch of Ford's first-ever, full-sized, all-electric pickup. It is a "milestone moment in the country's shift to electric vehicles," the automaker noted this week.
Ford F-Series Has Been Market Leader
Ford's F-Series pickup has been the country's best-selling pickup truck for the 45th straight year. It is second only to the iPhone in revenue among American consumer products, according to a 2020 study.
The Rouge Vehicle Center is an ultra-modern new facility within Ford's historic Route Complex. The Rouge Complex is where Henry Ford perfected the moving assembly line and scaled up the iconic Model T.
The event begins April 26 1:30 p.m. eastern and will be live-streamed at http://ford.to/LightningStrikes.
Photo, video courtesy Ford Motor Co.
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 Shell and Texaco (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 that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living 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.