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F-150 Lightning customers face 17% price hike

GOING UP: Ford has raised the price of its mildly updated F-150 Lightning despite recently spruiking the benefits of cheaper LIP batteries.

Ford says material costs and ‘other factors’ to blame for price rise of its popular electric ute

12 Aug 2022

CITING increased material costs and “other factors”, Ford Motor Company in the US has upped the price of its forthcoming F-150 Lightning electric pick-up by up to 17 per cent in conjunction with re-opening order banks for the hotly anticipated pick-up (ute).


Ironically the price hikes come only a few weeks after Ford announced new battery cell chemistry to its EV portfolio to increase capacity and make its EVs cheaper to build.


At the same time, the US car-maker announced salaried job cuts of up to 8000 staff from its ICE division, Ford Blue.


Ford said at the time that it plans to add lithium iron phosphate (LIP) cells to its Mustang Mach-E from next year and to F-150 Lightning models from 2024, a move it says will reduce material costs by as much as 15 per cent.


Ford currently uses nickel cobalt manganese battery packs for its Mustang and F-Truck EVs, and in its E-Transit van.


Until being re-opened this week, order books had been closed for the F-150 due to various component shortages including computer microchips and battery chemicals.


The proviso is that said “new orders” are now only being accepted from “reservation” holders meaning prospective buyers who had signed up to a pre-order arrangement.


Ford US dealers have been hearing the rumblings of discontent from F-150 reservation holders as a result of the so-called “sticker shock” syndrome from price hikes. The fear among dealers is that the new price schedule could backfire on Ford particularly as alternative BEV utes come on stream.


F-150 price increases are across various Lightning trim levels beginning with base model Lightning Pro, which started out at $US39,974 ($A55,963) but has now risen $US7000 ($A9772)to $US46,974 ($A65,767).


Stepping upscale to the next level XLT High Extended Range and Lariat Extended Range trims sees the biggest hike of $US8,500 ($A11,879) with each now costing $US80,974 ($A113,370) and $US85,974 ($A120,371) respectively.


Topping out the F-150 Lightning range is the Platinum Extended Range that ironically took the lightest hit with a $US6,000 ($A8377) increase taking it to $US96,874 ($A135,636) before on-road costs.


The F150 in unconfirmed specification has been approved for local (Australian) consumption after being “remanufactured” by specialist conversion engineers.


Ford wasn’t prepared to inflict the new pricing regime on current order holders awaiting delivery who will not be impacted by these “adjustments.”


According Ford Model e chief customer officer, Marin Gjaja: “We’ve announced pricing ahead of re-opening order banks so our reservation holders can make an informed decision around ordering a Lightning”.


Reservation holders who had previously received an invitation to order but decided to extend their reservation because the trim they wanted wasn’t unavailable will “receive a private offer for use in upcoming waves” says Ford.


The statement’s meaning is unclear, though it could mean special deals for reservation holders to ease sticker shock and allow Ford to retain the sale.


Other F-150 Lightning news surrounds battery range which, after recent testing, sees the estimate for the standard battery increase by 10 miles (16km) to 240 miles (386km). The extended range battery stays the same at 300 miles (482km).


Though the focus now is on Ford’s price hikes. Other manufacturers have taken the opportunity recently to realign their schedules including Ford competitors Tesla and Rivian.


Both have increased prices for their electric vehicles blaming battery material costs and other critical components like wiring harnesses that have ballooned due to COVID-19 related supply constraints and the Ukraine invasion by Russia.


Ford may be in for a tough time from F-150 Lightning reservation holders given the response Rivian experienced from a similar cohort. Time will tell.

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