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The Ford F-150 Lightning’s latest headache? A stop-ship order

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Ford has temporarily suspended new shipments of its model-year 2024 F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck to dealerships from its factory in Michigan. It issued the stop-ship order in early February, according to Automotive News, but it’s not clear when Ford will lift the measure.

“We started shipping the first newly designed F-150 pickups to dealers last week. MY24 Lightnings started shipping last month. We expect to ramp up shipments in the coming weeks as we complete thorough launch quality checks to ensure these new F-150s meet our high standards and delight customers,” Ford told Ars.

Exactly what the problem is with the MY24 F-150 Lightnings is unknown, and Ford says it will “ramp shipments once quality checks are completed.”

However, Ford did not issue a stop-sale on the truck, so any examples already at dealerships are still on sale. And the problem does not affect the internal combustion engine-powered F-150—last week, Ford began shipping MY2024 F-150 pickups to dealerships around the US.

Ford’s decision to electrify the F-150 looked like a no-brainer. It’s the most popular pickup truck in the US, and the battery-electric version offers some real improvements on the gasoline- or diesel-powered versions thanks to independent rear suspension, 9.6 kW of onboard AC power, and a capacious frunk that gives the truck secure lockable storage.

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Demand initially looked strong, particularly as Ford began with a version of the Lightning for just under $40,000. But soon, the truck was hit with a series of price increases, and by mid-2023, an entry-level F-150 Lightning for non-fleet customers cost just under $60,000 before options.

The situation was exacerbated by dealers stocking up on expensive, fully loaded Lightnings, often with thousands of dollars of dealership markups added on. Currently, analysts report that there are 124 days of inventory available for the Lightning—60 days is considered ideal.

Price cuts have followed, but the electric pickup truck remains significantly more expensive than at launch, and it’s not entirely surprising that Ford reduced its production output by half a few weeks ago.

Earlier this month, Ford CEO Jim Farley revealed the company’s new electrification strategy will involve smaller, cheaper EVs.

Source: Ars Technica

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