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Ford Halts Reservations for F-150 Lightning on Strong Demand, CEO Says

Ford CEO Jim Farley says the automaker is 'completely oversubscribed with our battery electric vehicles.'

Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report CEO Jim Farley said Thursday that interest in the automaker’s soon-to-launch F-150 Lightning pickup truck is so great that it had to stop taking reservations, CNBC reported.

Ford shares ended off 24 cents, or 1.2%, at $19.57.

"We are completely oversubscribed with our battery electric vehicles, Lightning especially,” Farley told Jim Cramer. “We had to stop reservations we got so many. We stopped at 200,000, and those are orders. Hard orders."

Farley said Ford is pushing full production capacity at “70,000 or 80,000 units” of the Lightning, the all-electric version of America’s decades-long best-selling F-series pickup truck.

“We’re going to try to double that,” he said. “We’ve done it in the past. Don’t bet against Ford when we have to increase capacity. This is what we do.” 

The Lightning is expected arrive in dealerships by mid-2022.

Farley said that the automaker needs batteries for its electric vehicles more than semiconductor chips.

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"We’ll get the semiconductors, that’s a matter of prioritizing the (battery-electric vehicles) over the (internal combustion engine) vehicles,” Farley said. “The issue is batteries. That’s what we have to solve.”

The global semiconductor shortage has had a severe impact on the auto industry. 

Volkswagen  (VWAGY)  said Wednesday that the chip shortage will continue through the first half of 2022 and perhaps beyond.

Samsung Electronics announced late last month that it is making three advanced chips tailored specifically for cars.

The chips will feature a 5G modem and a multi-core processor using artificial intelligence (AI) to keep the various screens and software in one's car running smoothly. 

Separately, Ford said that it is pushing back its return-to-work hybrid model from January to March.

While assembly line workers have been working at factories since May 2020, 30,000 of Ford's office workers were slated to return in batches in January 2022. 

Amid new variant uncertainty and rising cases in its headquarters in Michigan, the company said that it would start bringing workers back by February.