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Ford Motor Boosts Electric-Pickup Output; Had Better 2021 Than Tesla

Ford Motor says it aims to challenge the No. 1 electric-vehicle spot currently occupied by Tesla.
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Ford Motor  (F) - Get Free Report shifted into high gear Tuesday, as the auto-making icon said it would nearly double production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup at its Dearborn, Mich., facility to 150,000 vehicles a year "to meet soaring customer demand."

Shares of Ford Motor at last check were climbing 11% to $24.26.

Ford shares more than doubled -- up 140% -- last year, surpassing both Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report and General Motors  (GM) - Get Free Report.

And the automaker is making no secret about taking on Elon Musk & Co. for the top EV spot.

Ford said that "due to unprecedented customer interest," it is kicking off a wave-by-wave reservation process. Reservation holders are being asked to keep an eye out for an email invitation from Ford or to log into their accounts over the next few months. 

Those who don’t receive invitations to convert for the 2022 model year "will have an opportunity to order a future model year vehicle in due course," Ford said.

The first group of reservation holders will be invited to place their orders for the F-150 Lightning beginning Thursday.

Last month Ford said it had to stop taking reservations for the F-150 because interest in the vehicle was so great.

"We are completely oversubscribed with our battery electric vehicles, Lightning especially,” Chief Executive Jim Farley told CNBC's Jim Cramer, co-founder of TheStreet. 

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“We had to stop reservations; we got so many. We stopped at 200,000, and those are orders. Hard orders."

Last year Ford said it would up its investment in EVs to at least $30 billion by 2025, and on Tuesday that company laid out its plans to take on the market.

Over the next two years, Ford said, it "aims to emerge as the clear No. 2 electric vehicle maker in North America" and then challenge the No. 1 spot, currently held by Tesla.

Within 24 months, the company, Ford said it would have the global capacity to produce 600,000 battery electric vehicles annually.

Ford recently said it would triple production for its Mustang Mach-E and said it expects to reach 200,000-plus units per year by 2023.

The company's all-electric van, the 2022 E-Transit, goes on sale early this year, Ford said.

Meanwhile, Evercore ISI analyst Chris McNally on Tuesday raised his price target on Ford to $18 from $16 and kept an in line rating on the shares as he rolled out his 2022 outlook for the auto industry and refreshed his estimates, according to the Fly

For the industry, McNally said he saw the first signs of a global production recovery in the fourth quarter 

He says "normalization" should be clear by mid-2022, though the industry will not return to "normalized inventory" levels until 2024.

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