Ford is claiming that huge efficiencies in its production have resulted in the company being able to drop prices of its F-150 Lightning electric truck by almost $10,000. This, of course, after the company raised prices significantly on the trucks. With the price drop, plus incentive cash, plus federal tax discounts, it’s possible that you can get an electric XLT truck for about the same price as a similarly spec’d gas-powered truck.
The biggest discount is on the fleet-only Pro trim, which sees a $9,979 price reduction to $51,990 including a $1,995 freight charge. Step up to the basic XLT 311A model, the cheapest one retail consumers can actually buy, and you’re looking at a $9,479 price reduction to $56,990 including freight. The slightly posher XLT 312A model sees an $8,479 price cut to $61,990 including freight, while the XLT 312A with the Extended Range battery sees an $8,879 price cut, bringing the sticker to $71,990 including freight.
The standard range Lariat 510A sees the second-smallest price cut in the model range, a $6,979 reduction that brings the sticker price down to $71,990, or exactly the same price as the Extended Range XLT. As with that lower trim, the Extended Range battery on the Lariat trim sees an $8,479 markdown, bringing its price to $79,490. Finally, the king of the range, the Platinum Extended Range, sees the smallest price reduction — a mere $6,079. That brings top-of-the-line pricing down to $93,990 which is still a lot of money.
For greater context, let’s look at the original prices Ford set for the F-150 Lighting way back in early 2022. Fleet-spec Pro model pricing is up a whopping $10,321, although the XLT trim sees a relatively modest price increase of $2,321. Pricing for the Lariat trim is up by $2,821, while Platinum trim pricing is only up $1,421 over pricing at launch. Considering the high inflation we’ve seen over the past few years, the updated pricing for consumer-centric models (remember, the base Pro trim is for fleets) seems quite alright.
Oh, but it gets better. On top of the headlining Ford F-150 Lightning price cuts, the blue oval is sweetening the deal with incentives. Customers who order an XLT or higher trim by the end of July will get a $1,000 cash incentive and interest rates as low as 1.9 percent for 36 months. Given the Fed’s key overnight interest rate right now, that’s hugely incentivized financing on a product that, for the most part, has been historically desirable. Typically, manufacturers don’t place incentives on new vehicles unless they’re in oversupply, and that’s exactly what seems to be happening.
As Reuters reports, Ford dealerships are sitting on 86 days of F-150 Lightning inventory as of July 11, significantly above June’s 53-day average reported by the analysts at Cox Automotive. For a vehicle that was once being flipped for massive profit, the slump of the F-150 Lightning is difficult to ignore. However, in today’s high interest rate environment, affordability is critical and America’s drivers just might not have the funds to roll around in pricey electric pickup trucks. Of course, the current gas-versus-electric culture war may also play a role in slowing demand, but by and large, payment rules the day.
How does Ford characterize it?
Ford is taking advantage of increased plant capacity, continued work on scaling production and cost, and improving battery raw material costs to help lower the MSRP of F-150 Lightning® for all customers.
The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan is temporarily closed to complete final plant upgrades to triple the plant’s annual run rate to a targeted 150,000 F-150 Lightning trucks beginning this fall.
The upgrades at the plant, combined with improving battery raw material costs and continued work on scaling production and cost, help make it possible to lower pricing across the F-150 Lightning line. Customers will now have greater availability of their built-to-order truck as early as October at an MSRP closer to initial Lightning pricing.
“Shortly after launching the F-150 Lightning, rapidly rising material costs, supply constraints and other factors drove up the cost of the EV truck for Ford and our customers,” said Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer, Ford Model e. “We’ve continued to work in the background to improve accessibility and affordability to help to lower prices for our customers and shorten the wait times for their new F-150 Lightning.”
That could definitely be a part of what is going on here. We’re in this weird transition period where EV production is ramping up but prices are still so high that we’re running out of people who will only buy an EV.
Still, this seems like a good deal. In theory, after price reductions, cash incentives, and the $7,500 Inflation Reduction Act EV tax credit, it should be possible to pick up an F-150 Lightning XLT for $48,490, which seems reasonable in the grand scheme of crew cab all-wheel-drive pickup trucks. A standard F-150 XLT SuperCrew 4×4 with the base naturally-aspirated V6 engine and zero options comes out to north of $50,000, which means we’re theoretically looking at EV-to-ICE price parity on certain F-150s. Of course, we’ll still have to see how consumers bite. It’s a strange market out there, so it might take some time for Ford to clear its inventory backlog.
(Photo credits: Ford)
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