Ford's modern-day Model T moment has arrived.
The auto giant began production of the highly anticipated F-150 Lightning, it's first all-electric pickup truck, on Tuesday. Production is happening at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, within the historic Rouge Complex in Michigan, which is where Ford perfected the moving assembly line.
"Today we celebrate the Model T moment for the 21st Century," Ford executive chair Bill Ford stated in a press release.
Ford says it has 200,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning.
The electric pickup's impressive specs shed light on the strong early consumer demand.
The extended range, battery-powered Lightning promises 10,000 pounds of towing capacity, over the air software updates and the ability to power your home via a backup power capability. This version — which starts at $50,000 or so — boasts a 320-mile range on a charge, 563 horsepower and travels 0 mph to 60 mph in about 4.4 seconds.
“America’s real transition to electric vehicles starts now," Ford CEO Jim Farley stated.
Ford's transition to electric is already well underway.
The company announced in early March it would create two distinct internal teams: Ford Blue and Ford Model e. The maneuver is designed to free up resources so Ford could better attack the opportunity in EVs.
Ford Blue — essentially the company's gas-powered auto business — will be focused on managing profits. That means attention on lowering costs, and plowing those savings into the EV Ford Model e division.
The company expects to produce 2 million EVs by 2026. It sees an adjusted operating profit margin of 10% by 2026, up 270 basis points from 2021.
"The split has strong industrial logic as BEV & ICE [battery electric vehicle/internal combustion engine] operations should have different operating metrics. It also enables investors to perform a sum of the parts valuation (SOTPs) on ICE & BEV assets; ICE profits are currently diluted by BEV losses, which we estimate are at least ~$1.5 billion in 2022," said Wells Fargo auto analyst Colin Langan.
Langan has a $26 price target on Ford shares, projecting potential upside from current levels of about 73%.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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