Ford is doing ‘whatever it takes’ to double production capacity for electric F-150 pickup, says CEO

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Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley told CNBC on Tuesday the automaker is scrambling to meet the increasing interest in its soon-to-launch electric F-150 Lightning.

“Our [production] capacity is about half of what the demand is,” Farley said an in interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer on “Mad Money.”

The company has nearly 200,000 retail reservations for its electric pickup truck, which is set to arrive in dealerships by mid-2022. Those non-binding reservations require a $100 fully refundable deposit.

“We have a dedicated team right now just doing one thing: finding a way to double our capacity by finding batteries, whatever it takes, to double our capacity of Lightning,” Farley said.

The F-150 Lightning is an important new offering for Ford, as the Dearborn, Michigan-based manufacturer aggressively pushes into the electric vehicles. The internal combustion engine version of Ford’s F-Series pickup has for decades been America’s best-selling vehicle, so investors and industry watchers alike are keeping a close eye on how consumers respond to an all-electric model.

Ford announced plans in September to add jobs at three facilities in Michigan to help expand manufacturing capacity for the F-150 Lightning. However, the company doesn’t just want to increase production for the electric pickup.

In a recent interview with Automotive News, Farley said Ford plans to increase its EV production to 600,000 vehicles by 2023, doubling the number the company initially thought it would make in that time period.

Demand for Ford’s Mustang Mach-E also is “about twice our production rate,” Farley told Cramer. “That’s why we’re committing in the next 24 months to get 600,000 units of capacity, but it’s going to take a lot of work by our team,” Farley said.

Farley appeared on “Mad Money” alongside Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff, after the companies earlier Tuesday announced a partnership for a new software offering geared toward tradespeople who drive the automaker’s commercial vehicles.

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