Ford Slashes F-150 Lightning Price To Reignite Sales

Photo: Ford
Photo: Ford

Good morning! It’s Friday, April 12, 2024, and this is The Morning Shift, your daily roundup of the top automotive headlines from around the world, in one place. Here are the important stories you need to know.

1st Gear: Ford Cuts Up To $5,500 Off Lightning EV Price

If you’re looking to pick up a bargain EV, now is a good time to head to the dealers as companies across the U.S. are slashing prices of their electric models. Tesla has been trimming the cost of its range for months, Lucid followed suit and Fisker is even offering its electric SUV for less than $25,000. Now, Ford has become the latest automaker to cut prices of its electric models, slashing thousands off the cost of an F-150 Lightning pickup truck.

Ford has cut up to $5,500 off certain models of F-150 Lightning as it looks to reignite sales of the electric pickup now that deliveries have resumed weeks after a stop-ship order was issued, reports Bloomberg. As the site explains:

Ford Motor Co. slashed prices of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck by as much as 7.5% as its EV inventory balloons and the automaker prepares to resume deliveries this month following a halt earlier for an undisclosed quality issue.

The price cuts put in place April 5 partially reverse hikes in January as Ford was reducing production of its signature electric vehicle by half and eliminating a shift of workers. The biggest reduction of $5,500 is on the Flash extended-range model, which now starts at $67,995, the automaker said.

Ford said via email that the cuts will help it “adapt to the market to achieve the optimal mix of sales growth and customer value.”

Ford halted sales of the F-150 Lightning back in February 2024 when the company issued a stop-ship order on the electric trucks. The order came as a result of a quality issue that Ford was forced to address. While it was looking into the issue, production of the Lightning appears to have continued, with inventory of the electric truck now swelling to more than 130 days worth, reports Bloomberg.

The over-supply sparked the cut in prices for the electric truck, which is also eligible for further factory incentives and tax breaks announced as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

2nd Gear: Polestar Sales Plummet 40 Percent In Q1

While Ford is preparing to kick off deliveries of its electric truck once again, Swedish automaker Polestar will be hoping for a delivery boost of its own after announcing disappointing sales for the beginning of 2024. According to the brand’s latest figures, sales of the swanky electric cars were down 40 percent in the first three months of the year.

The dip in sales meant that Polestar delivered just 7,200 vehicles in the first quarter, reports Reuters. That figure was down from more than 12,000 cars that the company sold this time last year. As Reuters explains:

A ramp-up in deliveries of its Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 two luxury SUVs will contribute to revenue in the latter part of the year, CEO Thomas Ingenlath said in a statement.

“These two cars will provide the basis for a strong revenue and margin progression during the second half of the year, supporting our 2025 targets,” Ingenlath said.

The company aims to deliver 155,000-165,000 cars in 2025.

So far, deliveries of the new Polestar 4 have only started in China, with the company receiving around 1,200 units of the new car at the start of the year. The Polestar 4 and 2 will soon be joined by the Polestar 3 SUV, which is hoped will help boost the company’s sales in markets such as the U.S.

Sales of the Polestar 3 are projected to kick off in the second quarter of 2024, and the Polestar 4 will roll out to markets including Australia and Europe in the coming months. Hopefully, this will provide the Geely-backed automaker with the boost it needs through 2024.

3rd Gear: Mustang Mach-E Was Using BlueCruise In Fatal Crash

Federal investigators looking into a fatal crash that saw a Ford Mustang Mach-E crash into two stationary cars in Pennsylvania have revealed that Ford’s advanced driver assist feature BlueCruise was running at the time of the collisions.

The crash, which occurred in February, was the subject of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) probe, which has today shared that the driver assist feature was running at the time of the incident, reports Reuters. According to the site:

The National Transportation Safety Board said the Ford had “BlueCruise” in use. Based on data from the vehicle, the Ford driver had been operating in BlueCruise mode before the crash that killed the 56-year-old Honda driver, the NTSB said.

A San Antonio police report said previously the Ford had “partial automation” engaged at the time of the crash.

Both the NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are investigating the San Antonio crash and are also investigating a March 3 crash in Philadelphia involving a Ford Mach-E where an advanced driver assistance system is suspected of use.

As a result of the findings, the probe into the collision has now become a full-blown investigation, with the NTSB hoping to find out what role BlueCruise played in the crash.

4th Gear: EPA’s Push Against Toxic Chemicals Is Coming For The Auto Industry

A campaign launched by the Environmental Protection Agency could be about to upend how we make the batteries that power our electric cars. The government agency has begun a clampdown on so-called “forever chemicals,” which are compounds that don’t easily break down in the environment or human body and can cause serious health issues such as cancer.

Substances like perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, known as PFAS, are regularly used in the auto industry in things like batteries and o-rings. The compounds are linked with hormonal issues and certain types of cancer, so the EPA has launched a push to eliminate their use, reports Automotive News. As the site explains:

Regulators are trying to reduce the amount of forever chemicals — which do not easily break down in the human body or in the environment — in U.S. waterways and reduce the amount the public is exposed to. Just this week, the EPA announced its first-ever drinking water standard to protect people against the chemicals and offered $1 billion to states for public water system testing, the agency’s first major move to curb the cancer-causing chemicals.

High exposure to these chemicals has been linked to prostate, kidney and testicular cancers, as well as decreased fertility. Despite this, they are common in everyday objects such as certain non-stick frying pans. Because of the health risks of these compounds, the EPA is working to collect information from companies that produce and use them.

There are currently few alternatives to the PFASs used in the auto industry, but Automotive News explained that there are startups creating other options for the sector.

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