Spread of omicron variant isn’t slowing down automakers who have pedal to metal in electric pickup market

Big 3 automakers production is moving in right direction

Omicron spread isn't slowing automakers' electric pickup plans.

DETROITGeneral Motors wants to make some big news out at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday (Jan. 5) in Las Vegas, with the announcement of the electric Silverado.

On Tuesday (Jan. 4) Ford reminded people that its F-150 Lightning is coming out sooner, which is something Guidehouse Auto Analyst Sam Abuelsamid says is a good sign.

“This was a deliberate move to try to steal some of GM’s thunder before their big announcement tomorrow,’ Abuelsamid said.

On Wednesday, Ford will also ramp up the F-150 Lightning order-taking process. You could only reserve one, and Ford cut off those numbers at 200,000 in Dec. 2021.

Ford is now significantly increasing production plans for the fourth time in two years based on the demand.

“Annual volumes of 20,000 units, which they quickly bumped up to 40 and then last September, they announced that they were increasing that to 80,000 units a year,” Abuelsamid said. “So now they’re almost doubling that again.”

While Ford tweaks, GM it is shooting for the EV market moon, says autotrader Michelle Krebs.

“Ford is definitely trying to one GM,” Krebs said.” But they also plan to be the number two EV seller in the U.S. behind Tesla. That’s an ambitious goal. They got a long way to go, but they’re off to a promising start.”

Ford will start building several hundred F-150 Lightning’s and have their employees drive for a month or two to ensure the trucks hold up and the quality is there.

“There’s great potential for commercial business with an F-150 EV version,” Krebs said. “Over the holidays, we saw New York City order 184 Mustang Mach-E GT’s for its police and other city services, and I suspect we could see something similar with the F-150 Lightning.”

On another subject, many people wonder if the spike of COVID and the spreading of the omicron variant will affect the auto industry. So far, the answer is an resounding, no.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.