Lightning has struck — twice. After racking up well over 200,000 orders for its new full-size, fully-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, Ford hit the pause button on sales orders, needing to adjust pricing for inflation and lingering supply chain issues. Orders resumed in August of 2022 to an even more thunderous response. This was not much of a surprise, considering that the F-Series has been the best-selling truck line in the United States since 1977 and the nation’s highest-selling vehicle since 1981. It has also been the best-selling truck in Canada for over 50 years.
More than any other vehicle in production, the Lightning had the potential to disrupt the entire automotive industry. And so far, it has not disappointed.
One of the Lightning’s biggest fans is another disruptor, Scott Bonvissuto, founder of Console Vault. Bonvissuto’s company makes in-vehicle safes that have revolutionized the vehicle security segment for two decades. As an OEM partner, Bonvissuto expects the Lightning to be Console Vault’s highest profile launch to date — and a platform for more innovations.
Console Vault’s in-vehicle safe is typically installed into the vehicle’s existing center console, a popular spot for sunglasses, spare change, fast-food receipts and trash. Hidden beneath the armrest and made of heavy-gauge steel, the Console Vault comes standard with a 3- or 4-digit barrel lock. Sales have been brisk, particularly over the last two years.
“Console Vault has protected people from vehicle smash-and-grabs for over 20 years, even though these are just getting in the news today,” Bonvissuto says. “You’d have to be blind not to notice the increase in opportunistic crime, and Lightning customers will have a range of electronics and other accessories that need protection, including firearms.”
The F-150 Lightning has been widely praised for its low-key innovation and power. It offers a 580-horsepower motor with zero carbon emissions, and doubles as a generator capable of powering an entire house for days. And because the Lightning is eligible for a federal $7,500 tax credit, Bonvissuto says that the $299 Console Vault should be a no-brainer for most buyers. As an official Ford Licensed Accessory, the F-Series is already Console Vault’s biggest seller among the dozens of marques it services, but Bonvissuto expects that the Lightning will introduce his product to a whole new demographic.
“Everyone wants to be able to secure their personal items wherever they go,” Bonvissuto remarks. “We were the first to give folks a mobile security option and we were very proud of that. We’ve already installed safes in countless EVs, including Teslas. Now, we are beyond excited to be part of this game-changing vehicle: the F-150 Lightning.”
Though some customers may choose to forgo the factory install, perhaps fearing an additional wait, Bonvissuto says that his product is designed for easy DIY installation. Better yet, the vehicle’s console can continue to be used just as it was before installing a Console Vault safe and will look just as it did before. “The vault itself remains hidden, but we’ve worked hard to improve the locking mechanisms and materials consistently, and more innovations are set to come still in 2022,” he says.
In addition to the Lightning version, Console Vault currently offers hundreds of different types of vehicle safes for most brands of trucks and SUVs. And while the company considers itself an innovator, Bonvissuto points out that a secure, in-vehicle compartment was standard equipment decades ago.
“It used to be that the glove compartment could be locked,” Bonvissuto explains, “but somewhere along the line, automakers decided that people did not want the locking mechanism. The real problem, as we’ve proven, was not that customers didn’t need in-vehicle security, but rather that the security provided by the manufacturer was woefully insufficient. When you’re talking about a cell phone that runs your life, or a firearm that protects it, a latch on a plastic door doesn’t give you peace of mind — a Console Vault does.”