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Ford to halve production of the F-150 Lightning

Low demand has prompted Ford to cut down on production of the F-150 Lightning, after a similar cut in volumes for the Mustang Mach-E

Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford is recalibrating its production strategy for the F-150 Lightning, signaling a notable shift in the electric vehicle (EV) market’s dynamics. The company has observed a dip in the demand for its electric pickup, prompting a decision to scale back its production. Starting April 1, the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan, the birthplace of the F-150 Lightning, will reduce its operational capacity from two production shifts to just one. This decision impacts approximately 1,400 workers.

In a strategic move to adapt to market demands and maintain workforce efficiency, Ford plans to reallocate about half of these workers to its Michigan Assembly Plant. This plant is ramping up for an increased output of the Bronco and Bronco Raptor, along with the new Ranger and Ranger Raptor models. To support this shift, Ford is also on a hiring spree, adding 900 new roles to fill the expanded production line.

While Ford hasn’t disclosed numbers around the exact cut in the F-150 Lightning’s production, the shift from two production lines to one suggests a significant reduction, likely around 50%. This aligns with recent reports, including one from CNBC, which indicated a planned reduction in the F-150 Lightning production from about 3,200 units per week to approximately 1,600.

In 2023, Ford had retooled the Rouge facility, aiming for an annual production capacity of up to 150,000 F-150 Lightnings. However, the market demand has not met these expectations. Despite a 55 percent increase in EV sales last year, the F-150 Lightning’s sales pace has slowed down compared to its initial launch period.

Ford remains optimistic about the global growth of EV sales but acknowledges that the pace might be slower than initially anticipated. This, combined with the company’s focus on developing next-generation EVs and its readiness to leverage Tesla’s charging network, has led to the decision to reduce the F-150 Lightning production for now.

This isn’t the first time Ford has adjusted its EV production plans. Previously, the company also made a similar decision regarding the Mustang Mach-E.

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