Ford Trims F-150 Lightning Production as Demand Takes a Hit
Ford is hitting the brakes on F-150 Lightning production due to lagging demand. Starting April 1st, the automaker’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan will shift from two shifts to just one. The change affects around 1,400 workers at the electric pickup plant.
Ford says it will transfer about half those employees to its nearby Michigan Assembly Plant. They’ll help launch a new third shift to meet strong interest in the conventional Bronco, Bronco Raptor, Ranger, and Ranger Raptor models. Ford is also hiring 900 additional workers for that crew.
The remaining F-150 Lightning workers will take new assignments at Rouge or other Ford facilities, unless they opt for a retirement package.
While Ford didn’t quantify the production cut, dropping from two shifts to one typically halves output. That aligns with recent reports of plans to scale back weekly F-150 Lightning production from 3,200 units to 1,600.
Last year, Ford invested heavily to boost Rouge’s annual F-150 Lightning capacity to 150,000. But demand has fallen short despite a 55% jump in 2022 sales.
Ford says global electric vehicle growth continues but at a slower pace than expected. With next-gen EVs coming, the company feels it prudent to recalibrate F-150 Lightning output for now.
The move comes on the heels of a November cut to Ford’s Mustang Mach-E production as well.
“Customers love the F-150 Lightning, America’s best-selling EV pickup,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “We see a bright future for electric vehicles for specific consumers, especially with our upcoming digitally advanced EVs and access to Tesla’s charging network beginning this quarter.”
In the end, Ford is demonstrating its manufacturing flexibility to align production with customer demand across its lineup. The company remains bullish on EVs long-term, even as short-term adjustments make sense.