Home Markets Ford cuts F-150 Lightning EV production and expands Bronco and Ranger plant

Ford cuts F-150 Lightning EV production and expands Bronco and Ranger plant

by SuperiorInvest

DETROIT – Ford engine is ramping up production of its Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup truck, while reducing production of its all-electric F-150 Lightning, the automaker said Friday.

Ford said the production changes are aimed at matching production to customer demand. They mark the latest cuts or delays in electric vehicle production amid slower-than-expected customer demand.

“We’re leveraging our manufacturing flexibility to offer customers choice while balancing our growth and profitability. Customers love the F-150 Lightning, the best-selling EV truck in America,” said Ford CEO , Jim Farley, in a statement. “We see a bright future for electric vehicles for targeted consumers, especially with our upcoming digitally advanced electric vehicles and access to Tesla’s charging network starting this quarter.”

The announced cut in F-150 Lightning production comes a month after CNBC and other media outlets reported that Ford would cut planned production of the truck by about half this year, marking a major shift after that the automaker will significantly increase plant capacity for the electric vehicle in 2023. .

The automaker will reduce production of the Lightning at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan from two to one production shift, affecting approximately 1,400 employees. The reduction takes effect on April 1.

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Ford declined to specify how the eliminated production shift will affect production of the vehicles.

Ford said about half of the affected employees will move to the Michigan assembly plant that produces the Bronco and Ranger. Others will move to nearby plants or are expected to participate in a “Special Retirement Incentive Program” agreed to in the 2023 Ford-United Auto Workers contract, the company said.

The Michigan Assembly Plant will add a third shift this summer to increase Bronco and Ranger production, according to Ford. The company plans to add 900 jobs at that plant.

Bronco SUV in production at Ford’s Michigan assembly plant, June 14, 2021.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

Sales of the F-150 Lightning increased 55% last year to more than 24,000 trucks. However, the vehicles have not sold as quickly as before. Ford said it expects “further growth” in sales of the vehicle in 2024, but apparently not as much as the 150,000 production rate it accounted for when it upgraded the plant last year.

Bronco and Ranger sales fell 9.7% and 43.3% last year, respectively. The plant that produces the vehicles was severely affected by a six-week labor strike by the UAW.

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