Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online
Ford is reducing production of F-150 Lightning, the top-selling electric pickup in the U.S., to achieve the optimal balance of production, sales growth and profitability.
Ford expects continued growth in global EV sales in 2024, though less than anticipated, and is preparing to launch next-generation EVs
Ford is cutting production of its ground-breaking F-150 Lightning pickup truck due to lower customer demand than was originally expected.
In their press release of Jan. 19, Ford Motor Company put it under the subheadline of “Matching F-150 Lightning production to customer demand.”
Ford was America’s No. 2 best-selling electric vehicle brand in 2023, and F-150 Lightning is America’s best-selling electric truck with sales up 55% in 2023 and further growth forecast for 2024.
“We are taking advantage of our manufacturing flexibility to offer customers choices while balancing our growth and profitability. Customers love the F-150 Lightning, America’s best-selling EV pickup,” said Ford President and 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.”
Approximately 1,400 employees will be impacted as the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center transitions to one shift effective April 1. Roughly 700 will transfer to Michigan Assembly Plant and the others will be placed in roles at the Rouge Complex or other facilities in Southeast Michigan, or take advantage of the Special Retirement Incentive Program agreed to in the 2023 Ford-UAW contract, Ford said.
A few dozen employees could be impacted at component plants supporting F-150 Lightning production, depending on the number of employees who apply for the Special Retirement Incentive Program. Ford would provide placements for impacted employees within Southeast Michigan.
The company also has capacity available to scale production of gas-powered and hybrid F-150 trucks based on customer demand, according to Ford.
This is happening despite the Canadian federal government bringing in requirements for dealerships to hit 20 per cent zero emissions light vehicles, nearly all of which will be battery-powered electric vehicles, by 2026, By 2035, 100 per cent of new light vehicles sales are supposed to be zero emissions, according to the policy introduced just before Christmas by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault.
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