Ford Resumes Lightning Production and Triples EV Truck Output Targeting 150,000 Units by Fall

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Filed under Automotive, EV News, Ford, News

Ford has recently announced a significant increase in the production of its F-150 Lightning electric truck, signaling a bold move towards the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States. The company has restarted the assembly of the F-150 Lightning at its Dearborn, Michigan facility and plans to triple the production rate.

According to Ford officials, the assembly operation for the Lightning could achieve an annualized production rate of 150,000 vehicles by the end of October, marking a substantial expansion in its manufacturing capabilities. To facilitate this increase in production, Ford has added 1,200 workers to the Lightning assembly system and will be running the operations on a three-shift work rotation.

The push for greater production comes as a strategic move for Ford, as it aims to tap into the growing demand for electric pickup trucks in the market. The company will face the challenge of boosting monthly sales of the Lightning by three-fold or more, targeting higher sales volumes than the roughly 4,000 units sold each month earlier in the year.

This surge in Lightning output aligns with the concurrent efforts of other major players in the EV market. Tesla, the U.S. EV market leader, is ramping up production of its electric pickup truck, the Cybertruck, while General Motors is slowly launching production of its Silverado electric pickup, directly competing with Ford’s Lightning. Additionally, the electric pickup truck startup Rivian is also stepping up its deliveries.

To stimulate demand and attract more customers, Ford has introduced new strategies. Among these is the availability of the least expensive F-150 Lightning Pro version, which was initially designed for commercial customers only but can now be ordered by individual retail customers at a price of $49,995. Half of the new orders for the Lightning are for the XLT model, the middle-tier variant starting at $54,995.

Despite these positive developments, Ford acknowledges that challenges persist in terms of customer awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles among mainstream buyers. While the company is making strides to appeal to traditional customers, it remains vigilant in addressing potential barriers to wider EV adoption.

The move towards increasing Lightning production comes amid Ford’s projection of a $4.5 billion loss in its electric vehicle operations for the year. Despite this, Chief Executive Jim Farley remains committed to tripling the production pace of the Lightning, emphasizing the company’s dedication to EV manufacturing even as it reassesses its overall EV capacity expansion plans.

Ford’s efforts to ramp up production of the F-150 Lightning mark a crucial juncture in the transition towards electric trucks and will serve as a multibillion-dollar test of whether mainstream U.S. truck buyers are ready to embrace EVs on a large scale. As competition intensifies in the electric pickup truck market, the success of the Lightning will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the automotive industry’s electrification journey.


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