Ford Motor is scaling back its production plans for the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup, reducing the expected output by roughly half for the upcoming year. Initially, the automaker had significantly increased plant capacity to accommodate the electric vehicle (EV), planning to produce an average of around 3,200 F-150 Lightnings per week. However, the new production strategy, set to commence in January at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, will see an average volume of approximately 1,600 units per week.
This decision aligns with Ford’s commitment to matching production with customer demand, as the company faces the challenge of slower-than-expected EV demand and aims to optimize its production processes. The company has recently canceled or postponed $12 billion in upcoming EV investments.
The planning memo to suppliers, outlining the production cuts for the F-150 Lightning, cited “changing market demand” as the primary reason for the adjustment. The broader automotive industry is grappling with various factors affecting EV adoption, including high prices and interest rates. As a response, automakers are working to streamline production, reduce costs, and reassess their long-term product plans.
Ford had previously invested six weeks earlier this year to enhance the capacity of the Michigan plant, aiming to increase production capability for the F-150 Lightning to 150,000 units, three times the initial planned output.
While the sales of the F-150 Lightning experienced steady growth throughout 2023, reaching a monthly record of approximately 4,400 units in November, the year-to-date sales through November stood at 20,365 trucks, reflecting a 54% increase from the previous year. The production adjustment reflects Ford’s strategic response to market dynamics and its commitment to maintaining flexibility in line with evolving EV demand and market conditions.