Ford says it's cutting production of the F-150 Lightning due to lower than expected demand. As of April 1, the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (the Michigan plant where the electric pickup is built) will transition from two production shifts to one. That will have an impact on roughly 1,400 workers.
The automaker says it will transfer around half of those to its Michigan Assembly Plant, where it's putting together a third crew to build more of the Bronco and Bronco Raptor, as well as the new Ranger and Ranger Raptor to meet demand. The company is hiring another 900 workers to fill that shift.
The rest of the affected F-150 Lightning workers will be reassigned to different roles at the Rouge plant or Ford's other facilities in the region. That is, unless they take up a retirement incentive offer.
Ford didn't say by how much it's reducing production of the F-150 Lightning. However, by moving from two shifts to one, that indicates output will drop roughly by half, which aligns with recent reports. According to CNBC, Ford planned to cut production from around 3,200 units per week to 1,600.
The automaker retooled the Rouge facility in 2023 so that it would have an annual F-150 Lightning capacity of up to 150,000. However, demand hasn't kept up. While sales of the EV were up by 55 percent last year, it hasn't been selling as quickly as it did previously.
The company says that it expects EV sales to continue to grow globally this year, but at a lower rate than previously anticipated. With that in mind, as well as the fact Ford is readying next-gen EVs, the company has decided to pull back on F-150 Lightning production for the foreseeable future.
That isn't the only EV Ford has scaled back on either. In November, it slashed production of the Mustang Mach-E.
“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,” Ford President and CEO Jim Farley said. “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."