Ford is dialing back production of its F-150 Lightning as demand for the electric pickup truck wanes, the automaker announced Friday.
The company said it will reduce the number of shifts at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, where it builds the EV pickups, to one, beginning April 1.
The move will affect some 1,400 workers, including 700 who will move to the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant. Some employees will be placed in roles at the Rouge complex or other Ford facilities in southeast Michigan, and others can “take advantage of the Special Retirement Incentive Program agreed to in the 2023 Ford-UAW contract,” Ford said.
The company has been producing the F-150 Lightning since April 2022.
Ford sold more than 24,100 F-150 Lightning vehicles in the U.S. in 2023, the company said earlier in the month. That marked a nearly 55% increase from the 15,600 it sold in the prior year.
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Ford said it was “moving nimbly across its global footprint to capitalize on its balanced lineup and serve customers with the right mix of gas-powered, hybrid and electric vehicles, while optimizing financial returns.”
At the same time, the automaker said it would start using a 1,600-person third crew for Bronco and Bronco Raptor SUV and Ranger and Ranger Raptor pickup production at its Michigan Assembly plant.
The new crew helping meet demand for those vehicles will include nearly 900 newly hired workers, according to Ford. The 700 others will be transferring Rouge Complex workers.
“We are taking advantage of our manufacturing flexibility to offer customers choices while balancing our growth and profitability,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. “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.”
The Michigan Assembly Plant, where the company builds Rangers and Broncos, will see its production schedule go from its current five days per week to seven, Ford said.
It said its planned launch of its latest Ranger and Ranger Raptor was “on track.”