Ford is cutting F-150 Lightning production again as demand fades

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Ford is cutting production of the F-150 Lightning amid falling demand for the all-electric truck. The move comes just months after Ford’s Michigan EV plant already lost a shift.

Ford slashes F-150 Lightning production, again

Ford’s F-150 Lightning was the top-selling electric truck last year in the US last year. With over 24,000 EV pickups handed over last year, the Lightning topped Rivian’s R1T.

Despite the growth, Ford is cutting Lightning production (again) as demand slips. Ford announced plans Friday to reduce F-150 Lightning output to “achieve the optimal balance of production, sales growth and profitability.”

Although Ford expects global EV sales growth in 2024, the move comes amid “less than anticipated” demand.

Around 1,400 employees at its Rouge EV plant will be impacted as Ford transitions to one shift. Ford is transferring around 700 to its Michigan Assembly plant while others will be repositioned at the EV complex.

Ford said, “The transition could also impact a few dozen employees” at F-150 Lightning components plants.

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Ford F-150 Lightning production at Rouge EV plant (Source: Ford)

Meanwhile, the automaker is adding a shift to boost output of its gas-powered Bronco and Raptor pickups. Ford, like Toyota, will rely on a mix of gas-powered, hybrid, and electric vehicle production for “optimizing financial returns.”

The news comes after Ford already cut a shift at its Rouge EV plant in October, citing supply chain issues.

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Ford F-150 Lightning (Source: Ford)

Ford pushed back its 600,000 EV run rate goal last year, with CEO Jim Farley explaining, “The near-term pace of EV adoption will be slower than expected.” The automaker is delaying around $12 billion in EV spending.

Ford Spokesperson Martin Gunsberg told Electrek Ford is “making adjustments to pricing, production, and trim packages” for the 2024 Lightning.

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2024 Ford F-150 Lightning prices and trim options (Source: Ford)

2024 Ford F-150 Lightning prices start at $54,995, $5K more than the 2023MY. The base Pro trim features up to 240 miles range. Prices for other trims, except the Platinum, increased between $2K (Lariat 320 mile range) and $7,500 (XLT 240 mile range).

Ford also added a new Flash trim to the 2024 lineup. The 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash includes up to 320 miles range, a loaded tech interior, a heat pump, Ford’s Tow Tech package, and a Power Trailgate. The new model starts at $73,495.

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2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash trim (Source: Ford)

Electrek’s Take

Despite Ford claiming EV adoption is slowing, a record 1.2 million EVs were handed over in the US last year.

New Kelley Blue Book data shows EVs accounted for 7.6% of total US auto sales last year. That’s up from 5.9% in 2022 and 3.1% in 2021.

EV adoption is expected to continue climbing in the US and globally. KBB expects EV share in the US to reach 10% this year, another record. The growth will come with new EVs and incentives.

Tesla is still dominating the market as the Model Y accounted for one in every three EVs (394,497) sold in the US last year alone. The Model 3 was second, with nearly 221,000 units handed over.

While Ford is taking its foot off the gas, rivals like Hyundai and Volvo look to take advantage. Volvo CEO Jim Rowan said he expects “tremendous growth” in the segment with new models like the EX30, starting at $35,000, hitting the market this year.

In November, Hyundai’s global president, Jose Munoz, told Reuters, “Based on what I see, I need more. If I had more capacity today, I could sell more cars.” The South Korean automaker has stood by its stance after EV sales doubled last year.

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