Ford Motor Co. has pushed back production of all-electric versions of the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator crossovers from mid-2023 to December 2024 in order to significantly increase Mustang Mach-E output and meet growing demand — reports Automotive News.
According to the publication, Ford informed suppliers in a recent memo that production for the new electric vehicles (EVs) would be delayed to December 2024.
In addition, the veteran automaker no longer plans to assemble the Explorer and Aviator EVs at its assembly plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, and will instead dedicate that entire facility to Mach-E production. Ford will decide on a production site for the now-delayed EVs at a later date.
Ford has seen overwhelming demand for the Mustang Mach-E, which was named ‘EV of the year’ for 2021 by Car and Driver, ever since it launched. Unfortunately, Ford simply hasn’t been able to supply enough units to meet demand, with the global chip shortage in particular hampering production.
Ford North America COO Lisa Drake said in an interview on Friday that the company plans to scale Mustang Mach-E production up to 200,000 units per year by 2023 to meet that demand, with output ramping up significantly over the course of next year.
“We had previously contemplated building an additional electric vehicle down there in Cuautitlan but our first priority right now is to scale production of the Mach-E given that demand,” said Drake.
“Our production system is very flexible by design, and we’ll utilize multiple North American plants as we build out our future North American lineup.”
A Friday tweet from Ford CEO Jim Farley echoed Drake’s statements.
It’s hard to produce Mustang Mach-Es fast enough to meet the incredible demand, but we are sure going to try. So starting in 2022 we are increasing production and expect to reach 200,000+ units per year for North America & Europe by 2023. That's 3x our 2021 output. ⚡️⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/xSMbuHxdEN
— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) December 10, 2021
The company is currently on track to sell around 60,000 Mustang Mach-Es across the globe this year and has even started producing them locally for the Chinese market.
According to Drake, Ford will work closely with suppliers to make sure the automaker can source enough battery cells, battery trays, electric drivetrains, and other components to support increased Mach-E production.
With both the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, Ford’s next big-ticket EV projects, delayed, the veteran carmaker can allocate all of its resources to meeting the demand for the Mustang Mach-E and piping out its all-electric F-150 Lightning SUV on schedule.
Earlier this week, Ford stopped accepting reservations for the F-150 Lightning as it gears up to launch orders in January. The company has also doubled its production target for the F-150 Lightning, citing high demand.
Just as Ford announced it would be increasing Mustang Mach-E production, the carmaker also hiked the sticker price of the electric crossover by $2,000 USD.
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