Ford to Cut F-150 Lightning Production by 50%, Says Memo

Ford is set to cut the production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup by half in the coming year, responding to changes in market demand. This decision marks a significant scale-back for the automaker, which had previously ramped up efforts to increase production of the high-profile electric vehicle (EV).

An internal planning memo obtained by Automotive News reveals that Ford has instructed suppliers to prepare for a reduced production rate of approximately 1,600 Lightnings per week at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, starting January. This is a notable decrease from the current average of 3,200 units per week. Meanwhile, the output of gasoline-powered pickups at Ford’s Michigan and Missouri plants is expected to remain largely unchanged.

The move comes amid a broader industry trend of scaling back EV investments due to slower-than-anticipated sales growth. In October, Ford temporarily idled one of three shifts at the Lightning plant, impacting around 700 workers. This shift was added last year as part of Ford’s plan to triple production to an annual rate of 150,000 by fall. To achieve this, the plant underwent a six-week idle period in early 2023 for expansion, increasing its size by over 70%.

Kumar Galhotra, now Ford’s COO, had expressed confidence in the electric F-150’s demand in January 2022, stating, “People are ready for an all-electric F-150, and Ford is pulling out all the stops to scale our operations and increase production capacity.”

However, the recent slowdown in EV demand has led Ford and other automakers to reassess their production goals. Ford has delayed approximately $12 billion in EV investments and postponed some production targets, including reducing some Mustang Mach-E production and delaying the opening of a battery plant in Kentucky with partner SK On.

Despite these adjustments, Ford’s CFO John Lawler emphasized in October that EVs are still experiencing growth, albeit at a slower pace than initially expected. “The narrative has taken over that EVs aren’t growing; they’re growing,” Lawler said.

In spite of the production cutbacks, sales of the Lightning continue to rise. In November, Ford sold a record 4,393 trucks, with U.S. sales increasing by 54% so far this year, according to CEO Jim Farley. This decision reflects Ford’s adaptive strategy in a rapidly evolving automotive market, particularly in the EV sector.

Earlier today, a video shared by Munro Live talking about Cybertruck was sponsored by Ford.