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Ford cuts electric F-150 Lightning truck production — again

Graham Rapier   

Ford cuts electric F-150 Lightning truck production — again
  • Ford is cutting F-150 Lightning production, citing slow sales of the electric truck.
  • The move will impact about 1,400 employees, Ford said.

Ford plans to cut production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck once again, it said Friday, citing a problem nearly all automakers have struggled with in the past year: falling demand.

About 1,400 employees will be impacted as the plant where Ford's flagship electric truck is produced, the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, transitions to just one shift per day starting on April 1, Ford said. About half will transfer to a nearby plant in Wayne while others will be placed at other facilities in southeast Michigan or "take advantage of the Special Retirement Incentive Program," Ford said.

Over the past year, lofty automaker expectations have clashed with reality as the electric vehicle market transitions from one of eager early adopters with deep pockets to a more price-conscious consumer with vastly more options to choose from. The only issue? Few options are truly affordable compared to traditional gas-burning vehicles.

That's led to downsized manufacturing plans across the board, coupled with profit-eating price cuts as newcomers to the EV game try to keep up with Tesla, easily still the market leader by a massive margin. Tesla recently released its own truck, albeit in limited numbers, the Cybertruck.

Ford sold fewer than 25,000 of the F-150 Lightning pickup in 2023 as it scaled back production. That still notched it a spot in the top 10 EVs by sales but is dwarfed by traditional F-150 sales of more than 700,000.

Ford has also struggled to get dealers on board with its electric sales program, requiring a substantial investment on their part to install chargers and receive new training. Half of Ford's dealerships had still not signed on as of December.

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