F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.

Ford Cuts Electric F-150 to One Shift

March 29, 2024
Production of the best-selling e-pickup will be reduced by about two-thirds as the automaker adapts to current market demand and redirects its EV program to more affordable options.

Ford Motor Co. is cutting the production rate for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, reducing the Dearborn, Mich., assembly operation from three shifts to one shift as of April 1. The decision will leave 700 workers at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, while another 700 will be transferred to the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., where the Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger are assembled.

Another 700 workers will be offered a retirement package or will be reassigned to other Ford operations in the Detroit area.

The move appears to be a response to slower EV sales overall, apparent consumer hesitancy to choose electric vehicle options over internal combustion engine models, and concern among auto industry leaders about the affordability of the current electric vehicle offerings.

Earlier this year Ford announced it would add a third shift at the Michigan Assembly Plant to meet demand for the Bronco, Bronco Raptor, Ranger, and Ranger Raptor, and it indicated that shift would be comprised of workers from the electric pickup assembly line.

The electric F-150 has been a highlight of Ford’s EV portfolio, and with a starting price less than $50,000 it was the best-selling electric pickup in the market for 2023. Consumers bought more than 24,000 F-150 Lightnings last year.

And Ford scaled up production of the e-F-150 at Dearborn last year, instituting more design options being promoted.

Now, a UAW official has reported that the Dearborn plant is being reduced in capacity from 180,000 F-150 Lightnings to about 55,000 units annually.

The shift is in line with Ford CEO’s statements on the company’s intention to refocus its EV portfolio on smaller and more affordable models. The new Ford EV platform is expected to cover a variety of vehicle styles, including smaller pickups and SUVs.  

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