Ford has restarted production of the F-150 Lightning at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, following a six week shutdown.
The plant was shut down for six weeks to retool, expand, and reconfigure the production lines that will result in its production capacity tripling by the fall. With the project complete the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will be able to produce 150,000 units per year, a level which it says will allow it to meet demand for the electric pickup truck.
Since the facility is only just ramping production with the new capacity limit, Ford expects to produce 70,000 Lightning trucks this year.
The upgrades to the facility not only increased production capacity, but they should also improve build quality. New equipment was added that autonomously measures and confirms precise exterior body fit, as well as validating wheel alignment and headlamp aim. This is the first time these advanced tools have been implemented in the company’s manufacturing processes in their North American plants.
Along with the expanded capacity, high-demand trim levels like the XLT, which make up more than 50% of new orders, are now more readily available. Ford has also responded to customers’ requests by making Lightning Pro units available in limited quantities. Previously this trim level has only been delivered to commercial customers. The automaker also says new trim levels are also in the pipeline to further diversify the lineup.
Ford recently slashed prices on the Lightning, which has translated into a threefold increase in web traffic and a sixfold increase of new orders.