Ford is planning to slash production of the F-150 Lightning next year to half its current levels. The pullback in production comes just a few months after the Detroit-based automaker completed factory upgrades that increased their production capacity to 150,000 Lightning trucks per year.
In August, Ford resumed the production of the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, after a six-week hiatus. The plant underwent a temporary closure to retool, expand, and reconfigure the production lines that would triple Lightning production capacity to 150,000 units per year. At the time Ford said it believed this level would meet the demand for the electric pickup truck.
Just a few months later and the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will now only produce half that amount in 2024. According to an internal memo obtained by Automotive News, Ford is informing its suppliers to expect about 1,600 Lightning trucks to roll off the production line next year. That is a 50% reduction from the current output of 3,200 per week.
Ford says the drastic reduction in Lightning production is due to “changing market demand,” which is a remarkably different story than what Ford was telling this time last year.
This is not the first sign that their EVs are seeing weaker than expected demand. In October the automaker said it was planning to cut or delay approximately $12 billion in EV related investments, including delaying construction of an EV battery plant in Kentucky. While that plant has been delayed, the company is moving ahead with a $3.5 billion battery plant in Michigan with CATL, although the facility has been scaled back from the initially planned 35 gigawatt hours (GWh) to 20GWh per year.
Interestingly, this news comes after Lightning sales more than doubled year-over-year, reaching 4,393 units in November, helping to lead Ford to its best month ever in terms of EV sales. It also comes less than two after Tesla delivered the first Cybertrucks to customers at Giga Texas.