Ford Motor Company has resumed production of the F-150 Lightning following a six-week shutdown to expand and retool the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center plant to triple manufacturing capacity of the electric truck. With the expansion, Ford will have ability to produce the F-150 Lightning at an annualized rate of 150,000 units by this fall.
While the temporary shutdown of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center limited customer deliveries this summer, the facility is now ready to accelerate the ramp-up process to unlock supply and help meet demand for the truck. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is scheduled to build more than 70,000 F-150 Lightning trucks in calendar year 2023 with production for US customers expected to ramp in the fall.
The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center now utilizes equipment to measure and validate automatically exterior body fit for margin and flushness precision. It’s the first time such tools have been deployed in Ford’s North American plants. A third station was added to validate wheel alignment and headlamp aim for driver assist technology.
Training for 1,200 additional manufacturing employees will continue for three weeks. Incoming operators are shadowing experienced employees in a buddy system for rapid onboarding.
Battery pack production is also ramping up at the Rawsonville (Mich.) Components Plant and the Van Dyke (Mich.) Electric Powertrain Center is increasing production of EV power units to match the scale of F-150 Lightning assembly at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.
The capacity increase at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center supports shorter order-to-delivery times for customers with a focus on building high-demand trim levels such as XLT (starting at $56,990 with standard range battery, including Destination and Delivery; $71,990 with extended range battery), which accounts for more than 50% of new orders. Lightning Pro units (starting at $51,990, including Destination and Delivery) are now available for retail customers in limited quantities, with these units allocated for reservation holders who have been waiting to order since launch.
Ford said that its recently adjusted pricing, while still above launch pricing, has helped to drive a three-fold increase in web traffic and a six-fold increase in customer orders as Lightning becomes more accessible to a broader segment of shoppers.
The increased capacity also opens up the opportunity to broaden the number of trim levels offered across the lineup, addressing customer wants since reveal.
The company is engineering its second generation of electric vehicles building on the success of its first generation, which includes F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit.