Ford reducing production of F-150 Lightning pickup as demand slows

Ford acknowledges challenges in EV market, including high prices and limited charging options
An undated image illustrating an F-150 Lightning pickup truck. — Ford
An undated image illustrating an F-150 Lightning pickup truck. — Ford

Ford has communicated to its dealers about a forthcoming reduction in the weekly production of its F-150 Lightning pickup truck due to a decline in customer demand.

Ford has instructed dealers to anticipate an average production volume of 1,600 electric trucks from its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, starting next year. This marks a significant reduction from the current output of 3,200 trucks per week.

Ford adjustments reflect market realities

Emma Bergg, a Ford spokesperson, refrained from commenting on the specific numbers mentioned in the report but stated that Ford remains committed to aligning Lightning production with customer demand.

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While electric vehicle (EV) sales are on an upward trajectory, the pace of growth has not met some automakers' earlier projections. In response, companies, including Ford, are revising their ambitious construction plans.

Ford recently announced a $12 billion investment delay, including pausing construction on a planned battery plant in Kentucky and adjusting production goals for another battery factory in Michigan.

Ford grapples with EV losses

Despite the overall growth in EV sales, Ford continues to incur losses on its electric vehicles. In the past quarter alone, the company reported around $1.3 billion in adjusted earnings loss. Year-to-date, Ford's losses in EV spending amount to $3.1 billion, with a projected total loss of $4 billion for the year.

However, despite financial setbacks, the F-150 Lightning has demonstrated strong sales, with 20,365 units sold in 2023, reflecting a 53 percent increase from the previous year's 13,258 units. In the third quarter of 2023, EVs represented nearly 8 percent of all US vehicle sales, according to Cox Automotive.

Ford's strategies to boost EV adoption

Ford acknowledges the challenges in the EV market, including high prices and limited charging options. The company has introduced initiatives to address these issues, such as launching the F-150 Lightning Flash, a mid-priced trim, and partnering with Tesla to adopt the company’s EV plug.