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Ford restarts expanded Rouge Electric Vehicle Center; F-150 Lightning production capacity tripled by this fall

F-150 Lightning production resumes at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center following six-week retooling and expansion project; facility is now on track to triple its production capacity to a targeted annual run rate of 150,000 units by this fall

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 award-winning 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 U.S. customers expected to ramp in the fall.

“We are all looking forward to getting these F-150 Lightning trucks into the hands of our customers – from the U.S. to Norway,” said Debbie Manzano, director of manufacturing, Ford. “This milestone is the result of a lot of hard work and collaboration.”

New tooling supports Ford’s drive for high quality. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center now utilizes equipment to automatically measure and validate 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.

Meeting customer demand

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 like XLT, which accounts for over 50% of new orders. Lightning Pro units are now available for retail customers in limited quantities, with these units allocated for loyal reservation holders who have been waiting to order since launch.

Recently adjusted pricing, while still above launch pricing, has helped to drive a threefold increase in web traffic and a sixfold 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.

“We have learned a lot from our first-ever EV truck customers, including a preference for technology and visual differentiation,” said Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer, Model e. “We continue to refine the F-150 Lightning lineup to make the jump to an EV truck an easy choice for customers.”

The 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year winner, F-150 Lightning is the smartest, most innovative F-150 that Ford has ever built, with the freedom of an available 9.6-kilowatt smart power plant on wheels with Pro Power Onboard, available Consumer Reports top-rated Active Driving Assistance System, Ford BlueCruise, and Built Ford Tough capability.

By addressing affordability with new pricing, helping to reduce wait times and taking a leadership approach to charging infrastructure, Ford aims to lead the industry in creating a customer-focused transition to EV adoption. 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.

SOURCE: Ford Ford restarts expanded Rouge Electric Vehicle Center; F-150 Lightning production capacity tripled by this fall

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