ford f-150 lightning production

Ford cutting F-150 Lightning production workforce by two-thirds

Ford is cutting its F-150 Lightning production workforce by two-thirds as the company continues to try and ramp manufacturing of electric vehicles and work toward profitability.

According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, Ford confirmed on Wednesday that it would either reassign or allow workers at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, or REV-C, to take a $50,000 retirement package.

The remaining third of workers will remain on-site. This amounts to 700 production employees. The other 1,400 will either be transferred to Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, where the Bronco and Ranger are built or will take the retirement package that was agreed to during last year’s intense union negotiations.

The Michigan Assembly plant is getting a third shift as Ford continues to lean on gas vehicle sales to bolster its finances. Ford continues to struggle to sell its EV models, but its ICE pickups, SUVs, and cars are keeping the company healthy.

These reductions in staffing will not result in job losses, a Ford spokesperson told the publication.

F-150 Lightning production was slashed late last year as Ford continued to weigh what a proper and strategic output of its EV pickup would be. The automaker then paused shipments of the F-150 Lightning in February, opting to prioritize gas F-150 output and deliveries. The new F-150 Lightning units were held for a quality review.

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According to the President of UAW Local 862 in Louisville, Kentucky, Todd Dunn, battery tech is the main holdup in why purchasing has slowed.

“Their intentions were to build 180,000-plus units. Right now, we’re looking at 55,000 units they’re gonna build. There are some things out there that’s causing this — distance on (battery) charges, new technology that’s being brought about overseas, that technology being implemented over there already in certain design models,” Dunn said.

Ford’s CFO John Lawler also reassured investors at a conference earlier this week that the company is adjusting its strategy, including purchasing decisions, to remain competitive in a saturated and tough market.

Admittedly, Lawler says Ford may have pushed capacity past the point of demand when it started building EVs.

“We definitely need to work to match capacity with demand. Demand is much slower than the industry expected when it comes to EVs,” he said.

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Ford cutting F-150 Lightning production workforce by two-thirds
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