In a move reportedly unrelated to the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike, Ford Motor Company is set to temporarily lay off about 700 workers who build the F-150 Lightning, the battery-electric version of the company’s best-selling pickup truck.
The adjustment will affect one of the three shifts at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, which is located near Ford’s main headquarters. The layoffs will be rotated between the three shifts at the plant.
Ford spokeswoman Jessica Enoch shared her thoughts about the matter in a comment to The Detroit Free Press. “We are adjusting the schedule at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center because of multiple constraints, including the supply chain and working through processing and delivering vehicles held for quality checks after restarting production in August,” Enoch said.
Ford temporarily paused the electric vehicle plant earlier this year to pave the way for improvements to the facility’s production capacity. The automaker also noted that the latest layoffs are related to “multiple constraints, including the supply chain and working through processing and delivering vehicles held for quality checks after restarting production in August,” as stated in an ABC 12 report.
While the F-150 Lightning has been received well by consumers and reviewers alike, sales of the all-electric pickup truck have seen a slowdown as of late. Sales of the F-150 Lightning dipped by 45% in the third quarter compared to the previous year, though Ford remains optimistic about the vehicle. The automaker noted that the overall demand for its EVs is strong, with a 65% increase in Q3 2023.
An interesting note is that workers laid off due to the ongoing UAW strike are usually ineligible for unemployment benefits in most states and do not receive “sub pay” from companies. However, the F-150 Lightning workers who are facing temporary layoffs will be eligible for both unemployment and sub pay, as per Ford spokesperson Jessica Enoch.
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