Ford slashes production target for all-electric F-150 Lightning to match demand

Ford will cut production of its all-electric pickup truck in 2024 in an effort to match consumer demand.

Ford executives signaled in October during its third-quarter earnings call plans to “adjust” production of its all-electric vehicles and delay about $12 billion in investments due to softening demand for higher-priced premium electric vehicles.

The automaker didn’t explicitly refer to the Lightning during the earnings call, instead pointing to other examples such as the reduction in Mustang Mach-E production and the decision to delay a second battery factory in Kentucky.

A memo to suppliers, which was viewed and reported first by Automotive News, indicated plans beginning in January to produce an average of about 1,600 Lightning trucks a week at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford had planned for an annual production capacity of 150,000 Lightnings a year, or about 3,200 a week. That means its production target for 2024 has been halved.

A Ford spokesperson would not confirm the memo. The spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the company “will continue to match Lightning production to customer demand.”

The move is a reversal from January 2022 when Ford — reveling in the 200,000 reservations it had received for the truck — announced it would nearly double production capacity to 150,000 vehicles a year by mid-2023 in response to customer demand. The company idled the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan in early 2023 to implement plant upgrades to accommodate that new production capacity.

Even as those improvements were being made, demand for EVs was softening across the industry. EV sales in the United States are still growing and on pace to surpass 1 million vehicles for the year — a 50% increase year-over-year. Still, that growth hasn’t matched the ambitious plans of major automakers, causing many to curb investments, delay factory improvements or new buildouts and reduce production capacity.