Ford Motor Company’s electric F-150 Lightning on the production line at their Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan on September 8, 2022.
Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images
Ford Motor said Tuesday the factory that builds its electric F-150 Lightning pickup has reopened after a six-week break for upgrades — and that recent price cuts on the EV have led to a significant increase in demand.
Ford cut the Lightning’s prices by as much as $10,000, depending on trim level, last month. The least expensive version of the truck now starts at about $50,000.
related investing news
Those price reductions spurred a sixfold increase in new orders for the Lightning, said Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer for Ford’s “Model e” EV unit, in a Tuesday press briefing.
While he declined to provide specific numbers, Gjaja did say that Ford now has “about 45 days’ worth” of orders for the electric truck.
More than half of new orders for the Lightning are for trucks with the higher-priced XLT trim, which starts at about $55,000 with 240 miles of EPA-estimated range, Gjaja said. Ford is modifying its production mix to increase supplies of the Lightning XLT, he said.
But recent production downtime means Lightning delivery totals will be modest until September, he said. Deliveries should ramp sharply once the upgraded factory hits its stride.
“We expect sales will start to significantly increase in later September, and certainly in October as supply begins to rapidly ramp in the latter half of the year,” Gjaja said.
Ford said Tuesday its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, the Lightning’s factory in Dearborn, Michigan, has resumed production of the truck after a planned shutdown to make upgrades. The factory will be able to produce Lightnings at an annual rate of 150,000 vehicles — three times its previous output — by the end of September.
The factory has hired about 1,200 new employees to support the production increase, according to Debbie Manzano, Ford’s manufacturing director. Those new employees will complete training in about three weeks, she said.
Ford is also ramping up production at the factories that supply battery packs and electric motors for the Lightning, Manzano said.