Ford has announced it’s ramping up production of its in-demand F-150 Lightning electric pickup at its Dearborn, Michigan plant despite temporarily halting production due to a “rare occurrence”.
Ford is still aiming to triple production of its F-150 Lightning this year, and also achieve an annual production run rate of 150,000 by the end of 2023. This matches what the company said back in April last year.
Despite this annual production rate target, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will produce 150,000 F-150 Lightning models this year.
In 2022, Ford sold a total of 15,617 F-150 Lightning models, and last month it sold 3600 examples.
The Blue Oval has said it’s investing US$2 billion (A$2.96 billion) across three production plants in Michigan in order to achieve this F-150 Lightning production increase. It’s also adding 3200 union jobs.
This is in addition to the more than US$1 billion (A$1.48 billion) it said it’s investing in April last year across five Ford plants.
As recently reported, Ford halted production of the F-150 Lightning on February 6 after one of them caught fire in a holding lot.
Ford’s South Korean-based battery supplier SK On has already restarted production at its Georgia production facility, and F-150 Lightning production will recommence on March 13.
Ford recently detailed a 2023 model year update to the F-150 Lightning range which brought a number of small changes, including more range, a Ford Pro Special Vehicle package, and higher US prices.
The Ford US website now says this 2023 model year is no longer available to order.
Demand for the F-150 Lightning has outstripped supply since the vehicle’s launch in 2021.
Ford was forced to close its order books in December 2021, before production had even started, and in 2022 announced plans to double its production output in an attempt to get cars to customers sooner.
It’s unclear if the F-150 Lightning will be coming Down Under, but Ford Australia has previously said it’s bringing at least five electrified vehicles by 2024. It’s also bringing the petrol-powered F-150 to market in 2023.
Given the massive North American demand for the F-150 Lightning, don’t expect it to come here any time soon.