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Ford confirms plan to double F-150 Lightning production, ramp up hiring

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

DETROIT — A year after revealing plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the iconic Rouge Complex to build the all-electric F-150 Lightning, the automaker announced Thursday that its initial plan didn't go far enough.

Ford confirmed it will double production of the highly-anticipated 2022 Ford F-150 that will be built with a battery pack instead of a gas tank.

With 150,000 reservations for 2022 F-150 Lightning received online by mid-September, the company confirmed it will be adding another $250 million investment at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and create 450 additional hourly direct jobs, with most of the workers building the Lightning.

In addition, workers at Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti will assemble the batteries and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center in Sterling Heights will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning.

This is on top of the initial $700 million investment Ford announced in 2020 as part of a plan to add 300 jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to support battery assembly and production of the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid and fully electric F-150.

Reuters reported last month that Ford planned to double production of its Lightning to meet strong demand.

 

The investment in added jobs will help increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a year, Ford told the Free Press.

Ford has been able to track early interest and convert that to sales with its pivot to requiring online refundable reservation orders as part of a new protocol for carmakers. Ford did the same with its all-electric Mustang Mach-E.

Getting an early peek

Ford also planned to give public officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a glimpse of its all-new pickup truck prototypes coming out of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on Thursday.

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