Ford teases 'Project T3,' next-gen electric pickup to be built in Tennessee
Published in Automotive News
"Trust the Truck."
That's the saying behind the code name of the next-generation F-Series truck Ford Motor Co. will build at its under-construction, $5.6 billion mega-campus in West Tennessee. The Dearborn automaker on Friday offered its first teaser on the product that will be built at BlueOval City, revealing that it is codenamed 'Project T3.'
The teaser came ahead of an event executives will host on the campus later Friday morning, where they will highlight construction progress ahead of the operation's 2025 opening and a workforce development initiative aimed at preparing some 6,000 people to take on jobs there. The initiative encompasses K-12 STEM programs, postsecondary education partnerships and technical training.
Ford also revealed that, at full production capacity, the EV assembly plant on campus will be capable of making some 500,000 electric trucks a year.
Ford has yet to offer any other details about the truck that will be assembled there. It will be a follow-up to the automaker's inaugural battery-electric pickup, the F-150 Lightning, production of which launched last spring at the historic Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn. The automaker is working to ramp up production of the Lightning.
"Project T3 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize America's truck. We are melding 100 years of Ford truck know-how with world-class electric vehicle, software and aerodynamics talent," CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.
"PJ O'Rourke once described American pickups as 'a back porch with an engine attached.' Well, this new truck is going to be like the Millennium Falcon — with a back porch attached," he added. "The manufacturing process will be equally breakthrough, with radical simplicity, cost efficiency and quality technology that will make BlueOval City the modern-day equivalent of Henry Ford's Rouge factory."
The new truck is being developed alongside the plant's construction — an arrangement that Ford says is resulting in manufacturing efficiencies. The assembly plant, for example, has a 30% smaller footprint than traditional plants, but a higher production capacity.
Lisa Drake, Ford's vice president of EV industrialization, said in an interview that the truck will be the second product in Ford's lineup of next-generation EVs.
Ford executives have said the company is developing its second and third generation of EVs, with lessons learned from products like the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E helping to drive improvements. The automaker is targeting an 8% earnings margin on its EV business by 2026, which investors got more insight into Thursday.
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