Ford to Triple Output of BEV F-150 Lightning Truck

Ford says it plans to triple production of its F-150 Lightning BEV truck doubling down on the bet that mainstream US consumers are ready to switch from ICE powertrains.

Executives said at its Dearborn production line in Michigan that builds Lightnings could hit a 150,000-vehicle annualized production rate by October, the end of the current quarter, Reuters reports. The automaker has added 1,200 workers to the Lightning assembly system and plans to run it on a three-shift work rotation.

As the Lightning factory ramps up, Ford and its dealers will be under pressure to boost monthly sales to match increase production raising the bar three times more than the 4,000 vehicle sales a month the automaker achieved earlier this year. Ford’s move comes as Tesla is ramping up output of its Cybertruck and General Motors begins production of its Silverado electric pickup. Start-up Rivian is also accelerating deliveries of its electric pickups.

As one of several new moves to boost demand, Ford said individual retail customers can now order the least expensive F-150 Lightning Pro, a $49,995 version of the truck originally designed for commercial customers only. Half of new orders for the Lightning are for the XLT model, the middle of the vehicle’s line-up starting at $54,995, Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer for Ford’s Model-e electric vehicle business, said during a conference call.

Gjaja added that to support increased Lightning production, Ford will focus sales efforts on “attracting more traditional customers, or the early majority” although “challenges still remain around customer awareness and acceptance” of electric vehicles among mainstream buyers.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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