The Ford F-150 Lightning launched to tremendous demand that far exceeded The Blue Oval’s expectations and production capacity, prompting it to take steps to boost the latter by nearly double its current capacity to 150,000 units annually by 2024. The automaker plans to accomplish that goal by securing vital raw materials from a variety of suppliers around the globe, while also leaning on its EV battery production joint venture with SK On. Now, Ford F-150 Lightning production is also getting a boost courtesy of the addition of a third shift at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, where the EV pickup is built, according to CNBC.
This additional shift was actually added in November, a move that corresponded with boosting the number of employees building the F-150 Lightning from 500 to 750. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is now rolling out three rotating crews of workers covering 10 hour shifts seven days a week, all while the plant is also being physically expanded. These moves reportedly put Ford on track to meet its goal of building 150k units per year, according to plant manager Corey Williams. “That’s how we’re doing this fast. We’re building product while building out the factory,” Williams said.
Ford originally planned on building 40,000 units of the F-150 Lightning per year, but was forced to scrap that plan in an hurry when initial demand for the EV pickup far exceeded that projection. Regardless, the automaker is still rolling out the less expensive, work-oriented Pro model alongside pricier variants, unlike many of its competitors.
For the 2023 model year, Ford F-150 Lightning customers are still being invited to convert their orders in waves as the automaker works to ramp up production. Regardless, FoMoCo continues to outline changes for its popular EV pickup in the future, which will include replacing its existing lithium-ion battery pack with lithium-iron phosphate units.