Thus far, the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford hasn’t expanded to include the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, where the Ford F-150 Lightning is built, but it is impacting a number of the automaker’s plants where the union hasn’t officially walked out. Regardless, despite that big problem and ongoing supply chain issues, The Blue Oval has managed to ramp up F-150 Lightning production over the past few months following strong initial demand, all thanks to some upgrades at the Rouge plant earlier this year. Regardless, now Ford F-150 Lightning production will apparently take a temporary step back, according to Reuters.
Ford will temporarily cut one of three shifts at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center due to “multiple constraints, including supply chain issues,” according to the automaker. This move – which is set to begin today – will affect a total of 700 jobs, though the company will rotate the shift that is being cut. FoMoCo did say that this move is unrelated to the ongoing UAW strike, which thus far has not impacted the Rouge plant in any capacity, however.
It’s unclear how long this particular shift at the Rouge will be cut, but the automaker did say that it’s “working through processing and delivering vehicles held for quality checks after restarting production in August.” However, a UAW official reportedly sent out a memo citing declining sales as another reason for the move, noting that the automaker may shift some of its capacity back to ICE-powered pickups instead. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that our sales for the Lightning have tanked,” the memo read.
While Ford’s EV sales increased by 40 percent year-over-year through September, they also declined by 46 percent over the prior three months. Currently, F-150 Lightning sales only account for around two percent of total F-Series sales, to boot.