Ford Motor said on Friday it would reduce production of its F-150 Lightning pickup truck, as demand for electric vehicles (EVs) slows.
The No. 2 U.S. automaker said it would cut production at its Michigan Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to one shift starting April 1. In October, the automaker said it would temporarily cut one of three shifts at the Michigan plant that builds the electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck.
The announcement is the latest sign of softening demand for EV trucks. General Motors in October postponed the opening of a $4 billion electric truck plant in Michigan for a year.
Ford told suppliers in December that it planned to produce about 1,600 F-150 Lightning EV trucks per week starting in January, roughly half of the 3,200 it previously had planned.
The production cut comes at a time when Detroit automakers are protesting that the Biden Administration is going too far with proposals to use emissions rules that would result in 67% of all new vehicles in 2032 being EVs.
Ford said Friday the move impacts 1,400 workers at the plant. Roughly 700 will transfer to its Michigan Assembly Plant and others will be placed in roles at the Rouge Complex or other facilities in Michigan, or take advantage of a special retirement program.
The automaker sees continued growth in global EV sales in 2024, though expects it to be "less than anticipated."
Ford said a few dozen employees could be impacted at component plants supporting F-150 Lightning production.
Ford lost an estimated $36,000 on each of the 36,000 EVs it delivered to dealers in the third quarter, the company said in October, after announcing earlier it would slow the ramp-up of money-losing EVs, shifting investment to Ford's commercial vehicle unit and citing plans to quadruple sales of gas-electric hybrids over the next five years.
Legacy car manufacturers have sharpened their focus towards hybrid models over the past year as buyers snapped up more of those in place of all-electric models.
The Detroit automaker said Friday it would add a third shift and create nearly 900 jobs at its Michigan assembly plant to increase production of Bronco SUVs and Ranger pickups.
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