Ford Slashing F-150 Lightning Production and Laying Off Most of the People Building It

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

After facing significant challenges ramping up production and meeting customer demand for the F-150 Lightning, Ford recently announced layoffs that will drastically cut volume at its electric vehicle factory in Michigan.

The action will affect around two-thirds of the workers at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, with 1,400 employees being asked to retire or shift to another production facility. That leaves Rouge with one shift a day, down from two last year. There were already rotating layoffs at the factory, so this is likely not a complete surprise for the affected employees.

Half of the laid-off workers are moving to Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant to help boost the output of the Bronco and Ranger. The Blue Oval is also hiring 900 additional employees for the factory, indicating that there’s no shortage of demand for its gas vehicles. Other employees affected by the layoff can retire with a UAW-negotiated incentive package or opt to relocate to another facility.

Electric vehicle demand was off the mark across the board last year, with new EVs spending way longer sitting on dealers’ lots than many expected. Even with tax credits for some models, many EVs are significantly more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts. The F-150 Lightning is no exception, though gas trucks aren’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

[Image: Ford]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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18 of 106 comments
  • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Jan 19, 2024

    if not electrification , then what ? More 4 cylinder turbos ?

  • Jeff Jeff on Jan 20, 2024

    You can buy any truck you want even if you never use it to haul or tow. The question is if you don't use it for either or you use it once a year for those purposes is it wise investment. If you have money to burn then it doesn't matter but many buy more vehicle than they can afford which might be a bad decision financially but then that's their choice. There are a lot of people who are financially illiterate and do not know how to manage money. An EV truck might work for many but is a 80k or more truck whether it be an ICE or EV a good investment? Probably not many but then people do a lot of dumb things. Again if you have plenty of money then go for it.

    • See 8 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jan 22, 2024

      @Silvy_73 - Typical of you. Whine and not back up your sniveling.

      Here is a tidbit in relation to trucks being bought based on what they are supposed to do as opposed to what they actually do: Stellantis is killing off all V8's in 2025.

  • Akear Akear on Jan 21, 2024

    Soon this madness will end, and the suffering will stop. This all could have been avoided with a more balanced and strategic approach to EV implementation. Toyota is an example of how to transition from hybrids to EVs. Rushing into EV technology like GM and Ford was unsolicited and unwise. It was never going work.

    • See 1 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Jan 21, 2024

      "This all could have been avoided with a more balanced and strategic approach to EV implementation."

      Which is what people like myself have been saying all along. Move to hybrids and PHEVs which give consumers a chance to acclimate to the technology without all of the pitfalls we have now. It also would provide time to build out the infrastructure network which is non existant.

      But I get labeled anti-EV and "MAGA" when I say that. I guess if common sense is MAGA then I'm guilty.

    • EBFlex EBFlex on Jan 22, 2024

      That’s about the size of battery you’d need to make consumer EV trucks viable.