Ford Vows to Boost Production Through Rest of 2023

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Following an extended production pause of the all-electric Lightning pickup, Ford has signaled its intention to boost production through the rest of 2023 – especially when it comes to its most in-demand models. While it’s undoubtedly wise for Blue Oval to ensure it can build enough vehicles to satisfy demand, the automaker is also trying to turn around any perceptions that it might be falling behind with EVs. Meanwhile, Ford is providing itself with an opportunity to preemptively dunk on General Motors after news broke that the rival automaker would walk back full-size pickup production to “ maintain optimal inventory levels.”

The models Ford plans on focusing upon include the aforementioned F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, Bronco Sport, and Maverick pickup.

“We have had a strong start to 2023 sales and we are moving to fast-track quality production,” said Kumar Galhotra, President of Ford Blue. “Increasing production benefits both our customers and our business.”

Ford said it has already made changes that would increase volumes of the electrified Mach-E the company still references as a Mustang. The company suggested that the plant would be able to nearly double its hourly production through the rest of 2023 and is targeting 210,000 units by the end of the year.

While production of the F-150 Lightning has been idled for a couple of weeks, manufacturing is slated to resume on March 13th with Ford hoping to deliver 150,000 annually this year. For reference, the company only managed to build about 15,500 units in 2022. However, that was also the pickup’s introductory year and one that was absolutely riddled with automakers bemoaning supply chain issues.

Volumes of the Bronco Sport and Maverick are also slated to increase since they’re two of the brand’s latest and most popular models. Ford said it’s only planning on building an extra 80,000 units for 2023, saying that it should help meet demand for both North and South America. How that’ll be broken down between the models is likely TBD and the automaker has other obligations to consider.

From Ford:

Also adding an additional crew in April is Kansas City Assembly Plant, which manufactures the Transit and the E-Transit vans, America’s best-selling gas and electric vans in 2022. Ford is targeting an annual production increase of 38,000. Ford is investing $95 million and adding 1,100 union jobs as part of the production increase. Ford is America’s best-selling commercial van maker for 45 straight years.
Ford is also looking at ways to increase production at the Dearborn Truck Plant of the F-150 gas and hybrid trucks to meet continued strong demand. The F-Series holds the title of America’s best-selling truck for 46 consecutive years.

There’s a lot of marketing talk in the release. But that’s kind of the point. Ford really wants people to forget about the highly publicized factory shutdowns and learn that volume targets are going up for 2023. The timing of the announcement is likewise a shot at GM, which (like a lot of automakers) has suggested the best path forward involves keeping inventories tighter. Whether or not that ends up being true in the long run, consumers have begun to signal that they’ve lost patience with the state of the economy and how the industry has operated these last few years. Ford may be able to come out of this looking a little better than GM, by simply suggesting that it will try to ramp up production.

[Image: Nick Shoe/Shutterstock]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Cprescott Cprescott on Mar 06, 2023

    So glad I bailed on this company in 2019. After 40 years of being a cheerleader, I have put down my Ford Blue pompons for a korean company. Ford left me as a provider of dependable cars and they'll never get me back.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Mar 06, 2023

    Yay, more vehicles to recall! Way to go, Farley!

  • GIJOOOE “Sounds” about as exciting as driving a golf cart, fake gear shifts or not. I truly hope that Dodge and the other big American car makers pull their heads out of the electric clouds and continue to offer performance cars with big horsepower internal combustion engines that require some form of multi gear transmissions and high octane fuel, even if they have to make them in relatively small quantities and market them specifically to gearheads like me. I will resist the ev future for as long as I have breath in my lungs and an excellent credit score/big bank account. People like me, who have loved fast cars for as long as I can remember, need a car that has an engine that sounds properly pissed off when I hit the gas pedal and accelerate through the gears.
  • Kcflyer libs have been subsidizing college for decades. The predictable result is soaring cost of college and dramatic increases in useless degrees. Their solution? More subsidies of course. EV policy will follow the same failed logic. Because it's not like it's their money. Not saying the republicans are any better, they talk a good game but spend like drunken sailors to buy votes just like the libs. The sole function of the U.S. government is to take money from people who earn it and give it away to people who didn't.
  • CecilSaxon Sounds about as smart as VW's "SoundAktor"
  • Inside Looking Out Does Cybeertruck use the same stainless steel as Starship?
  • Michael It's a crime it's a pity, it's a low down dirty shame ... .thou shall not kill .