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Ford to boost F-150 Lightning production capacity to 80,000 per year

A robot works on a Ford pre-creation all-electrical F-150 Lightning truck prototype at the Rouge Electrical Car Center in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

September 16, 2021

By Joseph White

(Reuters) -Ford Motor Co stated on Thursday it would enhance its F-150 Lightning creation ability to 80,000 for every yr owing to potent demand for the electric powered pickup truck, introducing that the car would go on sale future spring.

The U.S. automaker, at an event attended by Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, mentioned it would invest $250 million and add 450 hourly employment throughout three of the state’s facilities to elevate the vehicle’s generation.

Ford’s shift, confirming a Reuters report last thirty day period, comes even as Marketplace observers issue no matter whether person potential buyers will give up their gasoline-driven pickups for electric powered styles.

The Lightning, which has around 150,000 reservations to date, is an electrical variation of Ford’s greatest-selling gas-run F-150 truck, whose popularity has built it the subject of some songs.

“The interest from the public has surpassed our greatest anticipations,” Executive Chairman Invoice Ford explained in a statement.

Reuters experienced claimed the automaker was concentrating on annual production of a lot more than 80,000 Lightning pickup vehicles in 2024, up from its prior focus on of extra than 40,000.

Ford and other world wide automakers are racing to change their gasoline-run lineups to all-electric electric power under pressure from locations like Europe and China to cut car emissions.

Ford’s strategy to lift ability also arrives as Congress is debating no matter whether to develop tax credits for electric powered vehicles, like presenting an additional $4,500 to EVs these types of as the Lightning that are built in the United States with union labor.

Testing NEW Technologies

The Rouge Electric powered Car or truck Center, which is assembling the electric pickups, is a exam mattress for new production engineering, explained Christopher Skaggs, the supervisor overseeing Ford’s EV organizing and implementation.

Instead of a preset assembly line, Lightning bodies and frames journey on automated platforms, enabling Ford to insert or subtract platforms to transform manufacturing prices.

Robots flip truck frames upside down to allow for attachment of suspension elements. Applications are connected to facts techniques that track no matter if bolts are attached effectively.

Output of prototype Lightning vans now occupy a portion of the 500,000 sq. foot electric powered vehicle assembly spot. Ford has space to develop if demand makes it possible for, while plant manager Corey Williams and other Ford officials would not converse about ideas further than those people announced on Thursday.

Michigan U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, whose district will get lots of of the new employment, was also existing at the Dearborn manufacturing unit event.

Shares of Ford ended up up 1% in afternoon trade.

(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru and Joseph White in Detroit Modifying by Maju Samuel)

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