Ford Cuts F-150 Lightning Production and Makes the ICE-Powered Bronco a Priority

Ford ramps up production of the Bronco 6 photos
Photo: Ford
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Ford is trying to keep up with the demand for the Bronco and adds a third shift at its Michigan Assembly Plant. The move will increase production and will create 900 new jobs.
The Ford Bronco and Bronco Raptor roll off the production line in the Blue Oval plant in Michigan. That is where both the Ranger and Ranger Raptor see the light of day as well. They will also benefit from the extra shift.

Nearly 900 new jobs will become available with the new third shift at the plant in Wayne, Michigan. There will be a 1,600-employee third shift starting this summer, which will also include approximately 700 employees coming from Ford's Rouge Complex in Dearborn after having applied for job openings within the company.

The Rouge Complex will transition to one shift from April 1, a move that will affect approximately 1,400 employees. The other 700 will be placed in roles at the Rouge Complex or other Ford facilities in Southeast Michigan. Some of them can benefit from the Special Retirement Incentive Program agreed to in the 2023 Ford-UAW contract.

In order to ramp up production, the plant will operate seven days a week instead of the current five-day-a-week program in order to increase the volume of the vehicle lines assembled at the plant.

Ford has scheduled the launch of the all-new Ranger and Ranger Raptor this year. Therefore, the plant will have to make the transition from the outgoing model to the upcoming one, but also from five to seven days a week, with three crews working in shifts.

Production of the Ford F-150 Lightning is slowing down

Meanwhile, Ford is slowing down on the production of the F-150 Lightning to match the customer demand. The vehicle remains the top-selling electric pickup truck in the United States, being ahead of the Chevrolet Silverado EV on both new and used car markets. The F-150 Lightning scored a 55 percent increase last year.

The carmaker goes along with the growth in global EV sales, but it is slower than anticipated. Last year, Ford was America's second best-selling electric vehicle brand behind Tesla.

Ford slows down the production of the F\-150 Lightning
Photo: Ford
Blue Oval's president and CEO, Jim Farley, says the brand is counting on its manufacturing flexibility to adapt to the market demand as it changes and anticipates further growth for EVs in 2024.

Ford is also working on the next-gen electric vehicles. However, a few dozen employees could be impacted at component plants supporting the production of the F-150 Lightning.

Ford sold a total of 1,995,912 vehicles in 2023, which translates to a 7.1 percent increase over the previous year. 72,608 of them were EVs. Ford's current zero-emission lineup includes the F-150 Lightning pickup, the Mustang Mach-E crossover, and the E-Transit van.
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