by John McPhaul, The Chicago Times
September 19, 2021
DEARBORN, MI — Ford announced Thursday that it will increase investment and add jobs to boost production as the first pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks roll out of Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center as demand for the all-electric truck soars.
Ford will invest an additional $250 million and create 450 direct jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, and Rawsonville Components Plant. The investment and new jobs will contribute to an increase in production capacity to 80,000 trucks per year.
“We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but public interest has exceeded our wildest dreams and changed the conversation about electric vehicles. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to boost output,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.
With a starting MSRP of $40,000 and an EPA-estimated driving range of 300 miles with the extended range battery1, the F-150 Lightning is aimed squarely at the heart of the US auto market. Ford has taken more than 150,000 reservations for the truck.
“Electrifying the F-Series – America’s best-selling truck for 44 years – and assembling at this high-tech facility in Michigan – represents a significant step toward mass adoption of electric vehicles in America . . . F-150 Lightning is intended to be more than a no-compromise zero tail pipe emissions truck . . . It is loaded with clever features and technology that will improve over time, it is thrilling to drive, and it can power your home and workplace.” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of The Americas and International Markets Group.
Ford announced the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center’s construction a year ago as part of a $700 million investment in the historic Ford Rouge Center to create a manufacturing home for the F-150 Lightning.
Ford’s pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks are now leaving the factory for field testing, with the truck expected to be available to customers next spring.
Ford’s additional $250 million investment will result in 450 additional hourly direct jobs, with the majority of those employees assembling the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. The batteries will be assembled at the Rawsonville Components Plant, and the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning.
This is the latest in Ford’s ongoing commitment to Michigan. Since 2016, Ford has invested $7.7 billion in the state and created or retained 7,000 Michigan jobs, including bringing the new Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup production to Michigan, refurbishing Michigan Central Station, developing a new Ford Research and Engineering Campus in Dearborn, and establishing Ford’s Ion Park in Romulus, among other things. Since its inception in 1903, Michigan has been the home of Ford, and these locations are part of a growing network in southeast Michigan that will support the next generation of Ford’s battery electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles.
I can’t wait!