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Lightning Strikes

Oct 04, 2021 - 4 minute read

One year after Ford confirmed construction of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Mich., the first Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production units begin leaving the factory; the all-electric F-150 Lightning goes on sale next spring.  With 150,000 reservations for F-150 Lightning to date, Ford is investing an additional $250 million and adding 450 more direct jobs across three southeast Michigan facilities, including the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, to increase production capacity for has invested $7.7 billion in Michigan since 2016 and created and retained 7,000 jobs in the state.


As the first pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks roll out of Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and demand soars for the all-electric truck, Ford today said it will increase investment and add jobs to boost production.


Ford is investing an additional $250 million and adding 450 more direct jobs across the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, and Rawsonville Components Plant. The investment and added jobs will help increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a year.


“We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but the interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations and changed the conversation around electric vehicles. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” said Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company. “This truck and the Ford-UAW workers who are assembling it in Michigan have a chance to make history and lead the electric vehicle movement in America.” 


F-150 Lightning, with a starting MSRP of $40,000 and targeted EPA-estimated driving range of 300 miles with the extended range battery1, is aimed at the heart of the U.S. auto market. Ford has taken more than 150,000 reservations for the trucks to date.


“Electrifying the F-Series – America’s best-selling truck for 44 years – and assembling it at this high-tech facility in Michigan – represents a significant step toward mass adoption of electric vehicles in America,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of The Americas and International Markets Group. “F-150 Lightning is intended to be more than a no-compromise zero tailpipe-emissions truck. It’s packed with ingenious features and technology that will improve over time, it’s exhilarating to drive and it can power your home and worksite.”  


Ford confirmed construction of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center a year ago as part of an initial $700 million investment in the historic Ford Rouge Center, creating a manufacturing home for the F-150 Lightning. Now Ford’s pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks are leaving the factory for real-world testing, with the truck available to customers next spring.


Ford’s $250 million additional investment will create 450 additional hourly direct jobs, with most of those workers assembling the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Workers at Rawsonville Components Plant will assemble the batteries and 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 continuing investment in Michigan. Ford has invested $7.7 billion in the state and created and retained 7,000 Michigan jobs since 2016, 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, creating Ford’s Ion Park in Romulus and more. Michigan has been the home of Ford since its founding in 1903 and these sites represent a growing network across southeast Michigan that will support the next generation of Ford’s battery-electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles.


“Today’s announcement is a great example of the right way to navigate the transition to tomorrow's vehicles by ensuring good-paying jobs of the future – investing in building vehicles in the United States, with the hard-working men and women of the UAW,” said Laura Dickerson, UAW Region 1A Director. “Investments like this can pave the way to a future that protects our families, our communities, and our middle class. Ford is doing this the right way with the F-150 Lightning – creating 450 additional UAW-represented jobs. Ford is investing in this all-electric F-150 Lightning, as well as hybrid and gas F-150 versions, as consumer demands shift. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”


Ford hosted government officials including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell to celebrate Ford’s commitment to Michigan and assembling electric vehicles in Michigan as the first pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks start to leave the factory.


The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is in the Ford Rouge Center, which sets the benchmark for sustainable automotive assembly. This new center supports Ford’s vision of sustainable production as a zero-waste-to-landfill site.


The center uses natural lighting, as well as LED lighting and the primary forklift fleet will use hydrogen fuel cells with a zero-emission profile. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is built on the site of the old Dearborn Assembly Plant, using its recycled foundation and construction materials.


If you would like more information on the Ford Lightning, are interested in going green, or looking for power + fuel efficiency with America’s best-selling truck, contact your all-electric vehicle experts today at J.C. Lewis Ford, 912.226.0360.