Ford is taking steps to get more of its hot new vehicles into the hands of the frustrated customers on long lists to buy them. The automaker is boosting production of its popular electric vehicles: the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the F-150 Lightning EV pickup, and the E-Transit cargo van. It will also make more Bronco Sport SUVs and Maverick midsize pickups to better meet demand and reduce wait times.
Ford is in an interesting state these days, with arguably the best product portfolio in decades, but with a terrible track record of launches that are either plagued by quality issues and recalls or suffer from gross volume miscalculations that underestimated demand. They are the kind of mistakes than cannot be fixed overnight, but at least they are being addressed now. Output will soon increase at a number of plants across North America.
The assembly plant in Kansas City, MO, will add a third shift and 1,100 employees to make an additional 38,000 Transit and E-Transit commercial vans a year.
This week Ford increased production of the Mach-E, nearly doubling the number of crossovers it can build an hour and increasing plant capacity to reach an annual rate of 210,000 vehicles by the end of the year.
Those waiting for a Bronco Sport or Maverick increase their odds of a timely delivery with plans to increase production by more than 80,000 units this year. F-150 production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan is on track to triple this year, targeting an annual run rate of 150,000 by the end of the year. After a temporary shutdown of the F-150 Lightning line, production will resume March 13. Ford stopped building the electric trucks in early February after a battery fire.
All this is happening as the automaker prepares to launch the four new or updated vehicles: the 2024 Ford Mustang, Ford Escape SUV, Super Duty heavy-duty pickup, and a fifth-generation Ford Ranger pickup. So far this year, Ford’s electric vehicle sales are up 68 percent, and that’s now likely to dramatically improve further.
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