Customer-bound trucks are still months away, Ford is kicking off pre-production for the F-150 Lightning.
The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan is seeing its first pre-production Ford F-150 Lightning trucks roll off the assembly line. It’s a crucial step to dial in the final trucks, which will begin making their way to waiting customers next spring.
To actually ramp up that production and meet the strong demand, Ford Motor Company announced this Thursday it would invest $250 million in southeast Michigan. So far, the automaker says it received more than 150,000 Lightning reservations, and the extra capital will help ramp up output to 80,000 trucks annually. That’s double the initial goal, which was reportedly to build 40,000 units each 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,” said company executive chair Bill Ford. “So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production.” In addition to the money, Ford will open 450 additional jobs across three plants in southeastern Michigan, including the Rouge Plant, the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and the Rawsonville Components Plant.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is the third prong in the Blue Oval’s electrification rollout over the past 12 to 18 months. After the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the E-Transit, the brand’s best-selling vehicle will soon jump into the growing electric frenzy. 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning prices start at $39,974 (before tax credits) for the base version, while customers will also be able to spec XLT, Lariat and Platinum trucks with more options.