Ford announced yesterday temporary layoffs at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, citing supply chain constraints among other issues. The shift that is being cut will be rotated, the automaker added.

The cut will impact about 700 jobs, Ford told InsideEVs, and it will presumably affect the F-150 Lightning production. The Detroit carmaker said the cut was unrelated to the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike.

“We are adjusting the schedule at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center because of multiple constraints, including the supply chain and working through processing and delivering vehicles held for quality checks after restarting production in August,” Ford told InsideEVs.

Ford sold a record number of EVs in Q3 2023, but F-150 Lightning sales have been disappointing. It suffered from a 46 percent sales decline year-over-year in the third quarter, with the brand selling just a shade over 3,500 units between July and September 2023.

“F-150 Lightning is expected to produce sales increases in Q4, as capacity actions at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center are realized," Ford said in the sales report. By cutting an entire shift, it’s unclear how the brand would maximize production.

"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that our sales for the Lightning have tanked," a UAW memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal said. The memo reasoned that Ford was considering canceling a shift to build more gas-powered trucks instead.

That’s quite shameful because the F-150 Lightning had over 200,000 reservations in May 2023. Our editors rated it highly, and it also won the 2022 InsideEVs Star Awards.

Gallery: 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash

“The Lightning won because it has the potential to both change the way work is done while also converting an entirely new demographic to the EV cause,” a former editor wrote. “There’s a Lightning for everyone from general contractors to urban cowboys,” he added.

That said, the demand-supply ratio for the electric truck has been a puzzle. Ford has reported six-figure reservation numbers, but many of those orders haven’t gone through. A sales manager at a Kansas Ford dealership told The Verge in June 2023 that 40 of the 135 orders he received were canceled because the truck was just too expensive.

Although the brand has been trying to attract customers back. Ford recently announced the biggest discounts so far on select variants of the F-150 Lightning. By combining the federal tax credit and Ford’s discounts, customers can save up to $15,000 on the EV.

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