Ford has announced a significant increase in production for its all-electric Mustang Mach-E. By 2023, Ford wants to achieve an annual output of more than 200,000 units of the electric car. That would be three times as many as were produced in 2021.
Ford CEO Jim Farley announced on Twitter. “It’s hard to produce Mustang Mach-Es fast enough to meet the incredible demand, but we are sure going to try,” Farley wrote, citing a production target of “200,000+ units” for 2023 – for North America and Europe only, meaning production from the Cuautitlan plant in Mexico. For China, the Mustang Mach-E is built locally with joint venture partner Changan, so these vehicles are not affected by Farley’s statements.
In order to create the capacities in Cuautitlan for these increased numbers, Ford apparently has to adjust the production planning for the Mexican plant. According to information from Automotive News, the US manufacturer apparently wants to withdraw the planned production of two electric SUV series from Mexico. The all-electric Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator are to be built at another location yet to be determined – and significantly later than originally planned: From late 2024 instead of mid-2023.
Automotive News refers to a Ford document that was apparently sent to suppliers. The models developed under the code names CDX746 and CDX747 are to go into series production as the U759 and U760, with a planned start of production in December 2024.
The new planning for the two electric SUVs had been foreshadowed: Lisa Drake, COO Ford North America, had already spoken about the considerations in an interview last week. “We had previously contemplated building an additional electric vehicle down there in Cuautitlan but our first priority right now is to scale production of the Mach-E given that demand,” Drake said. “Our production system is very flexible by design, and we’ll utilize multiple North American plants as we build out our future North American lineup.” The executive did not hint at where the Explorer and Aviator might be built.
While Ford is apparently optimistic about having enough batteries for the significant production expansion of the Mustang Mach-E (the cells are made by LGES in Poland), a battery shortage is the reason for the reservation freeze on the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup. “We’ll get the semiconductors, that’s a matter of prioritizing the (battery-electric vehicles) over the (internal combustion engine) vehicles,” Farley told US broadcaster CNBC. “The issue is batteries. That’s what we have to solve.” Ford will do “whatever it takes” to double production capacity for the electric F-150, he said.
Ford plans to use cells from SK Innovation for the F-150 Lightning. These are to be produced at a factory in the US state of Georgia. In the meantime, Ford and SKI have agreed to set up a battery joint venture, BlueOvalSK, with a production capacity of 60 GWh. However, the production of its own battery cells will not start before 2025 – until then Ford will have to rely on purchased cells.
twitter.com, twitter.com (both Mach-E-production), insideevs.com (Mexico), cnbc.com (battery shortage F-150 Lightning)