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Ford halts shipments of new F-150 Lightning EVs

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) -Ford Motor said on Friday it had halted shipments of all 2024 model year F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks, so it could perform quality checks for an issue it did not specify.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker said the shipment halt began on Feb. 9. It did not say when it expected to resume shipments that had begun in January of the EV truck. A spokesperson declined to say what quality issue was being checked.

Ford also said that this week it began shipping the first newly designed gas-powered 2024 model F-150 pickups to dealers. Ford said it expects "to ramp up shipments in the coming weeks as we complete thorough launch quality checks to ensure these new F-150s meet our high standards."

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Automotive News reported that hundreds, if not thousands, of 2024 model gas-powered F-150 trucks had piled up in storage lots in southeast Michigan since production began in December.

Ford said in September it would start shipping the new F-150 in early 2024 and said Friday it was "on plan."

Last month, Ford said it would reduce production of its F-150 Lightning, as demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has been lower than expected.

Ford said Friday production of the EV truck was continuing. In January, the automaker said it would cut production at its Michigan Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to one shift starting April 1. In October, Ford temporarily cut one of three shifts at the EV plant.

Ford told suppliers in December it planned to produce about 1,600 F-150 Lightning EV trucks per week starting in January, roughly half of the 3,200 it previously had planned.

Ford sold 24,165 F-150 Lightning trucks last year in the U.S., up 55% from 2022, out of about 750,000 total F-150 U.S. sales.

Ford in August had said the plant that builds F-150 Lightning could hit a 150,000-vehicle annualized production rate by October. In 2022 it said it would double EV truck production.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and David Gregorio)