DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — The new electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup continues to be a big hit even before it rolls out next spring.
Ford announcing an additional investment of $250 million and 450 jobs to meet 150,000 reservations.
Batteries and components are made in Rawsonville. Drive trains are made in Sterling Heights. And the new truck is made in a new plant at the Rouge Complex in Dearborn, a $700 million investment a year ago.
But two critical things Ford can’t control, the microchip shortage and public vehicle charging stations.
The first public view inside the new plant shows computers, robots, and people working together. We found a windows guy on the shop floor who installs windows into the trucks with robots.
Tom Moore has worked for Ford for 26 years and says, “The technology here is much more advanced,” and it took him years to learn and adapt.
The chips are down that power these advanced trucks.
Kumar Galhotra is Ford President of the Americans who told reporters at the plant tour, “The chip situation is so volatile.”
Ford is hoping the shortage doesn’t delay the rollout next spring and the company is prioritizing where to use chips in production.
“But we expect the chip shortage to extend into next year,” Galhotra said.
As more electric vehicles hit the road public charging stations will be needed.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer toured the plant and was asked if Michigan has a target number similar to other states.
She answered, “We’ve got an idea of what it’s going to take. But in terms of a specific number I, we can share more detailed information with you.
This new plant can make 80,000 Ford Lightning pickups a year and Galhotra says there will be wait times for customers.