Ford to boost Mach-E production capacity, targets 200K units per year by 2023

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. on Friday confirmed it is increasing production capacity for its all-electric Mustang Mach-E to meet demand for the Mexico-built SUV.

The Dearborn automaker said it is planning to utilize its entire Cuautitlan plant for production of Mach-E. The company plans to increase production of Mach-E there starting in 2022 and expects to reach 200,000 units per year by 2023 for North America and Eruope. As of Nov. 1, the automaker had sold 24,791 units of the Mach-E this year in the U.S. alone.

Ford sold more than 24,000 Mach-E electric vehicles in the first 10 months of 2021.

"We have unprecedented demand for Mustang Mach-E and we are going to scale production quickly to meet demand," Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg said in a statement. "Our goal is to become the clear No. 2 electric vehicle maker in North America within the next couple years and then challenge for No. 1 as the huge investments we are making in EV and battery manufacturing come on-stream and we rapidly expand our EV lineup. Rapidly scaling production of Mustang Mach-E supports our plan."

The decision comes as Ford increases its EV production targets overall, with CEO Jim Farley recently saying the company's goal is to produce 600,000 EVs globally within the next two years — including the F-150 Lightning pickup it unveiled in May.

"We're completely oversubscribed with our battery-electric vehicles, Lightning especially," Farley said Thursday during an appearance on CNBC's Investing Club with Jim Cramer, referring to the battery-electric version of the F-150, America's best-selling truck for decades running. Farley confirmed the automaker capped F-150 Lightning reservations at 200,000 ahead of the start of production next year.

In September, Ford announced it would invest an additional $250 million to boost production capacity for F-150 Lightning to 80,000 units per year, double the initial target. Already, Farley said Thursday, the automaker is looking to double that.

"Don't bet against Ford when we have to increase capacity," he said. "This is what we do."

Farley is less concerned about the impact of the lingering semiconductor chip shortage that has dragged down automotive production worldwide for the last year, he told Cramer, than about ensuring Ford has an adequate supply of EV batteries.

"We think we can do it. In 24 months, we're going to double our capacity for these battery-electric vehicles," he said.

And asked about Ford's race to compete with EV leader Tesla Inc., Farley referenced his hobby of race car driving: "Second place is the first loser. That's how I look at business."

Twitter: @JGrzelewski