DETROIT — Less than a year after Ford Motor Co. opened a gleaming assembly plant at its historic Rouge Complex to build the F-150 Lightning, it's already tearing apart some of the walls to expand.
Ford is growing the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center by 50 per cent while workers inside continue building Lightnings around the clock. It's a delicate dance between production and construction, with autonomous robots maneuvering truck frames past stacks of steel beams and other building materials blocked off by orange caution tape.
The urgency to boost output for a product executives say will define the company's future as much as the Model T did in its infancy highlights the massive stakes in the still-nascent electric pickup market. While Ford rushes to boost volume, its crosstown rivals are plotting to cut in with newer entries as Detroit's decades-old truck war evolves for the EV age.