MC&T just reported last week that Ford had received a fresh new supply of semiconductor microchips, which is great news for F-150 production. While the microchip shortage still isn’t over, that meant that the thousands of idled Ford F-150 trucks could finally be completed and shipped out to dealers. Unfortunately, the process just isn’t that simple. Considering the magnitude and quantity of F-series trucks that are sprawling into holding areas that can contain them, the process is proving to be a logistical nightmare for the Dearborn-based automaker and its golden goose.
Ford’s Tentative Plan
Automotive News first discovered Ford’s provisional plan, which would involve distributing unfinished 2021 F-150 trucks to their dealer network for completion. The dealers would be able to opt in, or out, of the proposed solution, all depending on whether or not they felt comfortable holding unsellable trucks on their lots. But once again, it’s still not that simple.
Ford Motor Company would also have to train their existing dealer technicians on microchip installation, which could be a potential liability. The report indicates that installation time for microchips takes roughly an hour per unit, and dealers would be compensated for that labor. It’s not a bad idea either. Dealers could sell new F-150s quickly and without having to wait. To point out the obvious, Ford can’t backtrack thousands of trucks into the assembly lines without severely disrupting production schedules.
Parting The 2021 Ford F-150 Sea
The possible solution would initially help relieve Ford of its overflow storage problems, specifically at their own currently unusable Dearborn Test Track and at the costly, auxiliary Kentucky Speedway location. The Drive unofficially reported that Ford is currently paying large, monthly sums of money to the Kentucky Speedway for storage privileges.
The current situation is undoubtedly extremely frustrating for Ford Motor Company, as there is no clear answer or simple solution. 2021 Ford F-150 production has already seen significant delays due to the pandemic-related microchip shortage. Ford is also still dealing with the monkey wrenches that have thrown into the production of the Ford Bronco and just recently axed the Ford Super Duty XLT Tremor. Hopefully Ford can quickly develop and implement a thorough plan to minimize further losses of time and money.