After months of embarrassing photos showing thousands of 2021 Ford F-150 trucks sitting and waiting, along with dismal sales, Ford has secured a new supply of semiconductor chips to finish those trucks.
A story in the Detroit Free Press says these chips will mean Ford will finally be able to ship thousands of F-series pickups currently parked in Michigan, Kentucky and Missouri. We don’t have specific numbers on exactly how many trucks are waiting for parts, but based on photos and low dealer lot inventories, it is assuredly in the thousands.
“We’re working to get chips into F-Series pickups and get them out to dealers. That’s our first priority,” said Erich Merkle, U.S. sales analyst at Ford told the Detroit Free Press. “We’ll see our inventories improve. It’ll take time but stock will gradually start to improve the second half of the year.”
He also said Ford inventory is at “record lows,” causing an immediate impact on sales.
Ford is down 26.9% year over year in sales with the F-Series truck lineup down 29.9% year over year with 45,673 trucks sold in June 2021 compared to 65,188 the year before.
With pickup trucks representing the bulk of the profit margins for automakers, Ford needs these F-series trucks at dealers, not sitting in parking lots.
Unfortunately, thanks to the current high demand for trucks, rebuilding supply is going to take months leading into 2022 until they can get enough supply, according to Merkle.
Like its competitors, Ford has been doing everything it can to build trucks to meet demand. While GM and Ram have cut features, so far, Ford has been hesitant to cut back too much from its trucks, instead it has focused on prioritizing the builds on full-size trucks while cutting back on SUVs like the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair.
Now, hopefully, Ford can get back to just building all vehicles without worrying too much about shortages.
The semiconductor shortages as well as other parts shortages are a major headache for automakers and consumers. This might go down as one of the worst disruptions of the automotive market since World War II saw factories change over from building vehicles to building war equipment.
Unfortunately, short supply and high demand also means consumers are going to pay more for trucks and SUVs in the near term until supply and demand get back to normal.