Tens of Thousands of Unfinished Ford Trucks Are Parked Up: Here’s Why
The same goes for an inactive munitions factory in Indiana. And parking lots in front of Ford plants in Missouri and Michigan.
In total, the company expects it could have as many as 45,000 near-complete pickups in storage by the end of the third quarter, all waiting for a few parts before dealers can sell them. Unfinished vehicles, Ford says, “disproportionately include high-demand, high-margin models of popular trucks and SUVs.”
Kentucky locals told CNN many appear to be F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks. They may be nearing the end of current production – Ford plans to introduce an all-new Super Duty next week.
Ford says most of the trucks “will be completed and sold to dealerships in the fourth quarter.”
Shortage of microchips still slows production
Ford didn’t answer our questions about what parts the trucks expect. But there’s a good chance it’s microchips.
An ongoing global shortage of microchips is forcing automakers around the world to cut production. Kelley Blue Book’s parent company, Cox Automotive, now estimates automakers will build about 13.3 million cars this year, down nearly 4 million from before the COVID-19 pandemic began and the outbreak shortage of microprocessors.
Automakers have stripped some high-tech features from vehicles and released others with the promise of adding them later when chips become available.
It’s also possible that the trucks lack something less technological. Chevrolet this month began selling heavy-duty trucks without engine compartment sound insulation due to a shortage of foam insulation.
A fluctuating order book throughout the year
Attentive readers might hope that an influx of 45,000 new trucks into dealerships could be great news for car buyers. It’s unlikely.
This isn’t the first time Ford has piled up thousands of trucks waiting for parts. The Detroit Free Press reports that the automaker had an order book of 53,000 unfinished trucks at the start of the second quarter. It had fallen to around 18,000 by the end of the quarter.
Although Ford completed 35,000 unfinished trucks to reduce its backlog at the time, this decision had no appreciable effect on prices.