Supply chain challenges continue to pummel automakers’ ability to produce complete cars, leaving acres of almost complete vehicles parked, waiting for parts. The latest issue to hit the already besieged and parts-starved Ford is a lack of its own blue oval badges.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the shortage of badges is affecting Ford F-series trucks the most. It’s worth noting that the trucks have the largest variants of the blue oval badge, especially the Super Duty trucks. They are also Ford’s best-selling product.
This isn’t anything new for Ford. Trucks awaiting parts after semi-completing production have been a chronicle for months now. We’ve seen the mass of parked trucks become so large that they can be seen from space in multiple locations, multiple times. Production ebbs and flows as parts arrive in batches, which is normally supposed to operate as a just-in-time production system. When the parts are even slightly late, the line gets interrupted in a serious way.
Semiconductor shortages have been the headline issue, but nearly all parts supplies are affected. Ford is exploring ways to circumvent the issue of the blue oval badges and expediting deliveries to dealers, with suggestions that 3D printing the badges was considered but Ford declined to comment. For now, Ford is shipping trucks with badges to dealers while other trucks await badges.
The unfinished vehicle problem is only growing for the company. It said on Monday that it expects to have approximately 45,000 vehicles in inventory awaiting parts by the end of the third quarter. According to Ford, these are mostly trucks and SUVs that are primarily missing parts not related to semiconductors.
Ford expects the vehicles to be completed and shipped in the fourth quarter, with an expected impact of $1 billion in higher payments to suppliers thanks to inflation.
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