The semiconductor chip shortage has become the next in a long line of “unprecedented” calamities spun off from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is now a large enough stockpile of unfinished 2021 Ford Super Duty pickup trucks parked outside the factory to be able to see them from space.
Ford is getting slammed by the chip shortage
The 2021 Ford Super Duty of nearly every variety is represented in this collection of unfinished Ford seen from space. A few months ago, Ford also stopped production of the 2021 F-150. As of this week, the Ford Bronco has also caught up in the chip shortage web.
As seen at The Drive, the photos from space show the Kentucky Speedway from a satellite image. There’s a visible progression from April till now of the unfinished Super Duty pickups piling up like beer cans at a ZZ Top show. There must be many thousands of pickup trucks awaiting semiconductor chips.
The future is not looking great for the Ford Super Duty Pickups
As previously mentioned, this isn’t a problem that will only affect a small number of models. The shortage is coming for all of them. These images don’t represent just one delayed model; these are Super Duty pickup trucks of every imaginable configuration.
As a spokesperson from Ford told The Drive, Ford is “making the most of our available semiconductor allocation and will continue finding unique solutions around the world so we can provide as many high-demand vehicles as possible to our customers and dealers.”
They vaguely told The Drive that the Kentucky Speedway would be holding these models for a “number of weeks” before they would be shipped out as complete pickups.
What has caused the chip shortage?
The first and easiest part of this whole chip shortage mess is the simple economics rule of supply and demand. As we know, semiconductor chips are in virtually all of the most popular modern products; TVs, computers, phones, video games consoles, and of course, our cars.
As Covid hit and the lockdowns forced many businesses to close, the semiconductor chip plants also shut down. While they were shut, demand for all things home entertainment went through the roof.
The other side of the coin is that new car sales were struggling at the time of the lockdowns. People were buying used cars or holding on to their old ones because, for many people, times were tough following layoffs and an uncertain economy. However, once car sales picked up and new models started getting made, the strain on the chip supply ramped up.
A perfect storm
According to Autoblog, the chip shortage didn’t come of thin air; in fact, many anticipated it. Between the new Xbox and Playstation consoles in crazy-high demand and car sales picking up, the supply was struggling.
To really seal the deal, one of the largest automotive semiconductor chip manufacturers, Renesas, suffered a massive fire at the production facility. This sent the shortage to a new level.
What we see now is a log jam. Because the production of chips has been so limited, the demand is insanely high. But because the demand for these chips is so high, production can’t keep up with the demand, and logs pile up further and further upriver.
Because of the string of events and all the delays therein, the chip shortage will likely not be assuaged for some time.