Ford literally can’t make enough 2021 F-150 pickup trucks. Dealers can’t keep any in stock and are working on securing more with no luck. But in a huge lot by Detroit Metro Airport there is row upon row of brand new 2021 F-150 trucks sitting. It’s Ford’s secret stash of over 6,000 2021 F-150s. But why?
Ford has been slipping F-150s into the lot, but why?
It is obvious that Ford has been slipping trucks into the lot, but why? Especially when the demand has absolutely stripped demand. The Detroit Free Press now says that Ford will be selling these soon. They are going through quality checks and then will be shipped out to dealers. But why aren’t they going out with the rest of the F-250s built at the Dearborn Truck Plant?
Ford thought demand would be so great that it initiated production earlier than originally planned. But it was still testing prototypes. So these pre-production F-150s need final inspections before they can be shipped out. “Trucks are on their way to dealers now and in customer’s hands,” Ford spokesman Said Deep says. “We do have this other batch of 150s that were built before those shipments began and they’re going through a final quality check before they’re released.”
Inspections sometimes mean the electronics inside need software updates
Sometimes the inspections mean the electronics inside need to have software updates. Other times “parts adjustments” are necessary. Ford doesn’t say what that means exactly. We do know that certain parts or procedures get changed right before production begins.
We’re surprised that Ford would sell pre-production models of anything given its problems with the current Explorer and Lincoln Navigator. That’s because those models started production earlier than expected. This caused a public relations nightmare after those early SUVs started having problems.
Produced at the Chicago Assembly Plant, early Explorers were so poorly made they got whisked away on carriers ending up at the Flat Rock, Michigan, plant. There, they saw a litany of issues from missing parts to the poor overall assembly.
Ford received a lot of backlash from dealers and in the press
Once fixed they were sent to dealers. But Ford received a lot of backlash from dealers and in the press. And it’s hard to calculate how much it cost Ford to ship truckloads of new Explorers from Chicago to Flat Rock, just south of Detroit. Ford now can’t afford to botch this launch.
At this point, it should be noted that Ford is not withholding the 2021 Bronco for similar reasons. That is being done over supplier issues related to staffing due to COVID-19. With the Explorer/Navigator roll-out being so bad it cannot afford a bad launch on the Bronco, either.
Making sure these pre-production models are free of any issues is a must. Let’s hope that Ford learned its lesson with the Explorer mess and can handle this most important launch.