The Detroit News is reporting that Ford dealers are stockpiling 2014 F-150 pickups in anticipation of the launch of the next generation of Ford’s best-selling light truck. That may be a wise decision in light of TTAC’s report last week that the 2015 F-150’s launch will be delayed due to stamping problems with the aluminum panels that the new truck will feature. Even without delays, dealers are worried that when Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant shuts down to retool for the new model they could be caught short of supply. Next year’s production numbers for the F-150 could drop as much as 10% because of the model changeover shutdown.
Suppliers are planning for production of the 2015 F-150 to start next summer. The production version of the new truck will likely be revealed next month at the at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Some dealers are ordering up to 20% more than their usual inventories, and may run into allocation issues. Ford allocates trucks based on dealers’ truck sales over the past three months, and how many pickups they currently have in inventory.
Jim Seavitt, president of Village Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, not far from Ford world HQ, said that he’s going to ask for “as much extra allocation as I can get my hands on. We know there’s going to be a shortage of trucks because of the changeover.”
Another factor is that current high demand for the F-150 doesn’t leave many trucks available for extra allocation.
“If you’re trying to build up a huge supply, (Ford will) clip you,” Seavitt said.
The 2014 model will continue to be available through the end of the 2014 calendar year, manufactured at the Kansas City Assembly Plant, which will change over to the new model after Michigan Truck does.
Anticipating the shutdown next year, for is increasing first quarter F-150 production by 2% and in August it added a third shift to the Kansas City facility.
Ford and its F-Series account for about 90 percent of the company’s global auto profits, according to Morgan Stanley.