Ford: The Virus Is Bad, but Expect a New F-150 This Year Regardless

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford the virus is bad but expect a new f 150 this year regardless

The first sneak peak at Ford’s next-generation F-150 was expected to occur at the newly temperate Detroit auto show in June; alas, the coronavirus pandemic put the kibosh on those plans (for both Ford and the show’s organizers).

With the show scuttled and production idled for a period of two months — Detroit Three automakers resume limited production on Monday — rumors naturally arose of a product timeline thrown into disarray. This week brought unofficial word that production of the 14th-generation pickup has been pushed back for a second time. Reacting quickly, Ford insists we’ll see new F-150s rolling into dealers before the end of the year.

Word from the automaker’s fleet news bulletin stated that production of the next-gen F-150 wouldn’t occur at the company’s Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Assembly plant until mid-October and early November, respectively — a two-month pushback from its initial production dates, and an additional delay compared to more recent figures.

Not addressing these figures directly, Ford told the Detroit Free Press that the 14th-gen F-150 will hit the ground before the snow falls.

“We are on track to deliver our all-new Ford F-150 to customers starting this fall,” Kelli Felker, Ford’s global manufacturing and labor communications manager, told Freep.

“The team continues to do an amazing job moving the program forward, even with coronavirus challenges. We look forward to showing the world our all-new pickup soon and start delivering to customers this year.”

While the automaker hasn’t yet provided the UAW with a summer downtime schedule, a preliminary list obtained by the paper shows the Dearborn F-150 line shutting down for retooling in early-to-mid September, with Kansas City’s line following suit in mid October. By the sounds of it, the earlier production timing report was right on the money.

On Friday morning, Mike Martinez of Automotive News reported via Twitter that Ford production boss Hau Thai-Tang, speaking at a Bank of America presentation, confirmed F-150 production is indeed impacted by the pandemic and shutdown. Program timing for the F-150, Bronco, and Mustang Mach-E will be affected “commensurate with the shutdown period,” he said.

[Image: Ford]

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  • Thelaine Thelaine on May 18, 2020

    This is what happened. No one can demonstrate the the general economic lockdown saved lives. We panicked, and crushed our most vulnerable. The UK’s coronavirus lockdown was caused by “the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost,” according to a report by a British newspaper. The essay is referring to computer modelling by Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London that predicted enormous deaths in the UK and elsewhere and led to draconian lockdown measures. The Imperial College team published a 20‐​page report on March 16 forecasting that an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 could cause as many as 510,000 deaths in Britain and as many as 2.2 million deaths in the United States. In Britain, these astronomical figures “triggered a sudden shift in the government’s comparatively relaxed response to the virus,” the New York Times reported at the time. The predictions, which were considerably wide of the mark were the result of radically deficient modelling, according to a report in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph by software developers David Richards and Konstantin Boudnik, who compare the disaster to the failed Mariner 1 Venus space probe in 1962. Imperial’s unreliable microsimulation model moved policymakers to “mothball our multi-trillion pound economy and plunge millions of people into poverty and hardship,” the authors note.

  • Thelaine Thelaine on May 18, 2020

    Scientists from the University of Edinburgh say that the findings in Ferguson’s model were impossible to reproduce using the same data. The team got different results when they used different machines, and even different results from the same machines. “There appears to be a bug in either the creation or re-use of the network file. If we attempt two completely identical runs, only varying in that the second should use the network file produced by the first, the results are quite different,” the Edinburgh researchers wrote. “Models must be capable of passing the basic scientific test of producing the same results given the same initial set of parameters … otherwise, there is simply no way of knowing whether they will be reliable,” said Michael Bonsall, Professor of Mathematical Biology at Oxford University.

    • DenverMike DenverMike on May 18, 2020

      You don't have be a scientist to see it's the packing (herding) people close, tightly together is more or less the equivalent of tongue kissing when it comes to the flu. Just above stupid is fine. No, I have to include stupid, it's that fundamental. Yes the lockdown could've been handled better, on a business to business, case by case basis, or allowed to proceed with conditions met, but at the time, there was no better way.

  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
  • Dukeisduke I subscribed to both Road & Track and Car and Driver for over 25 years, but it's been close to 20 years since I dropped both. I tried their digital versions with their reader software (can't remember the name now), but it wasn't the same. I let it lapse after a year.From what I've seen of R&T's print version, it's turned into more of a lifestyle thing like The Robb Report. I haven't seen an issue of C/D in a while.I enjoyed both magazines a lot when I was subscribing. R&T for the road tests (especially the April Fools road tests), used car reviews, historical articles, and columns like Peter Egan's Side Glances and Dennis Simanitis's Technical Correspondence. And C/D for the road tests and pithy commentary, and columns like Gordon Baxter's, and Jean Shepherd's (that goes way back to the early '70s).
  • Steve Biro It takes very clever or amusing content for me to sit through a video vehicle review. And most do not include that.Tim, you wrote :"Niche titles aren't dying because of a lack of interest from enthusiasts, but because of broader changes in the economics of media, at least in this author's opinion."You're right about the broader changes in economics. But the truth is that there IS a lack of interest from enthusiasts. Part of it is demographics. Young people coming up are generally not car and truck fans. That doesn't mean there are no young enthusiasts but the numbers are much smaller. And even those who consider themselves enthusiasts seem to have mixed feelings. Just take a look at Jalopnik.And then we come to the real problem: The vast majority of new vehicles coming out today are not interesting to enthusiasts, are not fun to drive and/or are just not affordable.You can argue that EVs are technically interesting and should create enthusiasm. But the truth is they are not fun to drive, don't work well enough yet for most people and are very expensive.EVs on the race track? Have you ever been to a Formula E race? Please.And even if we set EVs aside, the electronic nannies that are being forced on us pretty much preclude a satisfying driving experience in any brand-new vehicle, regardless of propulsion system. Sure, many consumers who view cars as transportation appliances may welcome this technology. But they are not enthusiasts. I don't know about you, but I and most car fans I know don't want smart phones on wheels.There is simply not that much of interest to write about. Car and Driver and Road & Track are dipping deeper into nostalgia and their archives as a result. R&T is big on sponsoring road trips for enthusiasts - which is a great idea. But only people with money to burn need apply.And then there is the problem of quality in automotive writing. As more experienced people are let go and more money is cut from publications, the quality and length of pieces keeps going down, leading to the inevitable self-fulfilling prophecy.Even the output on this site is sharply reduced from its peak. And the number of responses to posts seems a small fraction of what it used to be. This is my first comment since the site was recently relaunched. I don't expect to be making many in the future.Frankly Tim - and it gives me no pleasure to write this - but your post makes me feel as though the people running this site have run out of ideas and TTAC's days may be numbered.Cutbacks in automotive journalism are upsetting. But, until there is something exciting and fun to write about, they are going to continue. Perhaps automotive enthusiasm really was a 20th century phenomenon..
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