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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
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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.

  • Akear This is similar to what lazy GM and Ford used to do.
  • Gray Juneteenth - 72 responses. Unusual Isuzu pickup - 18 responses. Happy Juneteenth.
  • Doc423 Said some automakers were slow to adopt the technology of Smartphone Mirroring, too bad they aren't slower adopting the EV technology, rather than cramming it down our throats.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys i was only here for torchinsky
  • Tane94 Workhorse probably will be added to the heap of failed EV companies.