Lost in the shuffle of last week's sales and earnings news was a tidbit from the Detroit Free Press noting that Ford has secured a supply of microchips for its F-Series production lines — a crucial step toward righting the company's 2021 sales trajectory.
At times in 2021, Ford has been forced to idle production of its bread-and-butter pickup line due to lack of supply, but on top of that, it also has a large stockpile of nearly complete pickups awaiting electronic components that have been delayed by the ongoing shortage. These waiting trucks are expected to be the first beneficiaries of Ford's fresh supply of microchips.
After rebounding post-lockdown, Ford's volumes have plummeted in the first half of the year because it simply cannot ship enough pickups and SUVs to meet demand. While F-Series sales are so far only down 1.5% for the year, they were down nearly 30% in June as the gulf between demand and available inventory continued to grow.
We reached out to Ford to ask whether the company expects this to be an inflection point for F-Series production. Manufacturing spokesperson Kelli Felker said only that Ford estimates that the full recovery period for chip supply "will stretch into the fourth quarter of this year and possibly into 2022."