Like most any automaker, Ford is eager to build as many F-150 pickups as it can sell. And considering that the truck has long stood as the top selling vehicle in the United States, that means building (and selling) a lot of them. Further, Ford reports that its factories are finally fully up to speed and ready to build as many F-150s as dealers can sell.
Unfortunately another factor is reportedly preventing the new aluminum-bodied pickup from reaching its potential. According to Automotive News and as we’ve heard before, the Blue Oval automaker has had trouble getting its hands on as many frames as it needs. Though Ford would not confirm the shortage itself, AN cites union sources in reporting that the Metalsa plant in Kentucky, which produces the new F-150’s frame for Ford, has been unable to meet the demand for more such frames.
“Whenever you have launches, you have issues that you have to deal with in the supply base,” is all Ford CFO Bob Shanks would admit. “We’re always working closely with suppliers if there’s an issue to sort it out. If that were the case, that’s what we’d be doing.”
The reported supply shortage could be why plans for overtime production are reportedly being canceled at both the plants in Kansas City and Dearborn where the F-150s are assembled, despite reaching or nearing full capacity. The shortage could also help explain why, according to AN, sales of the F-Series in the United States fell nearly 10 percent last month, while the rest of the pickup market rose 17 percent.