The second-largest automaker in the U.S., Ford doesn’t suffer blunders very often… but that doesn’t mean they are entirely flawless. And due to their clout in the global automotive industry, when they do encounter manufacturing problems, everyone tends to take notice. Recently, a report issued in the last week of August announced that a number of Ford truck customers would have to wait until next year to get their unconventional version of the F-150. The aluminum truck is slated to start production soon, but the line will only include the regular trucks, according to a letter sent to dealers earlier in the month.
Not only is this bad news for those who won’t be getting their truck until next year, it could also mean a decrease in overall profits for Ford. Those primarily affected by this delay are truck fleets and custom order buyers. The former is due to the fact that fleets buy heavily discounted vehicles from Ford — however they also buy their vehicles in bulk, so Ford still continually makes a decent amount of money off of these customers. Conversely, custom order buyers are customers who have specific requests for the design of their vehicle, including things like equipment, colors, and various accessories. These buyers generally choose high-end models, bringing in massive profit for the company.
In their official letter sent to dealers, Ford expressed their concern for their customers, but also cites quality as the reason for the delay. The company knows the importance of getting the product out to waiting customers as soon as possible, but it also does not want to sacrifice Ford’s legacy of quality in order to get them out on time. All in all, Ford seems to firmly believe that a few-weeks-late delivery is much better than an on-time product that may or may not have high quality standards.
Although this is a valiant approach by Ford, it may not be enough to stop a curb in sales. Delays tend to cause customers to stray to their competitors’ lots or decide they don’t need a new vehicle after all. If their vehicle doesn’t experience great sales right away, studies have shown that selling the vehicle may never be as easy as it was in the future. To avoid this problem, Ford will have to step up their game and be ready to market any new innovation as soon as it hits the showroom floor.
Ford may be able to bank on their loyal customers in the trucking industry, but that won’t keep their stockholders from worrying. The longer the delays, the more likely their stock could suffer.
The company’s best bet will likely be marketing the truck’s new, differentiating features to the public. Equipped with new technology, a lighter weight, better fuel economy, increased tow ratings, and a higher payload, there’s no question that this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill F-150. Years of experimentation and hard work on the back end will hopefully pay off when the deliveries are made, despite the unfortunate circumstances of a set back.
Writen by Chad VanNess of Fulton Ford, a Ford Dealership that carries the best line of Ford trucks and cars for sale Columbia MO has to offer, as well as a great selection of used cars and trucks.