As Ford Motor Company continues to grapple with a shortage of F-150 light-duty truck frames, the automaker continues to lose out on potential income: a desperate situation necessitating desperate measures. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that the company has even resorted to paying extra in order to more quickly ship Ford F-150 frames from its sole current supplier, Mexico-based Metalsa SA, by truck rather than rail.
Additionally, the Ford F-150 now has a new, second frame supplier ready to help meet the automaker’s high demands: Livonia, Michigan-based Tower International.
The Journal reports that Ford F-150 frames from the new supplier ought to first become available by October of this year. Until then, Ford can only watch both General Motors and Fiat Chrysler slowly take over some of the light-duty pickup’s massive market share, while segment demand hovers at a 10-year high.
The shortage of frames to build the new, aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 has already caused the cancellation of some planned overtime shifts – and at times, the halting of production altogether. With this second frame supplier now onboard, it is anticipated that the new Ford F-150 will only reach full availability by the end of the third quarter.
The automaker commented on the low Ford F-150 frame availability, saying: “We are at full production now, we are building stock at dealers and we continue to roll out additional [configurations]. As with
all vehicle launches, we are working closely with our suppliers to meet customer demand for the truck.”