Back in July, Ford Authority reported that FoMoCo was thinking about shipping chipless vehicles to Ford dealers in an effort to bolster inventory on lots and free up space where the automaker has been storing tens of thousands of unfinished vehicles for months now. Ford dealers would then receive chips for those vehicles when they became available, at which time technicians could install the chips and those vehicles could be sold. However, it appears that Ford has decided not to pursue this plan, at least for now, according to Automotive News.
Ford informed dealers of this decision at a recent meeting in Dallas and told those in attendance that the plan won’t be implemented unless production is “hampered severely” in the coming months. It’s unclear exactly how bad conditions would have to be before Ford decides to ship chipless vehicles to dealers, though the automaker has been forced to idle production at numerous plants in recent months.
This week, that includes Lincoln Nautilus and Ford Edge production at the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant in Canada, as well as Ford F-150 production at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant, which will pause this week, while F-150 production at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant will be limited to just one shift in the coming days. F-150 production at the Kansas City Assembly Plant was also down last week as well.
Recently, a number of Ford executives stated that they don’t believe the chip shortage will truly end until next summer, though the recent resurgence of COVID-19 has suppliers even more pessimistic about the short-term future of chip production. Just last week, Japanese chip maker and Ford supplier Rohm stated that it expects the crisis to last through next year, at the minimum, even though it has ramped up production and ordered additional equipment in recent months.