The semiconductor chip shortage has had an undeniably large impact on automotive production throughout 2021, but as far as when this crisis might actually ease is a topic that’s up for debate. Some believe that we’re nearing the end of the chip shortage, while others believe that it will persist into next year, through the summer of 2022, or longer, up to 2024 to even years later. Now, Ford CEO Jim Farley has given his latest update on when he believes the chip shortage might end, and it leans a bit toward the pessimistic side.
Jim Farley revealed his latest timeline when Automotive News asked if Ford was still considering shipping unfinished vehicles to dealers in response to the chip shortage. “I think we have to remain very open,” Farley said of that topic. “We’re discussing it today still. I think we trust our dealers; they’re one of our biggest advantages. If we had to do that and we did the right quality assurance and process, I wouldn’t hesitate at all. We haven’t been in that situation so far; early on it looked like we would, but I wouldn’t count that out yet. We think this will last through 2023 to some extent, and who knows what next year holds for us?”
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 had been storing tens of thousands of unfinished vehicles for months. 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, Ford ultimately decided not to pursue that plan back in August, though it appears to still be in the realm of possibility.
In the meantime, Ford continues to navigate the chip shortage by deleting certain features and even offering special, stripped-down versions of vehicles like the Ford Puma Design and Ford EcoSport Design that come equipped with fewer chips, and as a result, fewer features.