Ford Authority

2023 Ford F-150 Inventory Build Up Was Deliberate: Lawler

Through the first quarter of 2024, Ford inventory levels had been trending higher than previous years, as production and supply chain issues that originated during the pandemic have become less of an issue for automakers. As Ford Authority previously reported, American Ford dealers have a substantial amount of vehicles on their lots, a problem not faced by some key rivals like Honda and Toyota. While there is no easy explanation as to why the lineup as a whole is sitting on lots, Ford CFO John Lawler explained that 2023 Ford F-150 inventory buildup was a deliberate move based on the pickup’s competitive standing in the full-size truck segment.

“Yes. So what you saw in pickups for us as we came out of the end of last year into the first quarter of this year here in the U.S. is we built up stock as we knew we were coming into the launch,” Lawler stated at the Q1 2024 earnings call. “So, we built stocks of ’23 models. And then we were selling those down in the first quarter throughout the majority of the quarter. And that’s why you saw, to stay competitive with our competitors that had ’24 year model pickup trucks, we saw some top line coming down. So, we had higher incentives to sell the ’23 model year longer through the quarter.”

Those higher incentives Lawler mentioned involved the revival of stair-step incentives, a practice that involves bonuses to dealers when they meet a predetermined sales objective. The company had phased out the practice in that past, but brought it back for the 2023 Ford F-150 and the Ford Bronco. In the pickup’s case, the outgoing 2023 buildup helps the Blue Oval better manage inventory regarding the refreshed 2024 model, which had been held at company lots for additional quality checks prior to shipment. According to Ford CEO Jim Farley, the automaker’s renewed emphasis on quality has already prevented issues that would have led to 12 recalls.

As the situation around the 2023 Ford F-150 resolves itself in the coming months, nationwide Ford inventory levels will most likely drop. Lawler also stated that the company will maintain production discipline going forward. That said, Ford Super Duty demand is outstripping supply at the moment, meaning the company will likely have to make more adjustments to its output down the road.

We’ll have more on the Ford F-150 soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-150 news, and for continuous Ford news updates.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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    Bull feathers!!!! Sure just make them and let them sit ! Yeah that’s how to make money! These CEO’s must be sniffing glue if they think the public is buying it.

  2. Dwayne D

    What BS! Ford has really made some bad decisions. I hope they get on track. But Sorry to say. With this bunch I’m doubting it

    1. Big Jan

      Ford quality is in the toilet now


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