Ford Authority

Ford CFO John Lawler Concerned About Rising Inventory

For years, new vehicle inventory levels hovered near or at record lows following the onset of the pandemic, but have recently shifted dramatically in the other direction. In that regard, Ford Motor Company currently has one of the higher inventory levels in the business, which is cause for at least a little bit of alarm. Just a few weeks ago, Ford CFO John Lawler stated that the automaker was being “disciplined” with its inventory levels, and even said that they had improved early last month. Now, however, the executive seems to be changing his tune.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning XLT - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

“It worries me that the stocks are building. We haven’t seen that impact us so far, but we’re watching it very closely,” Lawler said while speaking at the recent Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference. “I think when you look at what happened across the industry, one of the pitfalls you can run into is if you’re pushing product out that isn’t necessarily what the consumer wants, it’s really tough to move them.”

“Within Ford, we call those the ones with pink polka dots, in that they’re not spec’d right and it’s really hard to move them and it takes a significant amount of consumer incentives to move them forward. And so, when you look at that and if you get into the situation where you have a lot of vehicles that we call the pink polka dots, you’re going to run into trouble. So, we’re watching it closely. It hasn’t been a contagion onto us yet. We’re still seeing strength. And I think primarily because much of our product is new.”

2021-2024 Ford Bronco Steeda Axle-Back Exhaust System - Exterior 001 - Rear Three Quarters

Lawler certainly has reason for concern after Ford inventory levels stood at a 100 days’ supply at the end of April, which was the highest since January and once again far above the industry average, which was 76 days’ over the same timeframe. The Lincoln brand fared even worse at a 144 days’ supply, which was also among the highest among all automotive brands. Though some of this build-up was apparently intentional, FoMoCo has also introduced a number of incentives in an effort to move older inventory as of late, too.

We’ll have more on Ford’s inventory levels soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. whypac

    What does Ford expect when all their F150 and Bronco models are overpriced, interests are too high, and their dealers have the audacity to add markups over MSRP?

    1. Jim Elsasser

      Not to mention uncharging for colors.
      They just want to use Black, White, Silver.

  2. John

    Prices are too high. The middle class just can’t keep up with them.

  3. Murray Henley

    That’s what happens when your corporate strategy is based on the belief that everyone want to drive either a truck or a Mustang.

  4. Scott

    avoid disappointment, aim low.

  5. Brian

    Their vehicles are overpriced. I’m currently in the market for a new vehicle. $58K just to get a 2025 Explorer that has features I’ve had on vehicles going back to 1997. We’re either going to hold on to our current vehicle longer, or look to other brands for the first time.

  6. William J. Offutt jr.

    Ford was building Ford Flexs less than $ 40,000 in 2016 . We could afford that vehicle with the incentiives . What incentitives are now available ? That vehicle was built for the man , or women that could carry people or cargo! Ford used to build a large line of station wagons . Now None !

  7. Dave Mathers

    Typical bean counter!! LOL

  8. Jim Elsasser

    Design an exciting new CAR, that’s reasonably priced that people want and can AFFORD. Ford has a Mustang that looks like a damn Camaro. Boring SUV s
    The only thing Ford has going is the Bronco and Maverick. Is it so hard for Ford to understand that not everyone wants all the bells and whistles that drive up the price of a vehicle.

  9. David Dickinson II

    Ford has forgotten its bread-and-butter–the common man.

    1. Looking

      Ford has also forgotten about Lincoln. Refresh of the same old still isn’t going to sell even if the 2024 numbers are being “Padded” but 2023 vehicles.

  10. Al

    I ordered a Maverick Larat in November and was finally delivered last week. The thing is like a clown car inside, cheap plastic, sharp edges, no frills for the top line trim. It’s basically a $27K vehicle priced at $38K. Still on the dealers lot if anyone wants it.

  11. Charlie

    Ford Union automakers are the only ones that can afford to pay those Overpriced , Overrated vehicles.

  12. Pik

    Stop seeking patents for everything under the sun. Fix your reliability problems. I know several people that have told me they would never buy another Ford. I don’t care if your tech can determine the thickness of ice you’re driving on. Stop spending money and time on crazy patent work. Fix your cars and trucks before you sell them.

  13. Kevin James

    I am very pleased with my 2022 Maverick. It’s a great little vehicle. And I must disagree with the criticisms of the Maverick Lariat buyer above.
    Fit and finish are just fine, 11000 miles on it now, no squeaks, rattles, or parts falling off. Paid well below $30K for it brand new, XLT model with AWD, Tow Pkg, upgraded wheels and tires.
    My only complaint is that I just rec’d notice of a FIFTH recall.
    None of my previous new vehicles has ever even had a single recall, let alone five.
    Ford clearly has a Q.C. problem!

  14. hesstonJR

    F has 2 main problems:
    1. They don’t seem to care much about quality any more, ever since Malally retired, Chek consumer reports auto issues.
    2. And they are inflating prices soo high that more people can’t afford a Ford and when they don’t sell for quality issues, F just throws the model away & puts out new junk.

    1. Kevin James

      …also, I’d wager that if the automakers were allowed to deep-six some of the ridiculous, government-mandated “Safety” and “Emissions” tech requirements which have been imposed, the sticker-prices would be 8 – 10 grand less on every vehicle.
      Multiple Airbags, collision avoidance radar systems, Stop/Start B.S., etc -etc-etc.
      What was once logical and well-intentioned has morphed into wretched excess.

    2. Johnnie

      Mulally ? He was solely responsible for the Focus crap of 2012! Engineers said transmission has major issues and he steamrolled them and produced that pile of crap and sold it to the unsuspecting public. He was a cost cutter and cutting costs affects quality.


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