New vehicle inventory is in short supply. Something has to be done.
During times of crisis, tough decisions must be made and Ford has reportedly just made one that'll have a significant impact on dealerships struggling to maintain new vehicle inventory at acceptable levels. Some dealers project they'll run out of new Fords to sell next month. That's obviously not acceptable. Various relief efforts are underway as the auto industry continues to battle the semiconductor chip crisis. Ford, for example, recently managed to get ahold of a fresh chip supply to complete assembly for thousands of new units of the popular Ford F-150. It's certainly a good start. But what about thousands of other new Fords still lacking those precious chips?
According to the Lightning Owners fan forum, an anonymous source claims Ford will agree to a deal with dealers to send them so-called "dead" vehicles without chips.
They're completely assembled otherwise. This means it'll be up to the dealers to install the chips once they become available. The report didn't provide information on when that will be, but industry analysts don't foresee the crisis ending until later next year. Final details between Ford and dealers are still being worked out and the carmaker reached out to us confirming that: "We are exploring a number of different options as we work to get our customers and dealers their new vehicles as quickly as possible."
So why is this happening now? What's the point of dealers receiving new vehicle inventory they can't immediately sell? The reason is likely because Ford is quickly running out of storage lot space. New vehicles are still rolling off assembly lines daily, many also lacking chips.
Clearing out those Ford-owned or leased lots will help relieve some of the pressure by sending them to privately owned dealer lots. The source of the reports notes Ford's request is a "big ask" for dealers because the agreement won't include vital details like how much Ford will pay them to complete assembly whenever the chips arrive.
Dealers will be able to accept deposits on the "dead" vehicles but it'll have to be made clear to buyers no one knows when they'll take delivery. It could be several months. This is a developing story and we hope to bring you more details in the coming days.