Ford is up and running to get its most eagerly awaited products to market.
No automaker is immune to the global novel coronavirus outbreak and the significant challenges it poses to carrying on with business as usual. The pandemic has forced the postponement of numerous model reveals and vehicle programs, but perhaps no one has been hit harder than Ford.
Still reeling from hefty financial losses in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2020, Ford desperately needs a win or two. Help is on the way from a brand new version of Ford's cash cow, the Ford F-150 pickup truck; the all-new Ford Bronco SUV; and the promising, pure-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The only problem is, those vehicle programs have all been put on ice for a couple of months.
Bloomberg reports that the launch dates of all three vehicles have been delayed by about the same amount of time that Ford's factories have sat idle in the United States. Ford, along with crosstown rivals GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, pressed pause on US production operations toward the middle of March as Covid-19's continued spread raised safety concerns among its workforce.
Detroit's Big Three automakers partially resumed production on Monday, May 18 with new health safety policies in place, putting the total length of its shutdown at about two months. That should equate to roughly two months of delay for the aforementioned vehicles' launch dates.
"We're not going do any additional delay to these launches beyond the impact of Covid-19 as a mechanism to conserve cash," Ford's Head of Product Development and Purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang, said at a Bank of America conference on Friday. [W]e expect the [vehicle] launch delays to be commensurate with the duration of the shutdown period."
Even with the delay, Ford said last week that it expects to make its first customer deliveries of the all-new F-150 before the end of the year, although the timing of the truck's unveiling is still unknown. But fans of the Ford Bronco and the Mustang Mach-E, which had also been slated to start deliveries this year, might not be so lucky.