Molson

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Just saw this news come out via Twitter. Ford is working on details to move unfinished vehicles to empty dealer lots and finish them there. Seems like an overly complicated way of making it appear that you have more stock than you actually do.

Ford weighs shipping vehicles missing chips for dealerships to finish

Only dealers who would choose to receive the unfinished vehicles would get shipments and service technicians would be trained on how to install the chips.

Michael Martinez
m41465.jpg


DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is weighing plans to start shipping partially built vehicles that are awaiting semiconductors or related components to dealerships around the country, a move that, if approved, would place responsibility on its retail network to complete the assembly once the chips are available.

The automaker began detailing the plans, which are not final, to some of its dealers this week, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions. Only dealers who would choose to receive the unfinished vehicles would get shipments and service technicians would be trained on how to install the chips, one of the people said. Dealerships would be compensated for slightly less than an hour's worth of labor for each vehicle, the person said.

Still unclear is whether the dealers would be responsible for the vehicles while they sit on their lots awaiting chips. Dealers are not expected to have to floorplan the vehicles before they're finished, one person said. The people asked not to be identified discussing internal company plans.

Ford is considering shifting its strategy, the people said, to ease the glut of unfinished vehicles piling up on company-owned lots around the country so it can keep assembly plants running. By essentially moving the vehicles now, Ford would be able to get them into customers' hands more quickly once the chips are ready instead of having to ship vehicles en masse at a later date.

“We are exploring a number of different options as we work to get our customers and dealers their new vehicles as quickly as possible," a Ford spokesman said.

Some dealers who spoke with Automotive News said they're concerned about shifting the responsibility — and potential liability — from the factory to the dealer body. Others, however, applauded the move because it gives them something to put on their nearly empty lots.

Ford has been hit hard by the chip crisis, saying earlier this year that the shortage will cost it $2.5 billion and slash its production this year by 1.1 million vehicles. Dealer lots have dried up, and customers who placed orders have been forced to wait months.

In late April, Ford said it had 22,000 partially built vehicles awaiting chips. It's unclear how much that number has grown.

The company has attempted to ease the crisis by focusing on custom-built orders and offering buyers $1,000 off if they place an order that will be fulfilled at a later date.

https://www.autonews.com/dealers/ford-weighs-shipping-vehicles-missing-chips-dealerships-finish





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13MikeH

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Ehh I see the logic. Lots are empty, I'm guessing and based on what I've been reading, they don't plan on them sitting 'braindead,' for months...it may be a week or less and have techs install once parts are available.
 

Huntyeraws

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Just saw this news come out via Twitter. Ford is working on details to move unfinished vehicles to empty dealer lots and finish them there. Seems like an overly complicated way of making it appear that you have more stock than you actually do. https://www.autonews.com/dealers/ford-weighs-shipping-vehicles-missing-chips-dealerships-finish
The above link required a subscription/sign up... I found this one

https://www.carscoops.com/2021/07/ford-may-ship-vehicles-with-missing-chips-to-dealerships/
 

Fossil

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as a rule makers do not like to pay dealers to do anything due to the hourly rate cost. in today's situation they probably don't have the space to store partial builds until parts come in. Ford has been renting storage space for some time and the costs are in the millions.

"hey boss maybe we can ship those partials to the dealer's empty lots for storage and then pay them to complete. we won't charge the dealer for the truck until it's complete and it'll be cheaper then renting a parking lot. win win."

obviously they can't do it with missing drive line and safety chips that they have to test but for the others, why not.
if possible would you accept a BS missing a sun roof chip until it comes in?
 

mooredl1

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Ehh I see the logic. Lots are empty, I'm guessing and based on what I've been reading, they don't plan on them sitting 'braindead,' for months...it may be a week or less and have techs install once parts are available.
13MikeH - That would speed the process up, if the transit time from Mexico overlapped the wait time for chips. I've been looking for info on production rates of RCM modules (there are 3 chips in each), haven't found any data.
 

Alfredo

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Ehh I see the logic. Lots are empty, I'm guessing and based on what I've been reading, they don't plan on them sitting 'braindead,' for months...it may be a week or less and have techs install once parts are available.
Sounds like they have a bunch of Avatars without drivers.
 

ScareCrow

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Ehh I see the logic. Lots are empty, I'm guessing and based on what I've been reading, they don't plan on them sitting 'braindead,' for months...it may be a week or less and have techs install once parts are available.
At least you could go to the dealership to visit your baby, kind-of-like a girlfriend in the jail house.

No conjugal visit though..... :angel:
 

Excape

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Working in SCADA and automation, I have some concerns with this. While I do not know Ford's specific assembly line process, I think we all agree that the product is a complex system with a lot of code and complexity. It is typical when manufacturing complex systems to have an "End of the Line" QC process, typically automated to save time and eliminate human error.
I suspect that in the production environment, the code is functionally checked against the installed modules and ran through some verification/burn-in tests. While the dealerships may get some training to install the chips in their facilities, will this process be be performed with the same rigor as the engineered processes at Hermosillo?
 

SportWest

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will this process be be performed with the same rigor as the engineered processes at Hermosillo?
Maybe even when modeled with a higher failure/warranty rate, this move still makes sense to the $ counters compared to renting storage and managing the logistics of shipping out the completed vehicles in large batches.
 

Central Jersey

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Maybe even when modeled with a higher failure/warranty rate, this move still makes sense to the $ counters compared to renting storage and managing the logistics of shipping out the completed vehicles in large batches.
As a Ford shareholder I want long term value not an extra $0.01 dividend
 

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