The car industry has been characterized by supply shortages, and the latest production problem that Ford stumbles upon is both unimportant and extremely important. Blue Oval can’t find enough blue ovals for their vehicles.
Ford had to delay delivery of certain vehicles because it didn’t have enough of the distinctive badges to put on them, reports say The Wall Street Journal. Also, the automaker is struggling to find enough nameplates indicating the model name to supply all the vehicles it produces.
Unidentified people familiar with the matter told the outlet that the shortage has affected some of the automaker’s key high-margin vehicles, such as the F-Series pickup trucks. Naturally, it has looked for alternative solutions, but it has proved more difficult than one might expect.
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Ford executives have reportedly been testing out 3D-printed insignia as a stop-gap solution until more permanent ones could be obtained. But in the end they took the idea, because they did not feel that the result was of high enough quality to be sent to customers.
A Ford spokesperson told the outlet that the company will retrofit badges on all vehicles that were held due to badge shortages. The company also builds and ships some trucks with the blue oval badge.
Tribar Technologies, Inc., a company that supplies exterior trim and other parts to a number of automakers, including Ford, was forced to halt production in August because it had released industrial chemicals into a local sewage system. Fortunately, the chemicals were caught before they caused significant environmental damage, so the company said it is now operating at full capacity. However, neither Ford nor Tribar confirmed whether this was the reason for the brand shortage.
Ford is sitting on up to 45,000 unfinished vehicles
The automaker said Monday it expects to have about 40,000 to 45,000 vehicles in inventory by the end of this quarter that could not be shipped to dealers because they are waiting for parts. Beyond the brands, automakers continue to struggle to source semiconductor chips and other critical parts. Unfortunately, these supply chain problems are predicted to last into 2024.