Ford F-150 production hampered by frame shortage

If anyone has questions about how Ford's new aluminum-bodied F-150 will hold up, it's not buyers. Orders are so strong for the fullsize pickup that competitors General Motors and Ram are discounting their offerings to hold onto market share. It's a shame for the Blue Oval then, that it can't build all the trucks it needs because frame supplier Metalsa isn't delivering enough frames. Neither Ford nor Metalsa has said what the problem is, but Ford employees are at Metalsa's Kentucky plant trying to get it sorted out, Automotive News reports.

Overtime shifts at the Dearborn Truck Plant and the Kansas City Assembly Plant have been canceled due to the shortage that's been a problem for at least two months now. The issue is exacerbated by this being the changeover period in production from the old model to the new, which comes with its own issues. That would help explain why even though Dearborn production finished ramping up in January, output in April was down 9.2 percent compared to last year, according to AN.

Transaction prices are up for the new truck, but overall F-150 production in Q1 was down 40 percent, and missing product means missing profits. Combined with the production drop for the new Ford Edge, the company's Q1 bottom line was robbed of $1 billion. It isn't clear when the frame issue will be solved, but workers at the plants are ready to run "all-out" when it is.

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