If you drive a Ford truck, your vehicle is most likely awaiting an electronic chip that will make it more efficient.
Since the arrival of the chip crunch in 2020, automakers have explored various techniques to prevent interruptions in their production operations. Most of them initially resorted to brief halts in production at specific sites. Then they shifted to creating automobiles and parking them till suppliers provided the appropriate chips.
Some vehicles were shipped without some non-critical equipment, while others opted to wait a little longer until the necessary chips were available. Ford is one of the manufacturers that has adopted this technique, amassing a massive inventory of automobiles currently sitting and waiting for their chips.
In 2021, a picture of a group of chipless Ford Super Duty trucks made headlines. There were so many of them that they filled up the entire globe and were visible from space. It turns out that in 2022, nothing has changed. According to sources, the same lots are filling up once more after Ford processed the previous batch and sent them on their way. Satellite photos acquired between August 16 and 24 support the reported scenario.
Despite being almost an hour from the Super Duty assembly factory, many Fords can be seen parked at the racetrack in photos last week. Also, unlike in May previous year, the auxiliary spots at Kentucky Speedway are still open.
“The global semiconductor shortage continues to affect Ford’s North American plants—along with automakers and other industries around the world,” the Ford spokesperson said.
“Behind the scenes, we have teams working on maximizing production, with a continued commitment to building every high-demand vehicle for our customers with the quality they expect.”
Local resident Pat Brindley Roeder captured the images. According to Roeder, Ford also keeps unfinished Super Duty vehicles at a former ammunition mill in Charlestown, Indiana. She sent pictures of trucks in various trim levels, from Platinum F-350s to F-550s with bare chassis cabs.
Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford, has been upbeat about the chip shortage, saying that the automaker’s supply has been rising gradually since its low point in 2021. However, this does not imply that it is safe from the supply chain issues that have afflicted every carmaker over the past two years.
This is precisely what happens when you try to satisfy an endless demand with finite resources.