plans to send dealers unfinished trucks in an effort to boost stock for the dealerships. There are some drawbacks to this approach for dealers and consumers. Buying a vehicle that isn't manufactured the way you're expecting might make you more worried about its safety, so
to dealers. Along with the semiconductor shortage, a fire in a clean room of one of the automaker's biggest chip suppliers is putting extra pressure on Ford's production. Ford has come up with a plan that it’s discussing with dealers to ship trucks before the chips are installed.
The dealers' service staff would receive training on how to install the hardware, which would be done at each dealership. The dealers would be compensated for nearly an hour’s worth of labor required to complete each repair.
Before Ford's plan to boost inventory shortages can be implemented, there are important questions that need to be answered. Safety will be one of the biggest concerns for dealers and car buyers.
The chips control key systems in the vehicle, and even with training, a dealer's service staff isn't used to installing them. If something happens to the vehicles down the road, dealers are wary of being responsible for the trucks that had the chips installed by their staff.
The dealers will also be concerned about the financial aspect of the arrangement. They won't want to be obligated to have to pay for and insure vehicles that aren't ready to be sold. They also won't know when they can sell the trucks as they wait for chips.
From Ford's perspective, the plan will solve the company's biggest issue of inventory. The company will be able to keep production lines rolling and get the stock out to dealers. Ford will collect the money for the vehicles and then it’ll be up to dealers to successfully install the chips and sell the trucks.
With the onus being placed on the dealers, they may not like the plan as much as Ford's executives. Only the dealers who agree to the plan, which is still just an idea, would receive the unfinished trucks. That number may not be as high as Ford would like it to be.
You might be more worried about vehicle reliability if a truck had its chip installed at a dealer rather than at Ford's factory.
Jane Lu is excited about writing and digital media. She has published blog posts for SAP’s Digitalist Magazine with a focus on emerging technology and trends. When she’s not writing about car insurance or upcoming vehicles, you can find her drawing on a graphics tablet or trying to find new places with good french fries.