USA: Demand exceeds supply of profitable Ford trucks
It appears that demand is exceeding the supply of Ford's recently redesigned F-series of pickup trucks.
Ford reportedly said on Sunday that production capacity will limit sales of the popular full-size pickups this year, although it still plans to sell a record number of the highly-profitable trucks.
According to Reuters, Ford has said its future goal is to sell about a million of the trucks a year in the US market, as demand soars for the all-new model that began production last September.
However, Ford Division president Steve Lyons, speaking while attending the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association, told Reuters that target won't be met in 2004.
"Frankly we'll run out of production capacity at some point," Lyons reportedly said, adding: "Could we do a million? No, there isn't enough (capacity) to do it this year."
Lyons said the constraint on production was because the new assembly plant in Ford's home suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, won't be operating until late May or early June.
Lyons also told Reuters that production of older model F-150s, the so-called Heritage edition long touted as America's best selling vehicle, will be phased out by no later than July.
Lyons said Ford was nonetheless determined to break the F-Series sales record it set in 2001, when it sold more than 911,500 of the trucks that generate a huge chunk of its automotive profits.
"We are going to set a full-size pickup sales record this year and that means we are going to sell 912,000 or more F-Series," he told Reuters.
F-Series sales, depending on overall industry demand, could actually top out somewhere around 925,000 units, Reuters added, citing Lyons.