Ford has announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be forced to delay the launch of three very important models for its future. The new generation of the F-150 pick-up (the best-selling car in the United States which will also have a 100% electric version in the short term), the reborn off-road vehicle Bronco, and its first dedicated electric, the expected SUV Mustang Mach-E.
Thai-Tang, Ford’s head of product development and purchasing, says: “Given our inability to work in assembly plants during confinement, the timeline [of releases] will be affected. We expect the launch delays to be proportional to the length of the containment. We are not going to make any additional delays to save cash.”
In the United States, Ford factories have been detained for exactly two months (they stopped operating on March 18, and resumed production on May 18), so the delay in the launch of the F -150 would be expected. The Bronco and Mustang Mach-E correspond to that period. In its original schedule, Ford estimated that production of the Mustang Mach-E would begin in late 2020. This probably means that until early 2021, the first customers (both European and American) will not receive their vehicles.
In the case of the F-150 pick-up, manufacturing is expected to start in the fall. However, the 100% electric version will not be available immediately. It will be necessary to wait until 2021 for Ford to launch this crucial model, which will have to compete against vehicles of the stature of the Tesla Cybertruck or the Rivian R1T, as well as against the electric pick-ups of its historical rival General Motors (Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer …).
At the moment it is unknown if the global health crisis has also affected the rest of Ford’s schedule and its collaboration with Volkswagen. Both companies reached an agreement last year as a result of which the first one will be able to use the MEB modular platform of the second to launch two affordable electric cars in Europe from 2023. It is confirmed that Lincoln’s electric SUV (Ford’s premium brand) produced jointly with Rivian, has finally been canceled.