The automotive industry has been beset by supply shortages, and the latest production snag tripping Ford up is at once un- and extremely important. The Blue Oval can’t find enough blue ovals for its vehicles.
Ford had to delay the delivery of certain vehicles because it didn’t have enough of its distinctive badges to put on them, reports The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, the automaker is struggling to find enough nameplate badges that designate the model name to supply all of the vehicles it’s producing.
Unnamed people familiar with the matter told the outlet that the shortage has impacted some of the automaker’s important, high margin vehicles, like its F-Series pickup trucks. Naturally, it has looked for alternative solutions, but that has proved more difficult than you might expect.
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Ford executives reportedly tested out 3D printed insignia as a stop-gap solution until more permanent ones could be obtained. They ultimately nixed the idea, though, because they didn’t feel the result was of a high enough quality to be shipped to customers.
A Ford spokesperson told the outlet that the company will be retrofitting badges onto any vehicles that were held because of a lack of badges. The company is also building and shipping some trucks with the blue oval badge, though.
Tribar Technologies, Inc., a company that supplies exterior trim and other parts for a number of automakers, including Ford, was forced to pause production in August because it had discharged industrial chemicals into a local sewer system. Fortunately, the chemicals were caught before causing substantial environmental damage, so the company said that it is now operating at full capacity. Neither Ford nor Tribar confirmed, however, if this was the cause of the badge shortage.
Ford’s Sitting On Up To 45,000 Uncompleted Vehicles
The automaker said Monday that it expects to have about 40,000 to 45,000 vehicles in inventory at the end of this quarter that couldn’t be shipped to dealers because they are awaiting parts. Beyond badges, automakers continue to struggle to source semiconductor chips and other important parts. Unfortunately, these supply chain issues are predicted to last into 2024.