According to the Wall Street Journal, Ford was forced to delay shipments of new vehicles recently when, get this, it ran out of its iconic Blue Oval “Ford” badges and model-name trim. We’d call this one embarrassing if not for the ongoing parts shortages and other supply constraints continuing to ravage the automotive industry overall, for which as we’ve reported (and the WSJ reminds readers) semiconductor (chip) scarcity has been by far the highest-profile issue. Apparently, a past badge supplier to Ford was forced to halt its manufacturing for a brief period in August while it sorted through a pollution issue, creating a waterfall effect that resulted in Ford parking newly built vehicles like the Ford F-150 while they awaited their iconography.
Ford has not confirmed any link between the temporarily sidelined supplier and the badge shortage it experienced, nor has it said publicly whether impacted vehicles were among those tens of thousands that were parked at Kentucky Motor Speedway of late awaiting parts. We reached out to Ford for further comment and are awaiting their response, as well as for confirmation that the shortage primarily impacted the F-150 pickup . As previously reported, those made up the bulk of those Kentucky-parked unsold vehicles; also, per the WSJ, Ford says those thousands of parked new vehicles are said to be lacking parts “other than semiconductors,” which, well, badges and trim count as.
We can see why Ford might hold back the deliveries of new vehicles lacking, well, the Ford name on them, as well as other identifying markers such as the model name and trim. For now, it seems the blockage in the supply chain is easing up, and any vehicles built without the requisite badging are being fitted with the relevant parts before being sent along to dealerships for delivery. But let this be a heads-up to anyone shopping for a new car in this second half of 2022: The semiconductor shortage is one thing, but you never know what other components might also suddenly make like trees and scram.