Ford will manufacture the current F-150 pickup and the new model at the same time for around 6 months.
The US automaker will manufacture both models at the same time in order not to disrupt sales of the best-selling vehicle in the US and also to protect the truck’s extensive overhaul. Ford plans to begin production of the new F-150 in July 2014, but it will still keep manufacturing the old model for about six months after the new model’s launch.
It took more time for Ford to get the plants ready for the new truck models back in 2003 and 2008, but as demand for the new F-150 is quickly increasing the automaker has to speed up preparations. As sales of pickup trucks are increasing in the US at almost three times the level of the overall auto industry, the automaker cannot afford any disruptions in production.
“In order to ramp up, you have to retool…and that means you have to take capacity offline,” IHS Automotive analyst Mike Jackson said. “To do that, at a period of time when demand is so strong, makes it a bit challenging.”
According to Morgan Stanley the F-Series trucks and SUVs account for at least 90% of the automaker’s global profit. Ford manufactures the F-150 trucks in Kansas City, Missouri and Dearborn, Michigan, but the plant in Dearborn has been partially closed last week to prepare it for the new F-150.