Can we cut Ford some slack?

swooshdave

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I've been in the auto industry for a while and have spent a lot of time doing greenfield start ups and launching new product models and so feel qualified to comment on this situation.

The issues we are seeing are Fords fault but they are following the industry playbook.

Many of the issues they are running into are a result of poor strategic sourcing models that have focused primarily on low cost at the trade off of stability. It is a short term view of profits vs. the long term health of the brand.

I see the questions already: What do you mean?!

Hard Top shortages - This is what SQEs (Supplier Quality Engineers) exist to fix. When you have a parts shortage you have two levers you can pull, diversification of sourcing strategy or hostile take over (joking...mostly). I've had various companies move into my facilities to monitor our ramp and production and bring in additional subject matter experts when we hit road blocks. For the launch of the Trailhawk I had over 20 FCA engineers camping in my conference room for 6 months to help overcome production ramp issues. They will quite literally take over your operations to help remove roadblocks. If Ford was monitoring their suppliers correctly they should have seen these ramp issues 12-18 months out (capital tooling is never fast) and it should have made them very cautious in their forecasting. Maybe marketing ignored the operations team (shocking!) on volumes but that is still Fords fault. Ford SQEs are some of the worst (just send me an 8D!) and are not senior enough to make a difference, they'd routinly send people with less then 2 years out of college to follow up on major issues. Toyota/Honda/BMW were the opposite, I'd end up with a Sr Dir. standing in my office demanding answers and helping make meaningful change.

Chip Shortage - This actually started about 2.5 years ago, the whole world saw these issues coming well before COVID and no one wanted to pony up the capital to build more foundries. Everyone sat around waiting for someone else to make the investment instead of proactively managing the known shortage. Ford leadership chose not to take a proactive approach by investing in dedicated chip suppliers and played the short term over the long term card. It's now too late and everyone is like "How could we have known?!". We all knew (google Intel shortages starting Oct 2019 and the rise of TSMC).

I could go on, but in summary, this is a failure of sourcing strategy that has been going on in the industry for the last 20 years. Everyone is doing it but it doesn't make it right or healthy long term.
Mitigating issue comes down to how much time and money you can throw at them.


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Sean D

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I've been in the auto industry for a while and have spent a lot of time doing greenfield start ups and launching new product models and so feel qualified to comment on this situation.

The issues we are seeing are Fords fault but they are following the industry playbook.

Many of the issues they are running into are a result of poor strategic sourcing models that have focused primarily on low cost at the trade off of stability. It is a short term view of profits vs. the long term health of the brand.

I see the questions already: What do you mean?!

Hard Top shortages - This is what SQEs (Supplier Quality Engineers) exist to fix. When you have a parts shortage you have two levers you can pull, diversification of sourcing strategy or hostile take over (joking...mostly). I've had various companies move into my facilities to monitor our ramp and production and bring in additional subject matter experts when we hit road blocks. For the launch of the Trailhawk I had over 20 FCA engineers camping in my conference room for 6 months to help overcome production ramp issues. They will quite literally take over your operations to help remove roadblocks. If Ford was monitoring their suppliers correctly they should have seen these ramp issues 12-18 months out (capital tooling is never fast) and it should have made them very cautious in their forecasting. Maybe marketing ignored the operations team (shocking!) on volumes but that is still Fords fault. Ford SQEs are some of the worst (just send me an 8D!) and are not senior enough to make a difference, they'd routinly send people with less then 2 years out of college to follow up on major issues. Toyota/Honda/BMW were the opposite, I'd end up with a Sr Dir. standing in my office demanding answers and helping make meaningful change.

Chip Shortage - This actually started about 2.5 years ago, the whole world saw these issues coming well before COVID and no one wanted to pony up the capital to build more foundries. Everyone sat around waiting for someone else to make the investment instead of proactively managing the known shortage. Ford leadership chose not to take a proactive approach by investing in dedicated chip suppliers and played the short term over the long term card. It's now too late and everyone is like "How could we have known?!". We all knew (google Intel shortages starting Oct 2019 and the rise of TSMC).

I could go on, but in summary, this is a failure of sourcing strategy that has been going on in the industry for the last 20 years. Everyone is doing it but it doesn't make it right or healthy long term.
@PleaseDontRoll, Toyota has better positioned itself to manage the chip shortage by monitoring and controlling its Supply chain. After the tsunami in 2011, Toyota took a deep look into its supply chain to find its critical components and vendors. Bloomberg has an interesting article with more detail.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ply-chain-helped-it-weather-the-chip-shortage
 

1936Ford3W

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@PleaseDontRoll is spot on. My hope is this last year plus is a wake up call that more domestic sources are needed to keep things moving. Intel’s announcement of a chip plant in AZ is a start but likely years away from helping make a difference.
 

Squatch

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I've been in the auto industry for a while and have spent a lot of time doing greenfield start ups and launching new product models and so feel qualified to comment on this situation.

The issues we are seeing are Fords fault but they are following the industry playbook.

Many of the issues they are running into are a result of poor strategic sourcing models that have focused primarily on low cost at the trade off of stability. It is a short term view of profits vs. the long term health of the brand.

I see the questions already: What do you mean?!

Hard Top shortages - This is what SQEs (Supplier Quality Engineers) exist to fix. When you have a parts shortage you have two levers you can pull, diversification of sourcing strategy or hostile take over (joking...mostly). I've had various companies move into my facilities to monitor our ramp and production and bring in additional subject matter experts when we hit road blocks. For the launch of the Trailhawk I had over 20 FCA engineers camping in my conference room for 6 months to help overcome production ramp issues. They will quite literally take over your operations to help remove roadblocks. If Ford was monitoring their suppliers correctly they should have seen these ramp issues 12-18 months out (capital tooling is never fast) and it should have made them very cautious in their forecasting. Maybe marketing ignored the operations team (shocking!) on volumes but that is still Fords fault. Ford SQEs are some of the worst (just send me an 8D!) and are not senior enough to make a difference, they'd routinly send people with less then 2 years out of college to follow up on major issues. Toyota/Honda/BMW were the opposite, I'd end up with a Sr Dir. standing in my office demanding answers and helping make meaningful change.

Chip Shortage - This actually started about 2.5 years ago, the whole world saw these issues coming well before COVID and no one wanted to pony up the capital to build more foundries. Everyone sat around waiting for someone else to make the investment instead of proactively managing the known shortage. Ford leadership chose not to take a proactive approach by investing in dedicated chip suppliers and played the short term over the long term card. It's now too late and everyone is like "How could we have known?!". We all knew (google Intel shortages starting Oct 2019 and the rise of TSMC).

I could go on, but in summary, this is a failure of sourcing strategy that has been going on in the industry for the last 20 years. Everyone is doing it but it doesn't make it right or healthy long term.
If I love this post any more, then I will be arrested for polygamy!

We've seen Ford use their JV team this whole time and that's been their decision and they own the blame for its faults.
 

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DesertChip

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A point to remember about Ford. They have invested many, many millions of dollars to get us our new Broncos. Yes, they are a very big company, but I an sure the accountants are tracking all the spending. Ford get nothing back until the start delivering us our Broncos. Ford and the stockholder want nothing more then to start delivering Broncos. Maybe even more than we want to get them. Many of the post on this site still to imply that Ford is dragging its feet getting these Broncos out the door. I think the opposite is the case. Ford and the dealers want to sell cars! Thank you Ford for the investment to create our Broncos and get me my VIN as soon as you can.
 

DeltaBravo

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I’m quite happy with Ford. The dealers on the other hand....
 

HotdogThud

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It's been a flustercuck with blame to spread around and some that couldn't be controlled. But in the end they're providing a product I want badly and I'll be over it quickly.

I think the problem is, is that they *know* you're in that spot (me too, I probably won't care either when I get my truck), and thus, there's not really any repercussions for when they do make gaffes that are 100% on them
 

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I’m getting confused at all the anger and frustration with Fords communication. They are literally fighting against forces they can’t control(chips, hard top shortages, COVID) that directly affect their builds. Week by week some new challenge for them pops up, I can only imagine the chaos thats going on over at HQ. This forum has ultimately spoiled us because originally we all were prepared to get our build dates in MAY. We need to step back and take a deep breath, because Ford is truly trying their best, we are just spoiled rotten. With all that being said, I better get my VIN this week or I'm getting my pitchfork🤣.
Checks join date... April 13, 2021

Obviously you have not followed all the missteps from Ford many of us have seen since the launch.

Here is the short version:
MOST of them have nothing to do with the standard Covid excuse.
 

FatThunder84

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No slack on the piss poor communications, planning or questionable launch. I've said it from the beginning, I think the Bronco got launched earlier than Ford would've liked, but their stock was sliding and they needed to stop the bleeding.

Enter a 150k orders at an average price of 40-45k, bleeding stopped.

Now they're just trying to keep it all from falling apart. The First Edition is a sham, and I have an order placed for one... took an internet uproar for them to not have a crappy interior. Bull bar design that blocks the freaking trail camera? Wannabe "rock sliders", the build an price malfunctions, etc etc.

That all being said, had they just come out and said, 2022 is the first model yr, no 2021 models, so that we can sure up sourcing and eliminate these issues, perfect. They've done the opposite.
 

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Razorbak86

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I've said it from the beginning, I think the Bronco got launched earlier than Ford would've liked, but their stock was sliding and they needed to stop the bleeding.

Enter a 150k orders at an average price of 40-45k, bleeding stopped.
Actually, the bleeding hasn’t stopped. Orders don’t generate cash for Ford until product ships, sales are invoiced, and the wholesale customers (dealers) pay. Cash flow from the Bronco product line has been negative since long before the launch date, due to design, development, and ramp-up costs, and it will only reverse after Broncos starts shipping in significant numbers.

Even then, Bronco sales will never determine whether Ford lives or dies. Bronco is too small a product line relative to the overall portfolio. Even when sales reach 100,000-200,000 units a year at $45K a pop, that $4.5-$9.0 billion/year in incremental sales will still be less than 4%-8% of Ford’s total sales in 2020 ($127 billion).
 

Rusty Sheckleford

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No slack on the piss poor communications, planning or questionable launch. I've said it from the beginning, I think the Bronco got launched earlier than Ford would've liked, but their stock was sliding and they needed to stop the bleeding.

Enter a 150k orders at an average price of 40-45k, bleeding stopped.

Now they're just trying to keep it all from falling apart. The First Edition is a sham, and I have an order placed for one... took an internet uproar for them to not have a crappy interior. Bull bar design that blocks the freaking trail camera? Wannabe "rock sliders", the build an price malfunctions, etc etc.

That all being said, had they just come out and said, 2022 is the first model yr, no 2021 models, so that we can sure up sourcing and eliminate these issues, perfect. They've done the opposite.
I think you might be on to something.... considering the Bronco was essentially announced via Powerpoint. I think you're right about them being rushed, and there were plenty of leaks leading up to the announcement.

However if you consider the state of the auto industry and the ressurgence and popularity of utilities and the success that jeep is having.... if 2020 was already a rushed date for Ford... then they are so fucking behind the times on everything that isn't F150, that it's a miracle this company is somehow functioning.
 

The Dmv

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Nope, all the slack I had was cut long ago. It’s basic human psychology...promise small and deliver big. Stop getting expectations high and then delaying with the excuse of the year for everyone on earth who can’t do something since January of 2020.

That said, Broncos are still awesome and gimme mine!
 

dwbronco

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Why cut them slack? How much of this could have been avoided if they had simply produced the real Bronco first and delayed the not really a Bronco bronco instead. And don’t get me started on how they wait to introduce the best color until after we have all ordered and not allow that until 22.
This is the face of entitlement.
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