The automaker is literally installing seatbelts in parking lots.
Despite the slightly delayed launch of the new Ford F-150, the truck is already proving to be a sales hit for the automaker. Ford can’t keep up with the demand as showrooms are often selling 2021 F-150 examples just within hours of their arrival. For some, the situation may even seem slightly out of control as a new report claims the manufacturer is installing seatbelts and updating software in parking lots around the country.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford started building F-150s even before all the final tests of the truck were done. Hundreds of vehicles are being stockpiled in a parking lot near Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Detroit, as well as around the Kansas City Assembly Plant. There, workers install the seatbelts and perform final software and electronics checks.
“As part of our commitment to delivering high-quality vehicles, we are conducting final quality inspections on trucks built before dealer shipments started last month to ensure they meet the quality expectations of our customers,” Kelli Felker, Ford global manufacturing and labor communications manager, told the publication in an emailed statement.
The Detroit Free Press says there’s no relation between the current situation with the production of the F-150 and any coronavirus-related shortages. As a reminder, earlier this year, Ford pushed the launch of the overhauled pickup back because of obstacles surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Felker told the publication that Ford has started moving the F-150 from the parking lots to the dealerships around the country.
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“The vehicles at the location you referenced are among those early builds. The number of vehicles at those locations continues to dwindle as we perform the quality inspections and ship them to dealers,” Felker told the Detroit Free Press.
In a report from earlier this month, the same outlet suggested that non-union workers are performing the necessary software inspections and updates. UAW told the publication it is currently investigating the case.