Ford’s launches of F-150 and Bronco will be delayed by months

Keith Naughton

Ford Motor Co.’s launches of three important new models – the redesigned F-150 pickup, all-new electric Mustang Mach-E and revived Bronco sport-utility vehicle – will be set back by roughly the amount of time its plants have been idle.

The automaker, which plans to restart North American production May 18, badly needs the profits the vehicles will generate to bounce back from what it predicts will be a $5 billion operating loss this quarter. Ford is doing what it can to minimize the lag caused by its plants being inactive for about two months.

Ford's all-new all-electric Mustang Mach-E.

“We’re not going to do any additional delay to these launches beyond the impact of Covid-19 as a mechanism to conserve cash,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s head of product development and purchasing, said Friday at a Bank of America analysts’ conference. “Given our inability to work in the assembly plants during the shelter-in-place restrictions, it will have an impact to program timing, in terms of the launches. But we expect the launch delays to be commensurate with the duration of the shutdown period.”

Ford’s plants in China and Europe have already resumed production.