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Ford Halts Maverick Orders; Demand Overtakes Output Ability

Supply chain issues have impacted the production of the popular budget truck.

If you were thinking about picking up Ford’s  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report new pick-up truck, the Maverick, then we have some unfortunate news.

The Ford Motor company has announced that it won’t be taking any more orders for the popular truck, as the company currently can’t build enough to keep up with demand, as reported by The Wall Street Journal

While it can sometimes be difficult to explain why consumers go ga-ga over a given product, in the case of the Maverick, the appeal is easy to pin down: it’s a nice new truck that costs about as much as a used one. 

With a price point of $20,000, the Maverick was an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers. A solid product at an affordable price seems like no-brainer, but the Maverick stood out because it filled a need that no one else was addressing. 

New-car prices have been rising steadily for years, even before the recent supply-chain disruptions, as the average price of a new vehicle jumped 13% to $40,457, according to research firm J.D. Power. 

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But while prices have gone up, the industry has shown less inclination to offer cheaper alternatives. In 2018, Ford discontinued the Fiesta and Focus, which were lower-priced models marketed towards new car buyers, but which were ultimately not profitable enough in an industry where competition is always tight. 

While there’s seemingly a new high-end, luxury car on the market every month, there’s fewer selections for less than $30,000, as the industry has been trending away from small, affordable cars to higher-priced trucks and SUVs with larger profit margins, so the Maverick filled a specific need. 

What’s The Hold-Up?

Much like the COVID-19 pandemic that caused it, the phrase “supply chain issues” is one we’re all sick of hearing and dealing with… even as it continues to impact our daily lives, whether we like it or not.

The automobile industry has been hit by a shortage of the the semiconductor computer chip needed to make most modern cars run smoothly (chips can control everything from brakes to advanced driver assistance software), as the entire industry has been hit hard a chip shortage that began right as the pandemic hit. The industry lost “1.3 million units of production in 2021 because of the chip shortage… and the impact could be another 7 million units in 2022 and 1.6 million in 2023,” as reported by Motor Trend

"There’s been overwhelming demand for Maverick – both hybrid and EcoBoost. We’re making the decision to stop taking new retail orders on the 2022 Ford Maverick starting after January 27 to focus on existing orders," said the company in a statement to The Street. "Customers may still be able to purchase a Maverick on the lot at their local Ford dealer. We’ll kick off ordering for the 2023 Maverick starting in the summer. We also will keep a list of hand-raisers, to notify customers when Maverick ordering reopens."

This chip shortage is expected to continue until next year, which will tighten production along the entire industry, though Ford hopes to be able to resume taking orders for the Maverick over the summer.