To say that Ford has a lot riding on the new, (practically) all-aluminum-body Ford F-150, which is scheduled to go on sale this fall, is a huge understatement. In fact, some might argue that it was exactly that big shift for the F-150 and the huge plant changeovers necessary that had Ford leadership recruit one of its global production stars, Joe Hinrichs, for the top spot of Ford Americas president to replace Mark Fields, who has now been named the successor to outgoing CEO Alan Mulally.
Hinrichs' expertise in keeping production facilities on track and new products with a minimum of quality issues is at the heart of his main focus of having the two F-150 assembly plants (one in Dearborn, Mich., and one outside Kansas City, Mo.) running at peak efficiency while at the same time preparing for a significant changeover. For the first year, there will likely be some production number decreases, but by year two, both factories are likely to be operating at full speed once again.
According to a recent Automotive News article, Hinrichs says the F-150 production changes are on track and any concerns for potential delays are unfounded. Previous reports noted that as many as 90,000 units may be lost as the two plants retool for the new half-ton, but that remains to be seen.
Cars.com photo by Mark Williams