HomeBusinessFord’s Latest Supply-Chain Problem: a Shortage of Blue Oval Badges

Ford’s Latest Supply-Chain Problem: a Shortage of Blue Oval Badges

Ford

f -3.60%

engine co. delayed the delivery of certain vehicles because it didn’t have the blue oval badges on them, in another example of how supply chain challenges hit car manufacturers.

According to acquaintances, the car company is dealing with supply restrictions with the brand name badges and name plates that specify the model. Both parts are attached to the exterior of the vehicle and are important identifiers for the car manufacturer’s products. A company spokesperson confirmed that it has held a number of vehicle shipments due to a lack of badges.

The shortage is affecting Ford’s popular F-series pickup trucks, people said.

Ford executives had considered some temporary solutions, such as 3D printing the badges until the permanent ones could be obtained, some people said. But they didn’t feel the printed replacements would meet quality standards, these folks said.

The Ford spokesperson said the company builds and ships trucks with the blue oval badges and retrofits vehicles built without the Ford logo and delivers them to dealers. The company declined to comment on the 3D printing proposal.

Shares of Ford fell 3.6% to $12.31 on Friday amid a wider sale on the market. The share has fallen by 41% in 2022.

Ford said Monday it will have about 40,000 to 45,000 vehicles in stock by the end of the third quarter could not ship to dealers because they were waiting for necessary parts. Many of these vehicles are high-margin trucks and SUVs, and the shortages mainly related to parts other than semiconductors, the company said.

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Ford declined to comment on whether the difficulties getting badges contributed to that shortage.

Ford showed its seventh-generation Mustang sports car at the Detroit auto show on Wednesday. The company said the new model will stick with a gas engine, a strategy that contrasts with some of its rivals going electric. Photo: Rebecca Cook/Reuters

A Michigan-based supplier that has made badges for Ford in the past was forced to curtail its operations in August after it disclosed to Michigan regulators that it had discharged industrial chemicals into a local sewage system, according to city and state officials.

The supplier, Tribar Technologies, Inc., specializes in automotive exterior decorative trim, including making vehicle badges and lettering. The company’s website shows that it has previously made the badges for Ford models, including the F-150 pickup for 2021.

Tribar confirmed it is a current supplier to Ford and declined to comment further on its customer. The supplier said its facilities are now operating at full production and the incident has no impact on operations. Regarding the discharge, Tribar said the filtration system and a city water treatment plant appear to have captured the chemicals before there was any material environmental impact on a local river.

Ford declined to comment on whether Tribar’s limited operations were related to the automaker’s shortage of name badges.

The global auto industry has struggled with various supply chain disruptions for more than a year, but most of the shortages are related to a lack of semiconductors.

Ford’s difficulty in getting nameplates and badges illustrates that even the most basic parts can be difficult to obtain, resulting in limitations that can have a greater impact on a company’s ability to fulfill vehicle orders.

The shortage of computer chips has led car companies to build a number of vehicles without the necessary semiconductors and then park them until they are ready. This strategy puts tens of thousands of cars and trucks in airport yards and other parking facilities near assembly plants in the South and Midwest.

General engines Co.

GM -5.08%

also had to hold shipments due to missing parts. Over the summer, GM said it had nearly 100,000 incomplete vehicles that it couldn’t sell because they didn’t have the necessary computer chips and other parts to ship them to dealers — a delay that weighed on its second-quarter results.

Likewise, electric vehicle start-up Lucid Group, Inc. the supply chain restrictions on basic components, such as glass and carpet, cited as one reason why it reduced vehicle production targets for 2022.

In Monday’s release, a preview of its third-quarter earnings, Ford said recent shipping delays have been part of the turnover would shift to the fourth quarter, when the detained vehicles are expected to be complete and delivered to dealers. In addition, Ford said its quarterly results would be impacted by about $1 billion in increased supplier payments to account for inflationary effects.

The news contributed to the largest single-day percentage drop in Ford’s stock in 11 years on Tuesday.

Ford has recorded steady sales increases in the US this summer, outpacing the growth of the broader auto market. Ford sales in the US increased 27% in August from the same month last year, versus a 5% increase for the broader auto industry, the company said.

Write to Nora Eckert at nora.eckert@wsj.com

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