Ford CEO Farley not optimistic about building every 2023 Maverick order

Ford’s managed to increase Maverick production at its Hermosillo, Mexico plant by a healthy amount. According to production figures posted at Maverick Truck Club, May was the first time this year that 2023-model-year pickup output reached double digits; from 8,694 units in January to 11,061 in May. That output will continue to increase thanks to Ford hiring 1,100 new direct employees for a third shift at the factory, and 5,000 indirect employees. It’s likely that none of this will be enough to clear the backlog of Mavericks for this model year. During the same shareholder event where Ford CEO Jim Farley used the new F-Series Super Duty as an example of the automaker’s quality focus, he answered a question about Maverick production with some pessimism about clearing the 2023 backlog. “We have a capacity increase in July at the plant, that will help. Unfortunately, we completely undercalled the demand for the Maverick, so I’m not confident even with the capacity increase that we’re going to have a lot of Mavericks available to everyone.”

The boss noted that there’s a ten-day supply of Mavericks at dealers, so, ostensibly, the regrettable news only applies to buyers waiting for reservations. Compare that to Cox Auto writing at the end of April that F-150 inventory was built up to 97 days of supply. But the meager Maverick inventory means buyers who show up at lots are often asked to pay dealer premiums for the privilege of taking one of the compact pickups home.

Ford Authority wrote that the 2024 Maverick order book opens next month, the truck entering production in November. A Ford order scheduling spreadsheet in the same thread as above at Maverick Truck Club predicts Ford will complete all of the EcoBoost builds by July, but will still have roughly 19,500 unfinished Maverick Hybrid builds on November 1. That would leave about 33% of orders on the table compared to the number from December 1, 2022.

The potential good news is that during the build period from July 31 to August 28, Ford expects an “improved Hybrid mix” and more availability of the trailer tow hitch. The unwelcome news facing reservation holders left without a truck is that every report we’ve read claims Ford won’t provide price protection for rolling an order into 2024. If the Maverick’s MSRP rises $3,500 next year, those waiting on trucks will need to pay up. Keep in mind these are fluid situations and November is a long way away. The situation’s been getting better, and could do so again.

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