It’s May 18 — the day which the Big Three automakers had been targeting to restart their production lines after nearly two months of coronavirus-related shutdowns. Ford, among others, is gearing up to push vehicles out to return to some sort of normal operation, after forecasting a lost of $5 billion for the quarter. Even with production slowly starting back up with a wide range of safety precautions in place, Ford has also been preparing for several high-profile launches in 2020.
The new Ford Bronco and Mustang Mach-E are two of those launches set for this year, but The Detroit News reports those may be set back as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Despite the Blue Oval’s effort to minimize downtime after weeks of shutdowns, the automaker will have to push those big-ticket launches back substantially.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s head of product development and purchasing, said that the company would not delay launches any further to conserve cash. However, he did say, “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.” In other words, the Ford Bronco and Mustang Mach-E will be set back by around two months.
What about the Bronco Sport and F-150?
Beyond those two headline models, the “baby” Ford Bronco Sport is also supposed to launch this year, as is a brand new F-150 truck. According to recent reports, The smaller Bronco had already been delayed until September. A couple weeks later, another leak brought similar news for the F-150. Job one on Ford’s fourteenth-generation truck will start in Dearborn in October, while Kansas City will start building the new trucks in November.
Odds are the Ford Bronco will head into production around that time frame as well, while the first Mustang Mach-E deliveries may take place in January 2021.