Ford Motor Co.’s 2017 F-150 and Raptor trucks with a new 10-speed transmission began arriving on some dealer lots last month, but the automaker said it is holding some models for additional testing as part of its normal launch ramp-up.
Ford began delivering 2017 F-150s in October, but the first trucks with the new 10-speed transmission and second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine began shipping a month later in November, Ford spokesman Mike Levine said. Ford had previously said the F-150 with the 10-speed transmission would ship by mid- to late October.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that shipments were delayed by a month as Ford worked out an undisclosed issue with the new gearboxes, but noted it had since been resolved.
“Launches are complex, and every one of them presents different challenges and opportunities,” Ford said in a statement. “Our process is to work through any issues and ensure that our customers receive a quality vehicle.”
Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, told Reuters on Monday that Ford was “holding [trucks] longer so we could do more testing and make sure everything is right before we release them.”
At least one local dealer last week was told in a call with Ford that the vehicles were “on hold,” but a reason was not given.
Levine said holding new models, especially with new engines or transmissions, is a common practice for all of Ford’s vehicle launches.
“Building and holding new models for additional testing is a quality process that has been part of our standard for more than a decade,” he said.
Dealers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma and Virginia have all advertised pictures of the new truck with the 10-speed transmission on their lots in recent days.
The 10-speed transmission, jointly developed with crosstown rival General Motors, is available on the 2017 F-150 pickup paired with the new V-6 EcoBoost. The transmission features optimized gear spacing for improved acceleration and towing, and uses steel, aluminum and other composites to save weight.
Ford earlier this year announced plans to spend $1.4 billion in upgrades to its Livonia Transmission Plant for the new 10-speed transmission. The investment created 500 jobs.