SPARTA, KY — It's getting harder every week to find new pickup trucks.
Ford has just announced it built only half its normal amount of F-150 pickups in March due to parts shortages.
And dealers are getting calls from people all over the region if they advertise that a new loaded F Series truck has just shown up on their lot.
Then why are thousands of brand new Ford pickups being parked in giant lots and not shipped to dealers?
Facebook photos go viral
Pat and Mike Roeder posted some photos on Facebook that are now going viral for what they show: the face of the computer chip shortage.
"We were shocked," Pat Roeder said.
While driving last week near their Carrollton, Kentucky, home, they spotted what they estimate to be several thousand brand new Ford F series pickups.
"It's got to be thousands, but we can't tell," Mike Roeder said.
The trucks almost fill the 30-acre main parking lot of the currently unused Kentucky Speedway, a lot that can hold more than 5,000 cars on race day.
"We had seen the trucks coming in last week, and all of a sudden the whole parking lot is full," he said.
Computer chip shortage halts dealer deliveries
Ford's F Series pickup is the hottest-selling and most in-demand vehicle in America right now, because it is the main truck of choice for home builders, electricians and other tradespeople who have seen business boom in 2021.
Used ones are selling for a premium, just slightly below their original price in some cases.
But if you want a new one, thousands are just sitting and waiting for missing computer chips before they can be sold.
Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker confirmed to us these trucks, which were built in Louisville, are now waiting on parts.
"Ford will build and hold these vehicles for a number of weeks, then ship the vehicles to dealers once the modules are available and comprehensive quality checks are complete," she told WCPO.
Lots in Detroit and Kansas City are also filling up with thousands of unfinished pickups, according to a Detroit Free Press report.
"You realize how much money is sitting there. It's crazy," Mike Roeder said.
GM, meanwhile, is taking a different approach and has just announced it is idling some plants and sending workers home for two weeks as it deals with the chip shortage on multiple vehicle production lines.
So trucks are fast becoming this year's toilet paper or hand sanitizer, unable to get to eager consumers.
Keep that in mind if you are shopping, so you don't waste your money.
FULL FORD STATEMENT:
"The global semiconductor shortage continues providing presenting challenges to a number of industries – including automakers worldwide. Our teams continue prioritizing key vehicle lines for production, making the most of our available semiconductor allocation and will continue finding unique solutions around the world so we can provide as many high-demand vehicles as possible to our customers as dealers. Ford will build and hold these vehicles for a number of weeks, then ship the vehicles to dealers once the modules are available and comprehensive quality checks are complete." — Kelli Felker, Ford Motor Company
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