THERE seems to be little end to the squeeze on vehicle supply, which threatens to put increasing pressure on leasing broker cash flow.

And now, with increasing order banks and no visual on actual delivery, Ford has decided to close its commercial vehicle order book.

A statement from Ford said:

We have a temporary closure of order books to review emerging supply and production challenges. This is to ensure realistic lead time guidance. We will continue to monitor the situation but intend to reopen order banks from 01 May, with the exception of E-Transit, where orders will continue to be taken.

Ford is not the only OEM to close its order books to assess what it needs to deliver and by when. We hear that SEAT has also closed its order book on the Leon eHybrid with waiting times stretching out to 60 days.

Evidence from leasing brokers we have spoken to suggest there’s an inevitable scramble to secure stock wherever possible, but also the likelihood that these orders might be cancelled as production woes continue.

Arron Mogridge, partnership manager of vehicle purchasing system Fleet Procure, commented:

I think this is a growing trend which we’ll see more of. While SEAT is due to close Leon eHybrid order books, MG has stopped taking orders for all ICE engines and we have previously seen Renault close their order bank for LCVs, now re-opened with revised support terms and increased RRP on vehicles and options, for example. And these won’t be the last. The other way OEMs are tackling the shortages is to drastically cut the range available. Volkswagen now only sells one derivative of the ID.3. I can see other manufacturers stripping back the range from, say 15 variants, to just five. It’s the easiest way for them to handle shortage of supplies while still maintaining some form of factory output.

Which is of little solace to brokers and their cash flow. Or to customers wanting their new vehicles.

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